Facts about Bronchitis

Growing up, I noticed that winter usually comes along with infections such as the flu. I simply assumed that all conditions whose symptoms included a cough were flu and colds. However, the past winter shed more light on lung conditions which seem to come around when the cold season sets in. such conditions were mild but there were severe cases where colleagues had to be rushed to hospital. Bronchitis is one such illness. Since some of the people I know have suffered from this condition I’ve done some research and found the following facts.

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a lung infection that affects the main airways connecting the trachea and the lungs. These airways are commonly known as bronchi. The infection usually causes irritation and inflammation. The infection is usually caused by viruses (90%) and bacteria (10%). This infection prompts an immune reaction where the body’s white blood cells cause inflammation. The bronchi thus become very sensitive to pollutants such as smoke and chemicals. The most common symptom is a cough.

Types of bronchitis

There are two types of bronchitis. The first is acute bronchitis which is characterized by a cough that doesn’t last more than three weeks. The cough might persist even when other symptoms like fever have subsided. The second type is chronic bronchitis. It’s more severe and the patient experiences a persistent cough that last over three months (during winter).

Symptoms of bronchitis

Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, fever, shortness of breath, production of sputum. On severe cases of chronic bronchitis, the patient might expel sputum with spots of blood.

Is bronchitis curable?

In most cases, acute bronchitis comes and goes by itself. However, there is no known cure. Patients therefore have to find ways of treating and managing the condition until symptoms subside. Treatment usually involves administration of remedies which target a specific symptom. For example, inhaled corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation of the bronchi while, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are used to treat sore throat and fever.

Acute bronchitis is simpler to treat and manage using bronchitis remedies like the ones describe by experts at www.treatingbronchitis.org. These can even be found at home. Some home remedies include eucalyptus oil, a mixture of raw honey and cinnamon, garlic and, oregano oil. These natural extracts help reduce inflammation and decongest the lungs.

Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is harder to manage and treat. It doesn’t have a cure and patients usually need to seek medical help to slow own the lowered lung function caused by the infection. If left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia.

Bronchitis vs pneumonia

People with a lung infection usually undergo different tests to determine which specific infection it is. In particular, bronchitis and pneumonia have similar symptoms including; coughing that can produce phlegm, fever and difficulty breathing. In addition, they are caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. There are however difference between these two lung infections including the following.

Bronchitis is the infection of bronchi while pneumonia results when lung tissue become infected causing them to swell and become inflamed. There are two types of bronchitis. Another difference is that pneumonia is easily treatable with antibiotics but can be fatal if untreated. Bronchitis on the other hand requires treatment of individual symptoms and can be difficult to treat in the case of chronic bronchitis.