Bronchitis is the condition associated with an inflammation of the large bronchi and trachea caused by infection or other reasons. The mucous lining of air passages in the lungs becomes irritated and swollen and leaking fluids with cough is the result of body’s reaction to this irritation. Different types of bronchitis depend on the source of inflammation and duration of the condition.
Infectious bronchitis occurs mostly in cold seasons and is caused by viruses or bacteria. The symptoms in this case can remain for weeks, even after the virus is no longer in the body. This type of bronchitis is also known as acute bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis is longer lasting (from several months to years). The bronchial tubes are chronically inflamed, red and swollen producing mucous over time. This type of bronchitis is often caused by smoking. Patients who have the condition in chronic state are more susceptible to pneumonia.
And lastly, the irritative bronchitis (also known as industrial or environmental bronchitis) is usually caused by exposure to various mineral dusts, fumes from strong acids, ammonia, some organic solvents, chlorine, bromine and other irritative chemicals that damage air passages of human respiratory system.
Depending on the cause of bronchitis, the symptoms vary and are of different severity. The signs of infectious bronchitis may include fever (usually mild) lasting for a couple days, runny nose, back and muscles ache, chills, coughing, first dry and then with mucous changing its color (white if the infection is viral and green to yellow if it is bacterial); shortness of breath, headache and sore throat. The cough may last for more than two weeks and cause body weakness due to forceful effort to get rid of mucous.
As mentioned above, the factors causing bronchitis are mostly connected to infectious sources. Typically the cold season brings the spread of viruses – respiratory syncytical virus, rhinovirus, influenza and others which inflame the bronchi by irritating them. The viruses are usually spread from person to person by coughing or through other contact to respiratory fluids. Breathing in irritating fumes, such as polluted with chemical solvents air or tobacco smoke, may result in bronchitis too. If the repeated bouts of bronchitis disturb you, there’s necessity to consult the specialist since it may be the case of asthma.
Depending on the suspected cause and symptoms of bronchitis, doctors usually prescribe corresponding treatment. For acute bronchitis cause by viruses antibiotics are usually prescribed. Also, medicines that are usually prescribed to treat asthma may be recommended in such cases too – they help open the bronchial tubes and clear out mucus. To reduce these symptoms cough-suppressing medicines are being helpful, too. In cases of severe cough doctors may prescribe using bronchodilators (inhalers) which open up the bronchi and reduce wheezing. These should be used on a short term. Drinking plenty of fluids and taking a lot of rest enhances the healing.
Using herbs for bronchitis is an effective way to get rid of the disease. Herbalists suggest a number of herbs and herbal preparations to fight bronchitis symptoms.
Barberry, for example,contains substances that help fight infection and improve immune function. This herb is widely used in the treatment of respiratory infections like bronchitis.
Eucalyptus is an effective remedy to treat coughs and the common cold. Eucalyptus oil loosens phlegm, treat coughs, and the flu.
Menthol, a very effective decongestant, is an active agent in peppermint. Using this herb helps thinning mucus; it is also a good expectorant – it helps loosen and breaks up coughs with phlegm. It also produces soothing and calming effects for sore throats (pharyngitis) and dry coughs.
Marshmallow (as well as other mallows) is a good respiratory tract soother (demulcents). Its demulcent roots also have an anti-inflammatory effect. This herb has been used for centuries as a treatment for bronchitis, colds, coughs and sore throat.
Slippery elm is a universal demulcent used for sore throat and a variety of other respiratory symptoms. Slippery elm tea helps the body reduce mucus production and thin the secreted mucus in the air passages.
Active compounds in stinging nettle produce expectorant effects – they can loosen and break up a cough and may have anti-viral properties.
Make sure to consult a herbalist before getting to the help of healing herbs.
i”ve been smoking for about 10 years now. i also abuse cough syrup,, drinking at least a whole bottle of codein, which makes me smoke even more. now its congested and all my joints crack when i move, especially my hip joint which makes an embarrassing crack as i move. my nose is also constantly blocked at night and a rotten phlegm ensues as i cough out mucus. am i going to die? pls help. my email is:firstname.lastname@example.org
i also get pneumonia a few time a year, its a new year for me and need to get heathy, so you need to help me help me