Bronchitis: symptoms, treatment
- What can be bronchitis?
- Causes of bronchitis
- Symptoms of bronchitis
- How is the diagnosis made?
- Prognosis and course of the disease
- Treatment of bronchitis
- And what does folk medicine offer?
- Prevention of bronchitis
Bronchitis is a fairly common reason for seeking medical help, both among children and adults. This disease can act as a complication of some other ailment (ARVI, 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 can be bronchitis?
Bronchitis is acute and chronic.
Chronic bronchitis is characterized by the persistence of a 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 mucosa apparatus, as a result of which the deterioration of the protective and purifying functions of the bronchi progresses.
Acute bronchitis is an acute inflammation of the bronchial mucosa, which entails an increase in the amount of secretion and a strong cough with phlegm. In turn, acute bronchitis happens:
- 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 an already afflicted patient (when sneezing, talking, kissing, etc.).
Chronic bronchitis, as a rule, occurs for the following reasons:
- adverse living conditions (increased contamination, 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);
Symptoms of bronchitis
The very first and characteristic sign of bronchitis is a severe cough with abundant phlegm. On average, bronchus normally produces about 30 g per day. secret. It has a barrier and protective function - protects the bronchi from damage, warms and cleans the inhaled air, provides local immunity. With bronchitis, the pathogens and provokers of the disease damage the cells that make up the bronchial mucosa, and inflammation begins. As a result, the amount of secret produced increases severalfold, it becomes more viscous. This mucus leads to disruption of the lungs and bronchi, and, besides, it is a wonderful environment for the life of microorganisms.
Sputum secreted by coughing in case of bronchitis develops, has a characteristic yellowish-gray or greenish color. Sometimes it has a noticeable amount of blood. As a rule, a strong cough is observed precisely in the mornings, afterwards it begins to deliver a lot of problems to the patient and at night.
It also happens that bronchitis is accompanied by a dry cough, which, unlike a moist one, is considered unproductive. At the same time, doctors listen to wheezing at the reception.
Other specific symptoms of bronchitis are:
- labored breathing;
- wheezing, usually noticeable not only on examination to the doctor, but also to the patient himself;
- soreness and cramps in the throat;
- increased body temperature (as a rule, the temperature is still not too high);
- in some cases, attacks of suffocation.
How is the diagnosis made?
First of all, the doctor interrogates the patient, paying attention to his complaints. Then the specialist starts to inspect - carefully listens to the lungs and bronchi of the patient. To exclude a more serious and severe diagnosis - pneumonia - you may need x-rays. Often, an analysis of sputum is required, the results of which reveal the causative agent of the disease for the purpose of maximizing targeted and, therefore, effective treatment.
Prognosis and course of the disease
With timely access to a doctor and the appointment of an 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 be a complication of the common cold or flu. Everything begins, usually with a dry cough, which often worries the patient at night, depriving him of a full sleep. Then a few days later the cough becomes wet - during this period the patient usually feels tired and broken, his body temperature may slightly increase. Most of the symptoms with well-planned treatment and compliance with appointments are fast enough, but cough worries patients for several more weeks, as the healing of the mucous membranes is a long process. If the cough does not last longer than a month, it is advisable to consult a pulmonologist.
Treatment of bronchitis
It is worth noting that self-medication with a suspicion of bronchitis is very dangerous. Only a specialist can determine the form of bronchitis, identify the beginning complications and prescribe appropriate therapy.
Today in the treatment of bronchitis antibiotics are used quite rarely. The exception is cases when a causative agent of the disease is detected (which happens infrequently), as well as antibiotics are used, if 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:
- drugs that reduce the viscosity of phlegm;
- in very rare cases - drugs that suppress cough;
- antihistamines - in cases when bronchitis is allergic in nature.
But an antiviral drug that would effectively save patients from bronchitis, has not yet been invented (often appointed Interferon).
Along with medicines, the following procedures give a good effect in the treatment of bronchitis:
- chest massage;
There are a number of recommendations that are highly desirable for each patient in view of the significant increase in the effect of treatment prescribed by physicians:
- Abundant drink for the purpose of liquefying sputum and improving its separation - it is best to use warm drinks without caffeine: compotes, fruit drinks, teas from medicinal herbs.
- Peace, full rest, prolonged sleep - additional forces are needed to fight the disease.
- Excluding from the diet too spicy or spicy food - bronchitis is often accompanied by inflammation of the oropharynx, and the corresponding products can lead to even more irritation.
