It is that time of year where the air is cool, the days are shorter and our chances for picking up Bronchitis is greatly increased. In this article we look at the symptoms, prevention tips and treatment of Bronchitis. Let's take a look...
What is Bronchitis?
It is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Acute bronchitis, which is also sometimes known as a ‘chest cold’, is a relatively common medical condition, particularly over the winter months. Bronchitis is usually characterized by a cough when your large and medium-sized airways (bronchi) become inflamed. When the bronchial tubes that carry air deep into your lungs become inflamed, the inner lining swells and grows thicker, narrowing the breathing passages which causes a shortness of breath. These irritated membranes then secrete extra mucus, which coats and sometimes clogs the smaller airways. Coughing spells are the body's way of trying to clear out these secretions to improve breathing.The condition usually resolves after a few days and is usually not serious, but you should seek treatment for any cough that remains persistent and lasts for more than three days.
* Chest tightness
* Coughing up phlegm or sputum
* Fever, but it is unusual
* Sometimes chest pain
* Shortness of breath
* Feeling tired
* Wheezing sounds when breathing
What is Acute or Chronic Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis often develops 3-4 days after a cold or the flu. It often may start with a dry cough, then after a few days coughing may be accompanied with mucus. Most people get over an acute bout of bronchitis in roughly 2-3 weeks, although the cough can sometimes hang on for four weeks or more. Chronic bronchitis is a second type of bronchitis and usually mainly affects smokers. It is a serious condition that makes your lungs a breeding ground for bacterial infections. Chronic bronchitis sufferers tend to cough and bring up phlegm/mucus almost every day. In order to see any type of improvement, often giving up smoking is a necessary step.
When to see a Doctor:
It is important to keep an eye on your symptoms, especially if you suspect you or a loved one might have bronchitis. Check in with you doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
* Wheezing or shortness of breath
* Coughing up of blood
* Have a fever higher than 38º
*Your cough lasts for more than 4 weeks
As bronchitis is generally caused by viruses, it is not usually treated with antibiotics. The only treatment generally needed for acute bronchitis is systematic symptom relief such as the following:
* Drink lots of fluids
* Avoid smoke and fumes that may irritate the
* Get plenty of rest
* Over-the-counter pain relievers may help
with body aches
* Your doctor might prescribe an expectorant
to help loosen any mucus
* Have you home disinfected professionally
by Sprinkle Spray
How to Prevent Bronchitis:.
To help keep bronchitis and possible secondary infections at bay, follow these tips:
* Ensure that you home is smoke free
* Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid spreading germs
* Avoid smoking, as damaged lungs are more susceptible to upper respiratory infections
* Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading germs in the air
* Follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly
* Drink plenty of fluids each day
* Ensure that your children's immunisations are always up to date
* Treat any colds promptly
* Get your child's school or your office on the weekly Sprinkle Spray Disinfecting Program