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Bronchitis: symptoms, treatment




Bronchitis is a fairly common reason for seeking medical help, both among children and among adults. This disease can be a complication of some other disease (ARVI, the common cold) or be an independent disease. Bronchitis is characterized by involvement in the inflammatory process of the bronchi. There are two forms of the disease, which are very different from each other, and, accordingly, require different approaches to treatment.

What could be bronchitis?

Bronchitis is acute and chronic.

Chronic bronchitis is characterized by persisting symptom in the form of a wet cough for more than three months in a row for at least two years. This is accompanied by a gradual reorganization of the mucous apparatus, as a result of which the deterioration of the protective and cleansing functions of the bronchi progresses.

Acute bronchitis is an acute inflammation of the bronchial mucosa, which entails an increase in the number of secretions and a strong cough with sputum. In turn, acute bronchitis can be:

  • simple;
  • obstructive (accompanied by swelling of the mucous membrane, resulting in clogged bronchi).

Causes of bronchitis

The causes of the development of acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis are somewhat different.
So, the main "culprits" of acute bronchitis are bacteria and viruses (less often they are fungi, toxic substances, allergens). Infection with this disease occurs by airborne droplets from a patient already suffering from an illness (sneezing, talking, kissing, etc.).
Chronic bronchitis, as a rule, occurs for the following reasons:

  • adverse living conditions (increased pollution, dust, constant or frequent inhalation of chemicals);
  • long-term exposure to too cold or dry air;
  • frequent recurrences of respiratory infections.

There are a number of factors that can significantly increase the risk of any type of bronchitis:

  • genetic predisposition;
  • life in adverse climatic conditions;
  • smoking (including passive);
  • ecology.

Symptoms of bronchitis

The very first and most characteristic sign of bronchitis is a strong cough with copious sputum. On average, the normal bronchi produce about 30 grams daily. a secret. It has a barrier and protective function - protects the bronchi from damage, warms and cleans the inhaled air, provides local immunity. With bronchitis, pathogens and provocateurs of the disease damage the cells that make up the bronchial mucosa, and inflammation begins. As a result, the amount of secretion produced increases several times, it becomes more viscous. This mucus leads to disruption of the lungs and bronchi, and, moreover, it is a wonderful medium for the life of microorganisms.

The phlegm secreted by coughing if bronchitis develops has a characteristic yellowish gray or greenish color. Sometimes it is noticeable admixture of blood. As a rule, a strong cough is observed precisely in the morning, afterwards it begins to give the patient many problems at night.
It also happens that bronchitis is accompanied by a dry cough, which, unlike a wet one, is considered unproductive. At the same time, doctors listen to whistling wheezes at the reception.

Other specific symptoms of bronchitis are:

  • labored breathing;
  • wheezing, usually noticeable not only on examination by the doctor, but also to the patient himself;
  • soreness and cramps in the throat;
  • increase in body temperature (as a rule, the temperature is still not too high);
  • in some cases asthma attacks.

How is the diagnosis made?

First of all, the doctor interrogates the patient, paying attention to his complaints. Then the specialist starts the examination - carefully listens to the lungs and bronchi of the patient. To exclude a more serious and serious diagnosis - pneumonia - you may need an x-ray. Often, analysis of detachable sputum is required, the results of which reveal the causative agent of the disease for the purpose of the most targeted and, therefore, effective treatment.

The prognosis and course of the disease

With timely treatment to the doctor and the appointment of appropriate treatment, the prognosis for bronchitis is quite favorable. As a rule, acute bronchitis is cured within 10 days.

Acute bronchitis can act as an autonomous disease, and can be a complication of a cold or flu. It all begins, as a rule, with dry cough, which often bothers the patient at night, depriving him of a good sleep. Then, after a few days, the cough becomes wet - during this period the patient usually feels tired and overwhelmed, his body temperature may slightly increase. Most of the symptoms in case of well-planned treatment and compliance with the prescriptions are fast enough, but the cough worries patients for several more weeks, since healing of the mucous membranes is a long process. If the cough does not pass longer than a month, it is advisable to consult a pulmonologist.

Bronchitis treatment

It is worth noting that self-medication for suspected bronchitis is very dangerous. Only a specialist can determine the form of bronchitis, identify incipient complications and prescribe appropriate therapy.

Today, antibiotics are used quite rarely in the treatment of bronchitis. The exceptions are cases when a pathogen that is sensitive to the action of these drugs (which happens infrequently) is detected, as well as antibiotics are used if the bronchitis has already managed to give complications and cause concomitant diseases.

Drug therapy for bronchitis, includes, as a rule, the appointment of such drugs as:

  • expectorants;
  • drugs that reduce the viscosity of sputum;
  • immunostimulants;
  • vitamins;
  • in very rare cases, drugs that suppress coughing;
  • antihistamines - in cases where bronchitis is allergic in nature.

But an antiviral drug that would effectively save patients from bronchitis, has not yet been invented (Interferon is often prescribed).

Along with medications, the following procedures provide a good effect in the treatment of bronchitis:

  • chest massage;
  • physiotherapy;
  • physiotherapy;
  • inhalation.

