WHAT IS BRONCHITIS?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Usually, the cold or flu completes its course in a few weeks and you are again healthy and without any symptoms but when the infection spreads to bronchial tubes it causes swelling and inflammation there producing more mucus and timid cough. Along with that, it would also produce tightness in the chest with short breathing accompanied by sound while breathing (wheezing). Low-grade fever can also be seen.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BRONCHITIS?
- Acute bronchitis
- Chronic bronchitis
Acute bronchitis: commonly follows a cold or viral infection, such as the flu. It consists of cough with mucus, chest discomfort or soreness, fever, and sometimes shortness of breath. Acute bronchitis usually lasts a few days or weeks.
Chronic bronchitis: is a serious, ongoing illness characterized by a persistent, mucus-producing cough that lasts longer than 3 months out of the year for more than 2 years.
If chronic bronchitis occurs with emphysema, it becomes Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How does it spread
- By airborne respiratory droplets
- By saliva(kissing or hugs)
- By skin to skin contact
- By touching a contaminated surface
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR BRONCHITIS?
There are several things that can increase the risk of bronchitis:
- Smoking: active or passive is going to increase the risk of bronchitis- acute or chronic.
- Fumes: ladies cooking in villages with coal and wood are more at risk of developing bronchitis as they are exposed very frequently to fumes from burning coal and wood.
- Exposure to irritants: irritants like chemicals, dyes, textile irritants, wood residues, etc can also predispose to bronchitis.
- Poor hygiene: would expose to recurrent infections and would predispose to bronchitis.
- Heartburns: more acidity would induce more cough due to irritation in the throat and food pipe.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF BRONCHITIS?
The major complication of bronchitis are:
- Respiratory failure
- Enlargement and weakness of the right heart ventricle of the heart caused by lung disease.
- Pneumothorax (collection of air or gas in lungs causing lung collapse)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BRONCHITIS?
Signs and symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis are :
- Production of mucous(sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray, or green in color. Rarely, it may be streaked with blood.
- Shortness of breath
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort
- Sore throat
- Blocked nose and sinuses
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF BRONCHITIS?
- Causes of acute bronchitis-acute bronchitis is normally caused by viruses, typically those that also cause colds and flu. It can also be caused by bacterial infection and exposure to substances that irritate the lungs, such as tobacco smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution.
- Causes of chronic bronchitis- chronic bronchitis is caused by repeated irritation and damage to the lungs.
Smoking is the most common cause of chronic bronchitis
DIAGNOSIS OF BRONCHITIS
Diagnosis of bronchitis is made by the following points :
- Person’s medical history
- Physical examination
- Chest X-ray
- Sputum examination
- CT scan of the chest
- Pulmonary function test
A history of a daily productive cough that lasts at least 3 months, especially if has occurred two years in a row, makes the clinical diagnosis of chronic bronchitis.
TREATMENT OF BRONCHITIS
- Anti inflammatory drugs
- Supplemental oxygen
These medicines have side effects and would only give temporary relief so homeopathy is a good way of treatment where symptoms can be treated completely and permanently.
- Homeopathic medicines are very much effective in the treatment of bronchitis.
MANAGEMENT OF BRONCHITIS
- Do not start smoking; quit smoking if you already smoke
- Avoid lung irritants such as smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution.
- Wash hands often to limit exposure to germs and bacteria
- Wear a mask so that you can avoid infections.
HOMEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT OF BRONCHITIS
The homeopathic approach to bronchitis is very good there are several medicines that improve your immunity and give you the power to fight bronchitis some medicines are:
- Arsenic album
- Antimonium tart
- Hepar sulphuris
- Kali bichromium
Take medicines only after consulting good homeopathic medicines.
DO'S & DON'TS
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do exercise daily
- Take medicine on time
- Keep hydrate yourself
- Do breathing exercise
- Always keep an inhaler for emergency conditions
- Don’t take cough medicine
- Do not stop treatment
- Don’t expose yourself to pollutants
- Don’t panic