Bronchitis is often an acute infection of the air passages starting in the nose and extending to the bronchioles. Occasionally the first symptom is hoarseness. It may be mistaken for a common cold, which has settled in the chest.
When the bronchial tubes become infected they become swollen and a thick fluid called mucus forms inside them. This makes it hard for the patient to breath and a cough develops along with a wheeze or whistling sound when you breathe.
It occurs more often among city dwellers that rural residents and about 4 times more often in men than women. Older adults, infants and people with chronic respiratory disorder or heart problem are at the greatest risk with bronchitis attacks.
There are three main types of bronchitis, acute, chronic and occupational.
Acute bronchitis develops after a sore throat or cold and can last for one or two weeks and is usually caused by viruses. Antibodies only work against bacteria and not viruses so your physician will not prescribe an antibiotic. The symptoms include a throbbing cough, runny nose, wheezing, sore throat, headaches, chills, slight fever, back pain, and muscle pain. Repeated acute bronchitis attacks can lead to chronic bronchitis.
If exposed to certain lung irritants, such as flax, hemp or cotton dust, chemical fumes then occupational bronchitis can develop. Occupational bronchitis usually clears up when you are no longer exposed to the irritants and the cough associated with occupational bronchitis is usually dry and nonproductive.
Unlike acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis is an ongoing, serious disease that can last the rest of you life. Air pollution, dust, or toxic gasses in the environment or workplace can contribute to bronchitis. In some cases, chronic inflammation of the airways leads to asthma.
Chronic bronchitis develops when an individual has to much phlegm in the air passageway causing a prolific cough. If this cough lasts for several months then the individual will most likely be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. The symptoms include all of the symptoms of acute bronchitis and shortness of breath due to exertion, repeated infections in the lungs and respiratory tract.
Chronic bronchitis can lead to heart failure, the skin turns bluish color because of not enough oxygen in the blood, and Edema. Edema is a condition where excessive fluid is stored in the human body. The feet and ankles are the most common sites.
People who have chronic bronchitis are more susceptible to airway and lung infections, like the bacterial infection called pneumonia. In some cases of chronic bronchitis the patients' airways become permanently infected with bacteria.
Physicians will sometimes prescribe a bronchodilator or other medication typically used to treat asthma. These medication are used help to relax and open the bronchial tubes to make breathing easer. Nebulizers and inhalers can loosen the mucus lining the bronchiole tubes, thus allowing the patient to cough up the mucus allowing air to pass more freely through the airways.
Bronchitis sufferers should always be checked for tuberculosis just in case it is masking the symptoms of the more serious disease.
Common Vitamins and over the counter products can help with treating Bronchitis such as Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Vitamin E, Pantothenic Acid, Glucosamine, Vitamin A, Antioxidants and Allergy Aid.
Vitamin C is nature's protective nutrient, essential for defending the body against pollution and infection and enhances the bodies' immune system.
Beta Carotene protects the mucus membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs. It also helps protect Vitamin C from oxidation, which enables it to perform at optimum efficiency.
Vitamin E protects the lung tissue from inhaled pollutants and aids in the functioning of the immune system.
Many find pantothenic Acid to be very helpful against bronchitis symptoms. It is another form of non toxic B vitamins.
Glucosamine is an anti-inflammatory and may give some relief from bronchitis symptoms.
A number of studies have suggested that taking antioxidants such a Vitamin A reduces the risk of bronchoconstriction. Vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat cells of the human body and can reach toxic levels. DO NOT take more than the recommended dosage of Vitamin A.
Allergy Aid supplies 9 beneficial Herb's to help provide temporary relief of respiratory allergies. The natural action of these specific Herb's help to open bronchial tubes and ease breathing.
Natural antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables such as, apples, blueberries, broccoli, cherries, cranberries, grapes, spinach, and Spirulina a blue-green algae.
Always consult your doctor before using this information.
This Article is nutritional in nature and not to be construed as medical advice.