Have you been coughing continuously and suffering from sleepless nights? Do you feel tired all the time and developed fever, headache and cold and taking medications is not sufficient to stop the persisting cough? Then I am afraid you may be suffering from Bronchitis which is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be divided into two classes, acute and chronic and both of them have distinct etiologies, pathologies and therapies. In chronic cases, the disease is of long duration. It is more serious than the acute type as permanent changes may have occurred in the lungs, thereby interfering with their normal movements. Chronic bronchitis is more frequent in males than in females and mortality rate is also higher in males.
In most cases of Bronchitis, the larynx, trachea and bronchial tubes are acutely inflamed. The tissues are swollen due to irritation. Large quantities of mucus are secreted and poured into the windpipe to protect the inflamed mucous membranes. The phlegm, when expelled is found to be viscid and purulent. There is usually a high fever, some difficulty in breathing and a deep chest cough. Other symptoms are hoarseness and pain in the chest and loss of appetite. Breathing trouble continues till the inflammation subsides and mucus is removed.
The symptoms of Acute bronchitis include:
· Sore throat
· Runny nose
· Nasal congestion
· Low-grade fever
· Production of sputum.
The symptoms of Chronic bronchitis include the following:
· Coughing up sputum with chest pain
· Yellow or green phlegm
· Shortness of breath
· Increased cough
· Acute Bronchitis is often caused due to a viral infection that causes the inner lining of the bronchial tubes to become inflamed and undergo changes that occur with any inflammation in the body. Common viruses include the rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and the influenza virus.
· Bacteria also cause bronchitis.
· Chemical irritants can cause acute bronchitis too.
· Chief cause of this disease is wrong feeding habits like using refined sugar, refined cereals and white flour products results in the accumulation of morbid matter in the system and collection of toxic waste in the bronchial tubes.
· Another important cause of this disease is smoking.
· Other causes of bronchitis include living or working in stuffy atmospheres, use of drugs to suppress earlier diseases and hereditary factors. Changes in weather and environment are common factors for the onset of the disease.
Doubts or Myths regarding Bronchitis:
There are many myths or doubts regarding this condition and they have arisen from the fact that it bears uncanny resemblance to other respiratory problems. This condition is often confused with pneumonia and asthma and this leads to incorrect diagnosis unless one goes to the doctor.
Some of the doubts regarding Bronchitis are as follows:
· Prolonged chest cold is a symptom of bronchitis.
· Kids have a greater chance of getting bronchitis.
· Antibiotics are essential to treat Bronchitis.
· Bronchitis is highly contagious.
· Pneumonia is an aggravated condition of bronchitis.
· There is no effective home remedy for bronchitis
· Bronchitis are one and the same
· Bronchitis lasts for a lifetime.
· Bronchitis is caused only by infections.
The doctor may take your physical examination and listen closely to your lungs as you breathe. In some cases, the doctor may also suggest a chest X-ray to explain your cough. He may also take a sputum culture test which is helpful in determining whether you have whooping cough or other illnesses that can be helped by antibiotics. He may also take a pulmonary function test which measures how much air your lungs can hold and this test checks for signs of asthma or emphysema.
There are mainly two types of Bronchitis. They are:
· Acute Bronchitis
· Chronic Bronchitis which is also known as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
There are many specific treatments for chronic bronchitis. These will be determined by your doctor based on your age, overall health and your medical history. It also depends on the extent of the disease, your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies, expectations for the course of the disease, your opinion or preference. The surgical treatments to get rid of this condition include:
· Lung reduction surgery for the removal of the damaged area of the lungs
· Lung transplantation
Treating Bronchitis can differ depending on the suspected cause.
· Medications to help suppress the cough or loosen and clear secretions may be helpful to eliminate the condition to some extent. If the patient has severe coughing spells that they cannot control, you must see the doctor for some prescription strength cough suppressants. These suppressants can stop a vicious cycle of coughing which leads to more irritation of the bronchial tubes and which in turn causes more cough.
· Bronchodilator inhalers help open airways and decrease wheezing.
· Although some of the antibiotics play only a limited role in curing bronchitis, they become necessary in some of the situations.
· The doctor always prescribes antibiotics if he suspects a bacterial infection.
· People who have chronic lung problems are usually treated with antibiotics.
