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Bronchitis is a condition wherein air passages into the lungs are inflamed. It can either be chronic or acute. Acute bronchitis is caused by viral infection which begins in the sinuses or nose spreading to the air passages. It can be only considered a chronic bronchitis if the cough progress on the sputum for a minimum of three months within a year. Nevertheless, chronic bronchitis most often affects smokers. In some cases, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is diagnosed.
Both types of bronchitis display different symptoms. In acute bronchitis, wheezing, fever, fatigue, sore throat, cough producing mucus, and chest burning sensation are obvious. In chronic bronchitis, wheezing, chronic cough producing excessive mucus, inability to breath, blue-tinged lips, and swelling of the ankle, leg, and feet.
Virus causes acute bronchitis as well as bacteria. In general, acute bronchitis can be transmitted from one person to another. Chronic bronchitis is caused by cigarette smoking and long-term exposure to irritants including grain and dust and air pollution.
The doctor listens to your back and chest, examines your throat, draws blood, and takes cultures of lung secretions during check ups. If there is a possibility of COPD or pneumonia, the doctor can require you to undergo a chest x-ray.
Preventive care must be incorporated to avoid acute and chronic bronchitis. The simplest way is to keep away from irritants and air pollutants. Yearly flu and pneumococcal vaccination is advised to prevent infection leading to chronic bronchitis exacerbation or acute bronchitis.
The treatment approach also varies. Generally, viruses are cleared within seven to ten days in acute bronchitis. You can take cough medications containing expectorants, use humidifiers, and drink lots of fluids to relieve symptoms. Infections due to bacteria must be consulted first to your doctor. It is not recommended to take medicines without proper prescriptions. Most often, the doctors prescribe antibiotics. Others include bronchodilators, like Albuterol which can help in opening your airways and corticosteroids which is inhaled or taken orally to reduce inflammation and mucus.
Changing your lifestyle is also a helpful remedy. You need to stop smoking. If possible, utilize a steam or humidifier in your bathroom. Make it a habit to drink lots of water and other fluids. If your infection is active, take your rest. Oxygen therapy at home can be also done if the levels of oxygen in your body are low due to chronic bronchitis.
Dietary and nutrition supplements are also recommended. Food experimentation can be done to see if changing your diet is effective or not in alleviating chronic bronchitis symptoms. Keeping careful records regarding how you feel. Eating dairy products should be lessened to reduce mucus production. Try avoiding milk, eggs, nuts, preservatives, additives, and food coloring. Instead, try adding garlic and onions.
Scientific studies revealed that NAC or N-Acetyl-Cysteine can help in dissolving mucus as well as improve symptoms of chronic bronchitis. Zinc supplementation can enhance the activity of your immune system. It also protects you from infections including infections of the upper respiratory system and colds. Other supplements include bromalein, quercetin, vitamin c, and lactobacillus which also prevent the person from catching infections and relieve bronchitis symptoms.
Using herbs is proven to strengthen and treat diseases for many years. However, herbs may contain substances that are active. It may produce side effects upon interactions with other medications, supplements, or herbs. Herbs must be taken with proper prescription from a knowledgeable practitioner of herbal medications.
Barberry or berberis vulgaris helps improve immune system functions and fight infections. Eucalyptus or eucalyptus globules is good for treating common colds and coughs. Eucalyptus oil helps in loosening the phlegm. Peppermint or mentha x piperita is effective as decongestants. It contains menthol, thinning the mucus like an expectorant. It provides calming and soothing effects for dry coughs and sore throats. Slippery elm or ulmus fulva is recognized by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Authority) as an effective and safe remedy for respiratory symptoms and sore throat. Stinging nettle or urtica dioica also acts as expectorants having anti-viral properties.
Homeopathy is some cases are applicable provided with standard medical attention. It is because physical, psychological, and emotional makeup of a person are taken into consideration before the procedure.
However, recovery chances of the patient are good using these remedies if bronchitis is diagnosed on each early stage.