There are a number of recommendations that are highly desirable for each patient to perform in view of the significant enhancement of the effect of the treatment prescribed by doctors:

  • Drinking plenty of liquids in order to liquefy sputum and improve its discharge - it is best to use warm caffeine-free drinks for this: compotes, fruit drinks, and herbal teas.
  • Rest, proper rest, long sleep - additional forces are needed to fight the disease.
  • Exclusion from the diet too spicy or spicy foods - bronchitis is often accompanied by inflammation of the oropharynx, and the corresponding products can lead to even more irritation.
  • Rubbing with warm camphor oil gives a noticeable warming and antitussive effect.
  • Moderate physical activity - movement contributes to the rapid discharge of sputum, which, in turn, brings recovery.
  • Humidifying the air in the room where the patient is in most of the time - dry air can significantly aggravate the patient's condition, therefore it is necessary to use an air humidifier, or, in the absence of such, hang wet sheets in the room or leave a basin with water in it.
  • Refusal to smoke (for a heavy smoker this is practically impossible, therefore, such patients are advised to at least reduce the number of cigarettes consumed per day and not smoke in the room where they live or work).
  • Bronchitis is often accompanied by some disturbances in thermoregulation, and even in the case of insignificant effort, excessive sweating can be observed - therefore it is worthwhile to dress according to the weather and take a shower in time.

What does traditional medicine offer?

There is a huge number of recipes of traditional medicine to cope with bronchitis. However, it is important to remember that such treatment is not always effective, and sometimes even unsafe. In any case, control and consultation of a qualified specialist is necessary. Only then can folk remedies become an excellent adjuvant therapy that promotes faster healing.

So, what are the recipes for bronchitis offers traditional medicine:

  • Herbal: 1 teaspoon of a mixture of 1 tbsp. spoons of oregano, 2 tbsp. spoons of Althea root and 1 tbsp. spoon mother and stepmother pour boiling water (1 cup), insist for half an hour, drain; The finished product is recommended to be consumed in the form of heat three times a day three times a cup for 3 weeks.
  • Horseradish with honey - it is recommended to remove grated horseradish with honey (4: 5 ratio) and take a tablespoonful before meals.
  • Healing cakes: for its preparation it is necessary to mix a tablespoon of flour (when it comes to children, then more flour is taken - about 3 spoons), the same amount of dry mustard, vegetable oil, vodka and honey. The mixture is then heated in a water bath until a viscous, pasty consistency is obtained, a cake is formed from it, which is placed on quadruple folded gauze, applied to the chest (to the place where wheezes are heard and pain is felt), covered with polyethylene and a warm scarf on top and left in that position about half an hour (the procedure is best done at night for several days in a row).
  • Bananas - bananas can significantly relieve a painful cough for bronchitis, it is enough to make them puree, add hot water and sugar and eat the "tasty medicine" in the form of heat.


Bronchitis is a disease that everyone has had at least once in their life. However, such prevalence does not mean the possibility of self-treatment (and this is how often it happens - people try to get rid of the disease based on the experience of their friends or by using the same treatment that was once prescribed by the doctor himself). After all, bronchitis is a very insidious disease, which threatens in the absence of competent and timely treatment of such complications as:

  • bronchopneumonia - occurs due to weakening of local immunity and is a fairly common consequence of acute bronchitis;
  • chronic bronchitis - usually occurs after the disease with acute bronchitis three times a year or more;
  • obstructive changes in the bronchial tree - doctors regard this condition as death;
  • bronchial asthma;
  • emphysema;
  • cardiopulmonary insufficiency;
  • pulmonary hypertension;
  • bronchiectasis (bronchial dilatation).

If the cough with bronchitis is accompanied by sputum with blood, it is advisable to check for the presence of serious diseases such as tuberculosis and lung cancer.

Prevention of bronchitis

The first measure of prevention of bronchitis is to strengthen the body's defenses. These are such familiar rules as:

  • rejection of bad habits;
  • adherence to work and rest;
  • good nutrition;
  • hardening;
  • sufficient exercise and other important principles of a healthy lifestyle.

Other approaches to the prevention of bronchitis:

  • Reception during the period of seasonal epidemics (autumn, early spring, winter) of immune-strengthening drugs, the scheme and dosage of the use of which will be selected by the doctor; here can be attributed, and intake of vitamin complexes.
  • Vaccination - against common pneumococcal infection, which is also a frequent cause of bronchitis, is effectively protected by the PNEVO-23 vaccine; therefore, people at risk (people over 50, people suffering from chronic diseases of internal organs, genetically predisposed people, representatives of professions that involve contact with people (doctors, teachers, salespeople, etc.), women who are planning to become pregnant) are strongly recommended to be vaccinated , the effect of which lasts 5 years.
  • Vaccination against influenza - t. To. It is often viral infections that are often provoked by bronchitis.
  • Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene - in particular, frequent hand washing.
  • Avoiding contact with patients and visiting crowded places during epidemics.
  • Timely elimination of foci of chronic infection in the body.
  • Elimination of adverse household factors (dust, pollution, the presence in the air of a large number of chemicals, smoking).

| 7 January 2015 | | 6 022 | Uncategorized