Viral Bronchitis

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Viral bronchitis is seen the most during the winter months when it is cold outside and is often times the result of a virus or a number of viruses. It is the most common type of contagious bronchitis in adults who are normally healthy. This condition will typically run its course in 5 to 7 days without any antibiotic intervention. It is important to know some key differences between viral and aother type that is caused by a bacteria or some type of infection.

For most people who are suffering from this type they will have some excessive mucus or sputum that they cough up but it is normally white in color. If the mucus being coughed up is more of a yellow or greenish color it could be caused from an infection and often times antibiotics are needed.

Antibiotics are not really effective because there is no infection for the antibiotic to actually treat. However if it has been brought on by some form of the flue then some antiviral drugs have been known to give relief of the common viral bronchitis symptoms.

Additionally many over the counter medications such as anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help with the pain in the chest and the congestion. Some patients also find relief in an over the counter cough syrup to help with the constant hacking that is common.

Even though it is not as serious as other forms there are still symptoms that you have to deal with that are discomforting. Along with the cough that can be very persistent many people experience tightness and sometimes pain in their chest, shortness of breath and a general feeling of being tired.

Viral bronchitis generally clears up or begins to clear up within 5 to 7 days on its own. If symptoms persist consideration should be given to see a doctor to be reevaluated to rule out a bacteria infection or an early pneumonia.

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Chronic Bronchitis

The two most common causes of chronic bronchitis are acute bronchitis that persists for more than 2 months and smoking. Research also indicates that another cause is acid reflux disease. It is possible that this disease can exasperate an already week bronchial system. According to the Mayo Clinic stomach acid that surges up into the esophagus is now being linked with this condition.

Bronchitis is simply the presence of infection and or swelling in a person’s airway or bronchi also referred to as the bronchial tubes. It is sometimes classified according to the number of weeks or months a person has had continuous signs and symptoms and is either classified as chronic bronchitis or acute bronchitis. The former is the condition that has been present for 2 or more months and is also commonly caused by smoking cigarettes.

Chronic bronchitis can also be brought on by the presence of secondary smoke and other pollutants in the atmosphere. The “other pollutants” can be many common environmental smells or odors including but not limited to those that come from fumes from products and chemicals. Any patient must understand that it is an infection or at least the presence of inflammation that started at a specific point and time.

Obviously this specific point at least for those who suffer from chronic bronchitis is a time when they were around a certain odor, fumes in the air, exposure to dust and the exposure to primary or secondary smoke. The most common difference between chronic and acute is that the acute form is common in those who have had the flu or other infections while chronic form may go on for several months and possibly a number of years.

The more common signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include a constant hacking cough. The coughing is an effort by the body to remove and clear yellow or green mucus that’s clogging passageways. Bronchitis is an infection of the upper respiratory system. Signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infections wheezing, sore throat, chest tightness, and a cough that usually brings up green or yellowish mucus, etc.

Chronic type is often associated with the yellow or green mucus that’s coughed up a by the affected person. This is an indication an infection, because as the air passages become more inflamed, mucus is produced to fight off the infection.

The greenish or yellow mucus that is coughed up by the person with bronchitis is more common with chronic form as apposed to acute. This discolored mucus or sputum is an indication that an infection is present because the airways have inflammation and the excessive mucus is produced to fight the infection.

Acute Bronchitis

It is the presence of swelling in a person’s airway or bronchial tubes. These tubes are the tubes that connect the lungs to the trachea commonly referred to as the windpipe.

Let’s break it down a bit. If you’re caught a cold or have had the flue the result was that your respiratory system became week and this is the common beginning for acute bronchitis. Thankfully this form usually subsides within a couple of weeks unlike other respiratory problems such as pneumonia and is not nearly as dangerous. This type of condition can be caused by a virus as well as bacteria.

A persistent cough is usually the first sign. Typically there are two different types of coughing that accompany bronchitis. The first and most common is a dry cough that produces very little fluid. The second is the opposite and brings up all kinds of nasty stuff from the lungs called mucus or sputum.

Diagnosing acute bronchitis has been known to be somewhat difficult due to the fact that many of the signs and symptoms are common with other respiratory problems. Some things the doctor might do to diagnose this type of condition would be to find out of you’ve had respiratory problems in the past as well as listen to your lungs with the stethoscope. Sometimes they will run a test that is virtually painless that will tell him what your blood oxygen level is. A good blood oxygen saturation is anything between 95% and 100%.

