Bronchitis – Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition

It is a type of respiratory disease. It involves inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial passage of the lungs. Coughing spells, breathlessness and thick phlegm accompaniment this breathing difficulty disease. They are caused by the thickening and swilling of the irritated membrane which closes or narrows down the tiny air passes inside the lungs and makes breathing troublesome. There are two types of bronchitis-chronic and acute.

Symptoms

There may or may not be a fever. Breathing will be a difficult task, accompanied by a wheezing or rasping sound. The patient will feel lethargic and depleted of energy. Another common symptom is a persistent cough that produces mucus and may throw up blood. The patient may experience shortness of breath. The other warning symptom is a chest cold which has lasted for more than a fortnight.

Treatment

Please do not commit the blunder of waiting for all of the above mentioned symptoms to appear. Seek medical assistance.

Take enough rest.

Quit smoking.

If your physician has not limited your fluid intake, consume water or fruit juices or other such healthy fluids once an hour.

You can take the help of medication / drugs like acetaminophen or aspirin to give relief to your aching body. Keep away children from aspirin. Consult your physician for best results.

Cough suppressants or expectorants will help to loosen mucus.

Since most bronchitis cases are viral attacks, you can give antibiotics a miss. Antibiotics, however, may be necessary if a bacterial infection has led to bronchitis or if he has impaired lung function. In cases of chronic bronchitis, oral or inhaled steroids for reducing infection, annual flu shots, one shot pneumonia vaccine, or and supplemental oxygen are to be taken, as advised by your doctor, to protect your vulnerable lungs.

Stay away from fumes, pets, dust, or other such irritants.

Utensils used for eating and food should not be shared.

Hands should be washed often.