- Rinsing with warm camphor oil - gives a noticeable warming and antitussive effect.
- Moderate physical activity - movement contributes to an early escape of sputum, which, in turn, brings healing closer.
- Humidification of air in the room where the patient is 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 thereof, to hang moist sheets in the room or leave a basin of water in it.
- Refusal to smoke (for an inveterate smoker this is practically impossible, therefore, such patients are recommended to at least reduce the number of cigarettes consumed per day and not smoke in the premises where they live or work).
- Bronchitis is often accompanied by some violations of thermoregulation, and even in the case of minor effort, there may be increased sweating - so it's worth dressing for the weather and taking a shower in a timely manner.
And what does folk medicine offer?
There are a huge number of recipes for traditional medicine that allow you to cope with bronchitis. However, it is important to remember that such treatment is not always effective, and sometimes even unsafe. In any case, it is necessary to monitor and consult a qualified specialist. Only then folk remedies can become an excellent auxiliary therapy, which contributes to a faster recovery.
So, what are the recipes from bronchitis offers folk medicine:
- Herbal preparation: 1 teaspoon of a mixture of 1 tbsp. spoons of oregano, 2 tbsp. spoons of the root of the althaea and 1 tbsp. spoon mother and stepmother pour boiling water (1 cup), insist for half an hour, strain; it is recommended to use the ready-made preparation in a warm form three times a day for half a cup for 3 weeks.
- Horseradish with honey - grated horseradish is recommended to be displaced with honey (ratio 4: 5) and take the remedy on a tablespoon before eating.
- Healing cake: to make it, you need to mix a tablespoon of flour (if it comes to children, then flour is taken more - about 3 spoonfuls), the same amount of dry mustard, vegetable oil, vodka and honey. Then the mixture is heated in a water bath until a viscous, doughy consistency is formed, a cake is formed from it, which is stacked on the folded gauze, applied to the chest (to the place where rales and pain are heard), covered with polyethylene and a warm kerchief and is left in this position about half an hour (the procedure is better to spend the night several days in a row).
- Bananas - bananas can greatly alleviate the painful cough with bronchitis, it is enough to make mashed potatoes, add hot water and sugar and eat a "tasty medicine" in a warm form.
Bronchitis - a disease that at least once in a lifetime everyone got sick. However, this prevalence does not mean the possibility of self-treatment (which is what often happens - people try to get rid of the disease on the basis of their friends' experience or by applying the same treatment that was once prescribed by the doctor to them). After all, bronchitis is a very insidious disease, threatening in the absence of competent and timely treatment with such complications as:
- bronchopneumonia - occurs due to the weakening of local immunity and is a fairly common consequence of acute bronchitis;
- chronic form of bronchitis - occurs usually after acute bronchitis three times a year or more;
- obstructive changes in the bronchial tree - doctors regard this condition as a death;
- bronchial asthma;
- emphysema of the lungs;
- cardiopulmonary insufficiency;
- pulmonary hypertension;
- bronchiectatic disease (bronchial dilatation).
If coughing with bronchitis is accompanied by the discharge of sputum with an admixture of blood, it is advisable to check for serious diseases such as tuberculosis and lung cancer.
Prevention of bronchitis
The first measure of preventing bronchitis is to strengthen the body's defenses. These are the rules familiar to all, like:
- rejection of bad habits;
- adherence to the working and rest regime;
- high-grade food;
- sufficient physical activity and other important principles of a healthy lifestyle.
Other approaches to the prevention of bronchitis:
- Admission in the period of seasonal epidemics (autumn, early spring, winter) immuno-fortifying drugs, schemes and dosage of which will be selected by the doctor; here you can also include the reception of vitamin complexes.
- Vaccination - from a common pneumococcal infection, which is, among other things, a frequent cause of bronchitis, is effectively protected by the PNEVO-23 vaccine; so people at risk (people over 50, people with chronic diseases of internal organs, genetically predisposed people, representatives of professions that involve contact with people (doctors, teachers, sellers, etc.), planning a woman's pregnancy) are strongly encouraged to inoculate , the effect of which lasts 5 years.
- Vaccination against influenza - because the provoking factor of bronchitis is often the virus infection.
- Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene - in particular, frequent hand washing.
- Avoiding contacts with patients and visiting places of mass congestion during epidemics.
- Timely elimination of foci of chronic infection in the body.
- Elimination of adverse household factors (dustiness, contamination, the presence of a large number of chemicals in the air, smoking).
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