Bronchitis mans the chronic or acute soreness of our mucous membrane or the swilling in the tracheobronchial tree of our respiratory system. Tracheobronchial tree refers to the trachea or the windpipe & the bronchial tubes. This disease might or may not be contagious, depending on some circumstances.
Initially you must understand that there are two types of bronchitis – Chronic or the long term one and acute bronchitis or the short term one.
Here are some essential medical details of the bronchial disease:
1. The solemn features of acute bronchitis are productive cough, fever, hypertrophy and / or increased mucus secreting tissues, chills, sore throat, headache, runny nose, back aches and general malaise. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is the incapacitating ailment that is often caused by the persistent coughing along with a lot of production of phlegm and / or mucus by our glands of bronchi & trachea. In order to be called as the chronic bronchitis, the cough along with phlegm must persist continuously for nothing less than 3 months to two successful years.
2. Bronchitis both acute and chronic occur due to infections arising from bacteria, virus, and the environmental pollution (like chemical fumes, cigarette smoking, etc).
3. In order to diagnose bronchitis in a patient, the physician primarily notes down the health history of the patient. Then they make note of the signs of this disease. Further, the medical professional would auscultate and / or listen to the chest of the patient with the help of a stethoscope, to hear sounds of inflammation, wheezing in the lungs. The sounds vary greatly as these could be – crackling, moist wails and wheezing.
4. Wheezing is the sign of the narrowing of your air passages. Sound produced by the hair being rubbed with one another is called crackling. Moist wails are heard when bubbling of fluid secretions in our bronchial tubes takes place.
5. The sputum culture is ordered by the medical experts when they observe a suspicious color and / or streaks of blood. This test helps to identify the kind of infection and the type of bacteria and / or virus present in the patients' respiratory tracts. This way they are able to plan the treatment of the patient in a better way. To collect the sputum for this test the lab personnel tell the patient to breathe deeply. Then the patient has to cough out that phlegm in to a container. It is best done right in the morning prior to having breakfast and / or any sort of food intake. The results of this test come form the lab in about three days.
6. In case of the chronic bronchitis patients sometimes the doctors use bronchoscopy. This is a method of collecting sputum for testing but in an advanced manner. In this method, the patient is given a local anesthesia. Then a tube is inserted in to the respiratory tract of the patient in order to collect his / her sputum.
7. Further, the medical expert may also suggest to for chest x-ray done followed by blood tests.
8. With the results of these test the medical experts determine the right type of treatment for the patient and that his bronchitis is contagious or not. In case it is contagious, the medical experts there on on employ the precautionary measures.
9. Bronchitis of both the types acute as well as chronic can be contagious depending on their cause of occurrence. When bronchitis is caused due to some virus or bacteria, it becomes contagious.
10. The commonly known viruses that make bronchitis contagious are adenovirus, influenza virus, and mycoplasma pneumoniae.
11. Bronchitis can occur due to 2 types of influenza strains. These are – influenza A & influence B. Both these strains are avoidable in case the patient takes an annual doze of the influenza virus vaccine. This helps the individual become immunized against the virus.
12. Adenovirus can be one among the 49 medium sized viruses that belong to the family of Adenoviridae. These are pathogenic (that is disease causing) for the human body. These pathogens not only cause ailments in the human body's respiratory tract, but also become the reason for conjunctivitis, cystitis, and gastro-intestinal infections.
13. Mycplasma pneumoniae is known for being the most contagious for young children & adults.
14. Antibiotics are not effective by any means when the bronchitis is caused due to the virus. The viral infections are self-limiting. These might clear out with in 14 days only if the bronchitis has not yet become complicated.
15. In case the bronchitis is caused due to some underlying bacterial infection, the physician would most likely prescribe the antibiotic so as to kill the bacteria and prevent it from spreading towards the neighboring organisms. Usually, the patients take the anti-biotic medications just as prescribed by the doctor and readily accept the side effects.
16. It is always possible to keep away form such contagious ailments with a simple trick – live a healthy & hygienic lifestyle. The individuals must take the appropriate amount of nutrition in their diet. Take rest when you feel low, especially in the cold season. Wash your hands more often and regularly as this would prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. You must have very clean and hygienic surroundings to avoid bronchitis.