If you have the unfortunate opportunity of being diagnosed with this condition there is very little to be alarmed about. You may decide to treat it or just let it run its course and pass with time. Usually when someone is diagnosed with acute bronchitis the can heal with plenty of rest and fluids. It’s not uncommon for the cough to remain after the other symptoms have gone away. It is possible but not likely for the cough to last for 3 or 4 weeks even though there are no other symptoms.

Preventing acute bronchitis is not the easiest of tasks. For the most part people who are smokers will greatly reduce their chances of getting it if they will simply give up the cigarettes although that’s easier said than done. Additionally getting a flu shot each year before flu season may also help for prevention.

Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms that are important for you to know about so that you can make a good decision about whether or not you might want to see a doctor and find out for sure if you are suffering from bronchitis or some other respiratory problem.

The bronchi are lining so to speak of the bronchial tubes that connect to a person’s lungs. Bronchitis is simply inflammation or swelling of the bronchi. It can be caused by what you may think is a regular cold, soreness in the throat or the flu. Low temperatures and cold air in the winter months encourage it in a bad way more than any other time during the year. Commonly known causes are breathing air that has the virus that causes bronchitis or by smoking cigarettes.

Bronchitis symptoms commonly last from one to two weeks but sometimes they can last longer. It can become chronic among people who smoke or continue to suffer from acute type.

So what are the common signs and symptoms? One of the most common symptoms is a persistent cough that produces a yellow or green mucus also known as sputum. Some other signs are chest pain and shortness of breath. Believe it or not mucus is quite normal in a healthy person. Healthy airways can make 4 or 5 tablespoons of mucus each day. But the problem arises when these mucus secretions begin to accumulate in the airways.

When the bronchial tubes which are the place for air to get to your lungs, become swollen and inflamed to begin to produce excessive amounts of mucus that is discolored that comes up when you cough. If this mucus discoloration continues for more than 2 to 3 months it’s commonly considered chronic bronchitis. Anytime there is discoloration of the mucus usually means that there is an infection.

Nevertheless, sometimes these symptoms can be confusing. Often time’s patients don’t have an excessive amount of mucus and children will commonly just swallow the sputum after they cough it up and the parent may never know that there is mucus present in the child’s airways. Or just because a person may have some excessive mucus does not automatically mean that they have developed bronchitis.

Some other signs and symptoms of bronchitis are as follows:

Wheezing, chest pain or a burning feeling in the chest, congestion, a low grade fever, general malaise or weakness, sinus irritation and or a sore throat.

Choosing A Cure

Bronchitis is a condition that can often come about due to repeated infections in the respiratory tract, as a result of a severe cold, or due to a combination factors that include some personal habits coupled with infections or a condition of influenza. There are actually several different ways to go about treatments, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Here are some examples of treatments that may be helpful.

One of the more common approaches to situations where a mild case is the use of expectorants. The expectorant makes it possible to loosen the buildup of mucus in the air passages, allowing the body to flush the mucus out of the system and bring about some degree of relief. With the mucus out of the way, it is easier for the natural defenses of the body to deal with the problem. Expectorants are one example that can be used whether the condition came about due to bacteria or by way of a virus.

Another common means of helping to deal with this disease is to keep a vaporizer handy. The infusion of warm moist air can also help to clear air passages in the nose and throat. This helps to bring some relief to the sufferer, and also allows the body to get a more equitable balance of fresh air into the bloodstream.

Antibiotics are perhaps the frontline of dealing with any type of bronchitis that can be traced back to some sort of bacteria. Prescribed by a physician, the antibiotics can immediately begin to attack the origin of the condition, and bring about a relatively quick resolution to the situation. However, it should be noted that antibiotics do not tend to be an effective curing when it comes to cases that originate from a virus rather than from bacteria.

There are a number of herbs that are recommended for alleviating and eventually reversing bronchitis. Cayenne, with its high content of capsicum, can help to clear out clogged passages, strengthen the lungs, and in general promote better health. This helps to give the body more resources to use in ridding the body of the condition. Garlic is an excellent antiseptic and can help deal with cases of bronchitis that are the result of a bacterial infection. Lobelia is an excellent expectorant that can help relieve chest congestion. Many of these herbs have an impact due to the presence of important minerals and vitamins. Zinc is one of the key elements that help strengthen the body to combat bronchitis and bring about a natural cure.

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