Bronchitis is a health condition, which falls between the severity of the usual cold and pneumonia. Your bronchial tubes have inflammation or swelling when it occurs to you. You have nagging mucus and cough.
There are primarily two types of bronchitis:
- Acute Bronchitis – It is very usual. Also known as the chest cold, it continues for a few weeks. However, it doesn’t cause any severe problems for you.
- Chronic Bronchitis – Included in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), it is a critical health issue and doesn’t quickly go away.
Viruses causing flu and cold are one of the primary causes of acute bronchitis. Sometimes, bacteria may cause you to suffer from it. In both cases, your bronchial tubes have swells; germinate more mucus, and your body fights against germs. For the flow of air, you have small openings. Hence, you face breathing problems.
Causes of chronic bronchitis are as follows:
- Breathing in polluted air
- Chemical fumes
- Smoking or taking a second-hand smoke
- Asthma and allergies
- Weaker immune system
- Family history of lung diseases
Usually, you have breathing problems whether you have acute or chronic bronchitis. The symptoms of bronchitis (both acute and chronic) are as follows:
- Constant cough, which tends to produce mucus
- Wheezing/whistling sound at the time of breathing
- Low fever with chills
- Chest tightness
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Breathlessness or shortness of breath
- Blocked nose or sinuses
When do you see a doctor?
Bronchitis causes you to have breathing and other health problems. You need to meet your doctor when your cough:
- Makes you stay awake all night
- Extends more than three weeks
- Gets thicker and darker and brings up blood
- Becomes a cause to your chest pain
Consult your physician when you:
- Have a whistling/wheezing sound, making you unable to speak
- Fever crosses 100.4-degree Celsius
Bronchitis Treatment Options
Usually, bronchitis treatment starts with diagnosis and includes medications and preventive advises, along with proper rest. Here are the treatment options for bronchitis in brief:
- Bronchitis diagnosis
Your doctor will interact closely with you to know the signs you have noticed. The doctor will do physical examinations before asking you for any tests and medications. During the check-up, the physician can examine the oxygen level in your blood, do a test to know the lung function and ask for an X-ray of your chest, blood test, and cough test. Based on the test results, the doctor will tell you whether you have acute or chronic bronchitis.
- Bronchitis medications
Your doctor will be the right person to prescribe bronchitis medications that may include medicines and cough syrups. The doctor may prescribe you medicines having fluticasone and salmeterol, like Advair Diskus. Your physician may advise you to take an inhaler for the opening of airways.
Your bronchitis treatment may include oxygen therapy, the use of mucus clearing device, and pulmonary rehab. Follow whatever your doctor advises you.
Getting in touch with your doctor is crucial for you when you notice the problem is getting worse. However, the following tips may help you feel better:
- Drink enough water. Try to drink 8-12 glasses of water. It will help you lose your mucus.
- Have enough rest. Avoid going to polluted areas in or around your house.
- Take pain killers such as Naproxen, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen. Never let children take Aspirin. For getting relief from fever and pain, you can take Acetaminophen. Know your physician’s opinion on the use of these medicines.
- Have a steam bath or use a humidifier. Having a warm shower may help you lose mucus.
- Bronchitis preventive tips
Prevention is always better than cure. By following a healthy lifestyle and taking some precautions, you can stay from several health problems. Here are some useful tips that can help you protect yourself from both acute and chronic bronchitis:
- Say Noto smoking
- Do not use a second-hand smoking
- Take flu vaccines if you suffer from flu
- Use a mask while going in the polluted areas, doing home renovation works, etc.
- Wash your hands frequently. Never forget washing your hands before and after having your meals. Wash your hands soon if you touch an object having a lot of dust.
You need to get rid of bronchitis whether you have acute or chronic bronchitis. Your quick response can help you prevent yourself from having its second type. Follow your doctor’s guidelines to deal with it.