What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is swelling and inflammation of the main air passages which carry air to the lungs.
This swelling narrows the airways, making it harder to breathe and producing symptoms like cough.
Coughing is a reflex that works to clear secretions from the lungs. Often the discomfort of a severe cough leads a person to seek medical treatment
Both adults and children’s can get Bronchitis, symptoms are similar for both
What are the types of Bronchitis?
Bronchitis may be Acute or Chronic depending upon the duration of illness.
Acute Bronchitis is a condition in which the symptoms have only been present for a short time developing from cold or infections.
Chronic Bronchitis is a condition which can be termed when the condition lasts for more than 3 months; it usually develops from constant irritation to the passages due to Smoking.
What are the Causes of Bronchitis?
- Virus: Certain virus like Influenza A and B are known to cause Bronchitis. These are also referred as Flu in common language.
- Bacteria: Few bacteria like Mycoplasma Pneumoniae are known to cause acute bronchitis.
- Smoking is the leading cause, it leads to constant irritation of the lung passages leading to Chronic Bronchitis.
- Repeated exposure of dust, pollution, toxic gases are known to cause irritation to the air passages and lead to Chronic Bronchitis
- Deficiency of Alpha 1 antitrypsin in non smokers can lead to cause Emphysema too.
What are the Risk factors of Bronchitis?
- Elderly patients
- Patients with weak immunity
- Exposure to irritants such as chemicals or smoke
- Patients suffering from asthma or any allergies are more vulnerable
What are the Signs & symptoms of Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis usually starts with an attack of common cold – it’s often caused by the same viruses that cause a cold. The attack usually gets over within a span of 6 weeks.
To start with, the symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose, stuffy nose,
- Fatigue with feverish feeling
- Body ache
Later the symptoms may progress to the development of:
- Cough is the most common symptom in bronchitis, it may be dry or productive, and it may be clear or yellow – green mucus
- Shortness of breath, wheezing may also be present at times, it is usually seen in patients of asthma
- Tightness in the chest or pain, due to excessive coughing
- Excessive and forceful coughing may even lead to soreness of the abdominal muscles too.
- Low grade fever with fatigue
- Sometimes, even after the infection has cleared up, the patient may still have a dry cough that lingers on for some time
Even after acute bronchitis has cleared, you may have a dry, nagging cough that lingers for 1 to 4 weeks.
At times, it may be hard to know whether you have pneumonia or only bronchitis. If you have pneumonia, you are more likely to have a high fever and chills, feel sicker, or feel short of breath.
Chronic bronchitis has symptoms that last a prolonged period of time and come on repetitively:
- Cough – commonly known as ‘Smoker’s cough’ this lasts for at least 3 months in a year for at least 2 years in succession
- Patient produces a lot of sputum (phlegm) which may occasionally be blood streaked
- There may be shortness of breath that may be worsen on exertion
- A weakened immune system may make the patient more prone to an acute infection
- Fatigue with fever may also be present
- Wheezing with pan in chest and tightness of chest and abdominal muscles due to excessive cough.
How is Bronchitis Diagnosed?
Bronchitis is diagnosed by Physical Examination and Lung function tests
Tests such as Chest X- ray and Spirometry are done to diagnose Bronchitis.
Treatment of Bronchitis:
Homeopathy offers good relief and better quality of life in treatment of Bronchitis.
It can offer significant relief from symptoms as well as improve the general well being of the patient.
In cases of acute bronchitis, Homeopathy can shorten the duration of the illness and rule out the need for prescribing antibiotics to the patient. There is a marked reduction in the toxicity experienced by the patient when he is on Homeopathic treatment.
Chronic bronchitis is a stubborn condition in general but homeopathy has an answer to this condition as well.
There are homeopathic remedies that significantly improve symptoms of chronic bronchitis and can even aid the patient in quitting smoking.
In addition, the treatment can help to prevent complications such as
- Respiratory failure
- Cystic fibrosis
- Right sided heart failure (cor pulmonale) and emphysema.
Self Care in case of Bronchitis:
- Take plenty of fluids throughout the day
- Avoid smoking
- Wear mask in polluted areas or while doing house hold work
- Take plenty of Vitamin C and Beta carotene rich foods like amla , guava, mango , papaya , carrots.
- Increase Quercetin rich foods like garlic and Onions
Medicines for Bronchitis:
- Antimonium Tart
- Kali Bichrom