Bronchitis is a condition where the patient’s bronchi (bronchial tubes) and air passages in the lungs are inflamed. Adults and children are affected by this condition and it usually occurs when colds and flu are prevalent. Many people believe that bronchitis is the result of a cold or flu not treated well or correctly.
Causes of Bronchitis
Bronchitis is most often caused by the infection of a virus, although some fungus and bacteria can also cause it but not as often as a virus. Among the viruses that can cause it are Influenza A and Influenza B. The other factors that can cause bronchitis are allergens in the air such as smoke or chemicals which individuals inhale in their everyday life.
Practicing good hygiene can prevent the spread of viruses and bronchitis. It is also safe to say that avoiding allergens can help you avoid it. The symptoms of this condition are sneezing or dry cough, sometimes accompanied by a cold. Medical practitioners can diagnose a patient with this condition by noting down his symptoms, listening to his lungs and monitoring the arterial blood gases.
Bronchitis may be treated through oral antibiotic and bronchial dilators. Intravenous, oral and inhaled applied corticosteroid can also help alleviate the condition of bronchitis. Expectorants may also be used to help loosen phlegm or secretions in the lungs. In most severe cases, lung reduction surgery or lung transplant is done to help save a life.
Natural and alternative medicine treatments or remedies for bronchitis are also numerous. Some herbs can help alleviate symptoms of the condition and acupuncture is also believed to help get rid of it. Although, it is important to consult with a licensed practitioner of alternative medicine before you try anything that some store clerk recommends.
Other common medicines can be taken to help get rid of the fever and pain that comes with condition. Coughing is good for bronchitis as this reflex helps remove phlegm that may block air passage ways. Expectorant medication is best for thinning the mucus in the lungs for more productive coughing.
When taking antibiotics for bronchitis, take the while prescription even if you are feeling better. If you do not take the entire prescribed amount of antibiotics, the infection may return with immunity to the antibiotic previously prescribed. Adults are usually given stronger antibiotics compared to children under the age of eight as some antibiotics have adverse side effects. Some anti inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed to prevent the swelling of the airways.
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