It is the inflammation( swollen and sore) of the bronchi(the main airway/tubes of the lungs which carries air to and fro the lungs). It can be either acute or chronic.
Acute bronchitis( usually caused by a virus or bacteria following a cold or flu) improves within 7-10days without a lasting effect whiles Chronic Bronchitis is usually associated with smoking or long-term exposure to irritants with sufferers mostly also suffering from COPD( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
Signs and Symptoms
- sore throat
- blocked or runny nose
- coughing up mucus which is usually yellowish-grey, greenish or white.
- shortness of breath with chest discomfort
- breathlessness when doing energetic activities
- Fever and or chills
- People who smoke cigarette
- People who are exposed to irritants(such as Chlorine, strong acids, ammonia, grain dust, textiles) at work
- People who just had another acute illness such as cold
- People suffering from GERD-gastric oesophagal reflux disease
Bronchitis is caused by either a virus( the most common type) or bacteria. The virus that causes common cold is the same virus that causes bronchitis.
Follow these tips to reduce the risk of bronchitis:
- avoid cigarette smoking
- get a yearly flu vaccine
- wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
- wear a face mask at work if you are exposed to dust or fumes at your workplace
Acute Bronchitis usually takes few days (7-10days) to clear and are usually treated at home with plenty of fluids and rest.
For chronic Bronchitis, the following are recommended:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids(avoids alcohol, however)
- maintain a healthy diet
- avoid irritants such as smoke, paint and strong fumes
- warm honey and lemon drink is helpful with pain associated with cough
- get enough rest
- maintain a healthy weight
- treat cold-like symptoms such as fever with paracetamol or ibuprofen
- exercise moderately
- Try cough suppressant at bedtime if the cough prevents you from sleep
- antibiotics are not ideal as they are mostly caused by viruses.
- COPD-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease