What Is Bronchitis

When the question of what is bronchitis comes up, many people understand that the condition involves a situation in which it is harder to breath and may involve a lot of coughing. However, there is a little more to bronchitis that just these simple observations. Here is some information that helps to explain more about the nature of bronchitis, as well as some suggestions for treating the condition. To answer this basic question, it is necessary to understand that the condition involves the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. However, the presence of bronchitis often extends beyond just the tubes. It is not unusual to lodge firmly in the bronchial tubes and then spread to related areas of the body. This means the infection will begin to impact the air passages that lead to the nose and the throat, the larynx, and even into the air passages in the lungs. Bronchitis can impair the breathing process by creating blockages that adhere to the interior walls of the air passages. The result is coughing and wheezing in an attempt to clear the passages, a sense of feeling diminished in general strength, and in some cases a sense of panic as it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe.

Along with understanding the basics, it is also important to understand that the condition is often divided into two different categories. Acute bronchitis usually occurs due to a viral infection, with a bout of influenza or the common cold laying the groundwork for the development of the condition. There is usually coughing and wheezing associated with acute bronchitis, and often pus in the sputum that is expelled. With proper treatment, acute bronchitis can usually be brought under control within a week to ten days. Chronic bronchitis is often contracted as the result of exposure to bacteria that can then lodge in the bronchial tubes and begin to spread. Smoking and air pollution often are at the root of chronic bronchitis. While the condition may appear to be nothing more than a little cough at first, it can strengthen and eventually compromise the lungs if not treated.

Part of gaining an idea of what is bronchitis also involves learning more about treatments. Some steps are common sense and contain a wide range of health benefits. These steps include quitting smoking, getting regular exercise and sleep, and eating a balanced diet. Along with making lifestyle changes, bronchitis treatment may involve the use of expectorants and various types of antibiotics, depending on the exact circumstances.

These are more details about bronchitis as below:

Causes:

Bronchitis is a condition that impacts any number of people each day. Often, people may wonder how it can develop from seemingly no origin in a short period of time. There are several common causes, most of them that seem to be very innocuous at first glance.

One of the more common causes of bronchitis, and in fact the root cause for many types of respiratory ailments, is poor personal health habits. Smoking weakens the body’s natural defenses to dealing with factors that can lead to the development of this condition, providing germs with a fertile field to use for settling in and beginning to spread. Poor nutrition is another factor that often opens the body to an increased chance of developing. Eating a diet that is high in fats, carbohydrates, and cholesterol will do nothing to improve the overall function of the body, and will in fact make it more susceptible to contracting a wide number of ailments.

A bacterium is one of the most common causes. Once bacteria enter the system and gain a foothold in the air passages and the lungs, it will begin to multiply and spread. The result is air passages filled with mucus. The presence of the mucus will result in a great deal of difficulty and pain associated with breathing. Once in place, antibiotics are the most effective way to eliminate this common cause of a bronchial condition.

Viruses also constitute one of the more general causes in many people. As with colds and other types of conditions, it is possible to develop the condition after being exposed to someone else who is dealing with the situation. Airborne contaminants transmit the germs to a new host, where it can then lodge and begin to proliferate. Strong expectorants can help to bring bronchitis of this type under control.

In all situations where various causes of bronchitis are present, the most effective means of dealing with the situation is to see a physician immediately. Allowing the condition to linger and slowly gain strength will only make the elimination of the root cause harder to manage. Often, a doctor can quickly identify the origin of the situation and proscribe medication that can be coupled with other simple methods to effectively address the condition and help bring a quicker resolution. In many cases, the physician will recommend the use of a vaporizer to help alleviate symptoms, as well as recommend some dietary changes that may also make an impact in bringing the bronchitis under control.

Signs and Symptoms:

If you’ve been suffering from cold and flu-like symptoms for some time and aren’t sure if what you are dealing with is bronchitis, here are some of the things to look out for. Of course, these symptoms may vary from person to person, so it is always a good idea to consult a physician, particularly if you have been experiencing your symptoms for a few months without end.

The main things to watch that could indicate symptoms of bronchitis include coughing with a side order of pain in the chest area. Usually this pain is caused by the coughing itself, and the repeated and chronic nature of the cough. People have actually suffered internal bleeding and bruising due to chronic cough, and while this is not always a sign, it very well could be.

Other symptoms include the appearance of yellowish or green phlegm, which can appear when coughing or through a running nose. This colored phlegm is indicative of infection and can be a sure sign of bronchitis. You may also notice it becomes harder to breathe normally and it can be difficult to take a full lungful of air.

It is determined that a person has chronic bronchitis (rather than the less serious acute form of the disease) if they experience these symptoms for three months in a row without reprieve for two consecutive years. This diagnosis can also happen if the symptoms persist for six months in just one year.

The bronchitis signs can commonly be confused with similar symptoms which come along with the cold or flu, though the most symptoms do not typically include stomach illness. To make the proper distinction, a trip to the doctor’s office is recommended. Some doctors will try to prescribe antibiotics, but it is not advised. Antibiotics will treat only bacterial infections, which is not what bronchitis is. Antibiotics will not only relieve your symptoms, they may make things worse. Far better would be a regimen of natural remedies such as aromatherapy and proper juices and vitamins.

Treatment and Prevention

Believe it or not antibiotics do not treat most cases of bronchitis since it typically is a result of some type of viral infection. But there is no need to fret because there are many and in some cases better treatment out there.

First it is absolutely vital to get plenty of rest. Many doctors would say that extra rest may be the most important bronchitis treatment available to anyone suffering from type of bronchitis that is caused by a virus. Additionally one needs to drink more than the normal amount of liquids, mainly water and various juices, whichever juice you prefer will do fine. To lessen the symptoms some people also prefer to take an over-the-counter cough medicine.

Don’t go overboard with the cough medicine though because coughing is actually good in that it helps to get rid of the mucus (sputum) that is irritating the lungs and airway. Doctors recommend for cough medicine that enough is used to help a person sleep during the night but not so much that the cough goes away completely, remember the idea is to get rid of those irritants. There are a wide range of cough medicines that are available over-the-counter at a local drug store or area pharmacy. Be sure to read the information for any particular label to be sure that you get the one that will help the type of cough that you are suffering from. If an OTC cough medicine does not work your physician might prescribe a prescription cough syrup.

If you are suffering from the type of bronchitis then your doctor might decide that an antibiotic is the best treatment to help clear it up. Bronchitis that is caused by an infection as is not as prevalent as viral condition but it is not rare to suffer from this type especially among smokers and people who suffer from different types of lung diseases.

To finish up let’s talk about the best bronchitis treatment of all, prevention. If you are suffering from this condition right now this will not help much but it will obviously help you in the years to come. Avoid smoking at all costs and if at all possible stay away from secondhand smoke as much as possible. Tobacco products massively increase the chances bronchitis and other lung diseases that are much worse.

Doctors recommend getting an annual flu vaccine because a great number of people with bronchitis get it as a result of first having the flu. Using hand sanitizers will also help to greatly reduce the chances of getting it and a whole host of other bad sicknesses that we would all rather never halve to suffer from. Remember prevention is the best bronchitis treatment of all.