· In some rare cases, the patients are hospitalized in case they experience breathing difficulty that does not respond to treatments that are meant to heal Bronchitis. This usually occurs because of a complication of the disease and not the disease itself.
· Ointments which use menthol or eucalyptus can be rubbed into the chest and this helps in the removal of mucus secretions which will ease the breathing. Vaporizers also help.
· Humidifiers keep the air moist and it is easier to inhale too.
· The best way of curing chronic bronchitis is to get away from the toxins that cause it. Patients of this condition must not smoke or work on changing any chemicals you use that lead to respiratory pain. If it is not possible to remove yourself from certain toxic environments, you can wear a face mask to reduce the amount of toxins that you inhale.
· Cough medications suppress coughing and help to ease the congestion. However, too much cough medicines will make the body resistant to it and this will not help in getting rid of the negative health implications.
· If none of the above work, then it is time to see a doctor as they have the means to determine if your infection is bacterial rather than viral. They can then prescribe appropriate corticosteroids or antibiotics. Never allow yourself to suffer when a cure is readily available.
There are many prevention methods to reduce the risk of bronchitis. They are as follows:
· Avoid smoking as this increases the risk of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
· Get vaccinated. Vaccination helps to protect some types of pneumonia.
· Wash your hands to banish the risk of catching a viral infection, or try and use hand sanitizers.
· Wear a face mask are available to eliminate dangerous chemicals or dust.
· Get plenty of rest
· Drink enough liquids to avoid getting dehydrated.
Home Remedies or Natural Treatments to cure Bronchitis:
In some cases of Bronchitis, the patient must fast on orange juice and water till the acute symptoms subside. The procedure is to take the juice of an orange in a glass of warm water every two hours. Henceforth, the patient must adopt an all-fruit diet for at least two or three days to cure naturally. In case of chronic bronchitis, the patient can begin with an all-fruit diet for five to seven days, taking each day three meals of fresh juicy fruits only. After the all-fruit diet, the patient must follow a well-balanced diet of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. For drinks, unsweetened lemon water or cold or hot plain water may be taken. The patient must avoid meats, sugar, tea, coffee, condiments, refined and processed foods, soft drinks and those products made from sugar and white flour. This is very important in treating Bronchitis naturally and slowly.
One of the most effective home remedies for healing this condition naturally is the use of turmeric powder. A teaspoon of this powder must be taken with a glass of mild two or three times a day daily. This natural method is the best when taken on an empty stomach.
Another effective remedy for curing naturally is a mixture of dried ginger powder, pepper and long pepper taken in equal quantities three times a day. It may be licked with honey or infused with one’s daily tea. The powders of these three ingredients have antipyretic qualities and are effective in eliminating naturally fever accompanied by bronchitis. They also tone up the metabolism of the patient.
Onion has been used as a food remedy for centuries in getting rid of bronchitis naturally at home. It is said to possess expectorant properties. It liquefies phlegm and also prevents its further formation. One teaspoon of raw onion juice taken first thing in the morning will be highly beneficial in such cases.
A simple hot poultice of linseed must be applied over the front and back of the chest. It will greatly help in removing pain naturally. Poultices act by diluting the vessels of the surface and thereby reducing the blood pressure. The heat of the poultice acts as a cardiac stimulant and it must be applied neatly and carefully and must be often renewed, so that it does not hamper respiration.
A hot Epsom-salts bath every night or every other night will be highly beneficial in healing naturally during the acute stages of the attack.
Fresh air and outdoor exercises are also very essential to the natural treatment of bronchitis and the patient must take a good walk every day. He can do some yoga and meditation which are also highly beneficial to the patient.
Almonds are one of the best natural home treatments as they have lots of vitamins and minerals. Honey is one of the tradition and natural home remedies to cure naturally at home. Having a slice of onion that is covered with honey and allowing it to stay overnight is highly effective in banishing naturally the disease from its root.
Bay leaf is considered to be the best remedies to heal naturally at home. Ginger is an exceptional potent with tea. Mustard can be mixed with warm water and can be applied on the chest to get rid of the bouts of cough naturally.
Savory and Thyme are two herbs that help in the natural elimination of mucus and also support the lungs to fight the infection.
Using preventive methods for combating cough and congestion through the above home remedies is an effective and trouble-free way of eliminating the condition naturally.