All About Bronchitis: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi that generates symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath and its treatment can be done with the use of bronchodilator and expectorant drugs prescribed by the pulmonologist. 

Bronchitis is usually known as acute bronchitis, as it lasts less than 3 months, but can also be classified into:

  • Asthmatic bronchitis : it is caused by a respiratory allergy and, therefore, is not always curable but can be controlled with the use of medicines prescribed by the doctor and home remedies can also be useful. 
  • Chronic bronchitis : it is a bronchitis in which the symptoms last for more than 3 months, even with the apparently adequate treatment. It can be treated with the medicines prescribed by the pulmonologist, but physical therapy treatment and the use of natural remedies such as expectorant teas can help to release secretions and facilitate breathing. There is a greater chance of cure when there is no chronic obstructive pulmonary disease involved.
  • Allergic bronchitis : it is closely related to a respiratory allergy and is not contagious. It is not always curable, but the use of vaccines can be useful to control the allergic reaction, which can represent a cure for the disease, for some patients.

Despite being commonly diagnosed in childhood, acute bronchitis can occur at any age and even during pregnancy. See how this disease manifests itself during pregnancy in: Bronchitis during pregnancy .

Bronchitis Symptoms

Bronchitis signs and symptoms usually include:

  • Cough;
  • White phlegm, or yellowish if there is infection;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing;
  • Noises when breathing;
  • Purplish or bluish lips and fingertips;
  • Swelling in the legs due to worsening cardiac work;
  • There may be a fever;
  • Tiredness;
  • Lack of appetite.

If symptoms persist, it is common for the patient to develop pneumonia and, to diagnose the complication, a chest X-ray is necessary. Learn to identify if it is a symptom of pneumonia .

Bronchitis Treatment

The treatment of acute bronchitis can be done with the use of bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory, corticosteroids, expectorant or mucolytic drugs, prescribed by the pulmonologist after the correct diagnosis of the disease. 

Some tips that can be useful for treating bronchitis are:

  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids , such as water or teas, to fluidize secretions, facilitating their removal;
  • Do physical exercises , such as swimming, to help mobilize and remove secretions, facilitating breathing. But care must be taken to be in a pool with little chlorine;
  • Conduct physiotherapy sessions to increase the individual’s breathing capacity and eliminate secretions, through manual techniques, use of breathing apparatus and breathing exercises.

In addition, the use of medicinal plants with antiseptic and expectorant properties such as  CopaĆ­ba Oil can also help in the treatment of this problem. See other home and natural remedies that help with treatment at Home remedy for bronchitis .

Most of the time, bronchitis is curable. It is only in the elderly, smokers and individuals with chronic heart or lung diseases, such as asthma, that bronchitis can become chronic and have no cure. However, proper treatment can decrease symptoms and improve the individual’s quality of life.

Causes of Bronchitis

The causes of bronchitis can be related to other diseases, such as chronic sinusitis, allergy, tonsillitis; inhalation of toxic substances, cigarettes or pollutants, or contamination with certain fungi, viruses or bacteria.

The diagnosis of bronchitis can be made after observing the symptoms that the individual has and pulmonary auscultation. Tests that can be useful are: x-ray, sputum examination and spirometry to assess the extent of bronchitis and thus indicate the best form of treatment.

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