Bronchitis: Everything you need to know
Bronchitis refers to a condition where the bronchial tubes are inflamed or irritated. You can get it from a number of things, such as viral and bacterial infections, smoking or air pollution. You may experience difficulty breathing and chest pains. The Treatment usually involves fluids, humidifiers and medication to lower inflammation. Sometimes lifestyle modifications and natural remedies can help relieve symptoms.
Bronchitis: What does it mean?
Bronchitis refers to inflammation in the lining of your bronchi. These large airways carry air from your trachea (windpipe), to your lungs. The bronchi produce more mucus during inflammation, which can cause coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Chronic or acute bronchitis is possible. Chronic bronchitis can occur in both acute and chronic forms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 10 million Americans suffer from acute bronchitis every year. About two million of these people require treatment. Although chronic bronchitis in America is less common than other forms of chronic bronchitis, it affects more Americans than three million.
Bronchitis: Common Causes
Viral infections are the most frequent cause of bronchitis. These include common colds, flu, and even Pneumonia . There are also other causes:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae or Mycoplasma pneumoniae are examples of bacterial infections.
- Inhalation of irritants such as dust, smoke, fumes and chemicals
- Pollen, mold and pet dander are all allergens.
Bronchitis: Common Treatments
The underlying causes of bronchitis will determine the treatment. Treatment for viral bronchitis usually includes fluids and rest. Antibiotics do not work against viral infections. They should only be used in cases of secondary bacterial infections.
Antibiotics can be prescribed for bacterial bronchitis. The most common antibiotics are azithromycin, amoxicillin and doxycycline. To open the airways and allow for easier breathing, inhalers such as albuterol or ipratropium bromide may be prescribed. To reduce inflammation, corticosteroids might be recommended.
Lifestyle changes, natural remedies and medication may be helpful in relieving symptoms. Avoiding triggers like cigarette smoking and other air pollution, as well as using humidifiers and drinking lots of fluids may help. Natural remedies such as ginger and honey may provide some relief.
Expert Opinions about Bronchitis
Experts say that bronchitis can be prevented. The risk of getting bronchitis can be reduced by avoiding triggers such as smoking, allergens and air pollution. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and adequate sleep are all ways to strengthen your immune system and protect against respiratory infections.
To reduce your chances of contracting bronchitis, experts recommend that you get the flu shot. Every person six months or older should have an annual flu shot according to the CDC. People at greater risk for complications such as pregnant women and young children are especially encouraged to get an annual flu shot.
Bronchitis Prevention Tips and Natural Remedies
There is no single way to prevent bronchitis. However, there are natural ways that you can reduce your risk. They include:
- Avoid triggers like cigarette smoking and other air pollution
- Quitting smoking
- Regular Physical activity
- Healthy eating with whole grains, fruits and vegetables is key to a balanced diet
- Get plenty of fluids
- Use a humidifier
- Natural supplements such as zinc, vitamin C and garlic can be taken
- To flush the nasal passages, use a netipot
- To loosen the mucus in your airways, take a hot bath or take a shower.
- Natural remedies such as ginger and honey can be used
Experts recommend that you get the flu shot every year in order to lower your chance of contracting bronchitis.
Bronchitis refers to a condition where the bronchial tubes are inflamed or irritated. This can lead to difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing. You can get it from viral or bacterial infections as well as smoking and air pollution. The treatment involves fluids and humidifiers as well as Medications that reduce inflammation. Sometimes lifestyle modifications and natural remedies can help relieve symptoms.
People can lower their chances of getting bronchitis by avoiding certain triggers like cigarette smoking and other air pollution. For those who are already affected by the disease, honey and ginger may be a natural remedy.