Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages inside the lungs. When the trachea and the large and small bronchi inside the lungs become inflamed due to infection this is known as bronchitis. There are two types of bronchitis, chronic and acute. Both types of bronchitis usually consist of having the same type of symptoms.
The reason bronchitis occurs is usually due to having a cold or flu that has turned into an upper respiratory infection. You can get bronchitis from many viruses, including the flu. There are also several bacteria that can cause bronchitis as well. The same bacteria that causes walking pneumonia is called Mycoplasma pneumonia and it can also cause bronchitis. There is also the possibility of getting bronchitis after inhaling fumes or dust particles. Those who smoke are at a high risk of contracting bronchitis due to the chemical solvents and toxins that are inhaled into the lungs.
For those that are suffering from acute bronchitis it may follow a cold or a sinus infection of some sort. Often a sore throat, fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, and nasal congestion can be present alongside the bronchitis. The cough is the most obvious symptom a person with have as an indicator they may have bronchitis. The cough may result in the production of phlegm or it can be dry. If you have had a cough that has lasted for longer than two weeks then the chances of it being bronchitis are likely. Coughing may be so forceful that it can leave you short of breath or cause the chest, back or stomach to hurt. In most cases acute bronchitis can pass on its own without the treatment of medicine. However if you have had the cough for an extended amount of time, cannot sleep, have a fever that lasts longer than 5 days or having severe wheezing then it is time to seek medical help. Bronchitis can evolve into a lung infection such as pneumonia. Another thing to look out for is blood in the phlegm. If you notice this then you should see a doctor immediately.
Some things that you may be able to try at home to help with your cough symptoms include taking cough suppressants. This can help alleviate the urge to cough. Also using a humidifier in the home or a cool mist vaporizer at night when sleeping, may help soothe a cough. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. The less hydrated your body is the drier your cough will be. Try taking some over the counter pain meds in order to help with muscle aches and fevers. Taking a teaspoon of honey mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice has also been known to help with a nagging cough. It will coat your throat helping it be less dry and sensitive. Honey also has a lot of healing qualities including anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits.
Chronic bronchitis symptoms include coughing that gets worse in the morning hours, coughs that worsen in damp weather, and becoming sick more often with colds and the flu. Chronic bronchitis is a long term inflammation of the lungs that causes scarring of the bronchial tubes. This scarring increases the mucus production which can become excessive. Having chronic bronchitis leaves you susceptible to viral and bacterial infections that can cause acute bronchitis on top of having the chronic bronchitis.
If you think that you may have chronic bronchitis then you should see a doctor. Chronic bronchitis may be treated differently than acute bronchitis. Antibiotics may be administered as well as a bronchodilator inhaler to help with wheezing. If you are a smoker and it is the cause of your chronic bronchitis then quitting smoking is extremely important in treating your bronchitis. Smoking will not allow your lungs or air passages to heal.
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