At issue – Bronchitis..

Bronchitis - Grpahic 3a

You thought you were finally shaking that cold, but this morning your cough is worse than ever. You’re coughing up phlegm by the cupful, and it feels as if someone spent the night tap-dancing on your chest. You’ve probably developed acute bronchitis, an often painful infection in the major bronchial tubes (airways) leading to the lungs.

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi (the larger and medium-sized airways that carry airflow from the trachea into the more distal parts of the lung parenchyma).

Bronchitis can be divided into two categories: acute and chronic.

Acute bronchitis is characterized by the development of a cough or small sensation in the back of the throat, with or without the production of sputum (mucus that is expectorated, or “coughed up”, from the respiratory tract).

Acute bronchitis often occurs during the course of an acute viral illness such as the common cold or influenza.

Viruses cause about 90% of acute bronchitis cases, whereas bacteria account for about 10%.

Chronic bronchitis, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is characterized by the presence of a productive cough that lasts for three months or more per year for at least two years.

Chronic bronchitis usually develops due to recurrent injury to the airways caused by inhaled irritants.

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause, followed by exposure to air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide, and occupational exposure to respiratory irritants.

Individuals exposed to cigarette smoke, chemical lung irritants, or who are immunocompromised have an increased risk of developing bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis…

Bronchitis - Grpahic 4

This diagram shows acute bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi usually caused by viruses or bacteria. Acute bronchitis is an acute illness lasting less than three weeks with coughing as the main symptom, and at least one other lower respiratory tract symptom such as wheezing, sputum production, or chest pain.

The coughing, which is a common symptom of the acute bronchitis, develops in an attempt to expel the excess mucus from the lungs. Other common symptoms of acute bronchitis include: sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, runny nose, nasal congestion (coryza), low-grade fever, pleurisy, malaise, and the production of sputum.

Acute bronchitis is most often caused by viruses that infect the epithelium of the bronchi, resulting in inflammation and increased secretion of mucus.

Acute bronchitis often develops during an upper respiratory infection (URI) such as the common cold or influenza.

About 90% of cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viruses, including rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, adenoviruses, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza.

Certain viruses such as rhinoviruses and coronaviruses are also known to cause acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.

About 10% of cases are caused by bacteria, including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae,Bordetella pertussis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae.

Bronchitis may be diagnosed by a health care provider during a thorough physical examination.

Due to the nonspecific signs and symptoms exhibited by individuals with bronchitis, diagnostic tests such as a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, a sputum culture to rule out whooping cough or other bacterial respiratory infections, or a pulmonary function test to rule out asthma or emphysema may be used.

Treatment for acute bronchitis is primarily symptomatic. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to treat fever and sore throat.

Even with no treatment, most cases of acute bronchitis resolve quickly.

(Sidebar).

exception - big time 1a

Continuing…

As most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viruses, antibiotics are not generally recommended as they are only effective against bacteria.

Using antibiotics in cases of viral bronchitis promotes the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may lead to greater morbidity and mortality.

However, even in cases of viral bronchitis, antibiotics may be indicated in certain cases in order to prevent the occurrence of secondary bacterial infections.

Chronic bronchitis…

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease*

Chronic bronchitis, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, defined by a productive cough that lasts greater than three months each year for at least two years in the absence of other underlying disease.

Protracted bacterial bronchitis is defined as a chronic productive cough with a positive bronchoalveolar lavage that resolves with antibiotics.

Symptoms of chronic bronchitis may include wheezing and shortness of breath, especially upon exertion and low oxygen saturations.

The cough is often worse soon after awakening and the sputum produced may have a yellow or green color and may be streaked with specks of blood.

Smoking -Graphic 1

Most cases of chronic bronchitis are caused by smoking cigarettes or other forms of tobacco.

Additionally, chronic inhalation of air pollution or irritating fumes or dust from hazardous exposures in occupations such as coal mining, grain handling, textile manufacturing, livestock farming, and metal moulding may also be a risk factor for the development of chronic bronchitis.

Protracted bacterial bronchitis is usually caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae, or Moraxella catarrhalis.

Individuals with an obstructive pulmonary disorder such as bronchitis may present with a decreased FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio on pulmonary function tests.

Unlike other common obstructive disorders such as asthma or emphysema, bronchitis rarely causes a high residual volume (the volume of air remaining in the lungs after a maximal exhalation effort).

Evidence suggests that the decline in lung function observed in chronic bronchitis may be slowed with smoking cessation.

Resolve 2a

According to Webster:“ces·sa·tion,” A bringing or coming to an end; a ceasing:See CEASE.]

Continuing…

What are some of the Treatments for Bronchitis?

Conventional treatment for acute bronchitis may consist of simple measures such as getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, avoiding smoke and fumes, and possibly getting a prescription for an inhaled bronchodilator and/or cough syrup.

In some cases of chronic bronchitis, oral steroids to reduce inflammation and/or supplemental oxygen may be necessary.

In healthy people with bronchitis who have normal lungs and no chronic health problems, antibiotics are usually not necessary.

In most cases, the cause is a virus and antibiotics will not help. A productive (phlegm-producing) cough may come with acute bronchitis.

This is your body’s way of getting rid of excess mucus. However, if your cough is truly disruptive — it keeps you from sleeping, is so forceful it becomes painful, or it persists for two or three weeks — then your doctor may prescribe a cough suppressant.

In most cases, you should simply do all the things you usually would do for a cold: Take aspirin or acetaminophen for discomfort and drink lots of liquids.

Do not give aspirin to a child aged 18 years of age or younger because of the increased risk of Reye’s Syndrome.

Continue reading below…

If you have chronic bronchitis, your lungs are vulnerable to infections. Unless your doctor advises against it, get a yearly flu shot as well as a vaccination against pneumonia.

One dose of pneumonia vaccine will help protect you from a common type of bacterial pneumonia until the age of 65 when you will likely need a booster. You may need a booster sooner if you have certain other medical problems.

Do not take an over-the-counter cough suppressant to treat chronic bronchitis, unless your doctor advises it. As with acute bronchitis, the productive coughing associated with chronic bronchitis is helpful in ridding the lungs of excess mucus.

In fact, your doctor may even prescribe an expectorant if you have mucus that you cannot easily cough up. However, if you notice any increase in the thickness or amount of the phlegm, you may be coming down with a bacterial infection.

In that case, your doctor may prescribe a 5- to10-day course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which fight a range of bacteria.

Bronchitis - Page Break

Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, frequently the same one that causes colds, although the flu virus is a common culprit as well. (While acute bronchitis can also be caused by a bacteria or even a fungus, they’re only rarely to blame.)

Acute bronchitis often follows a cold or the flu, when resistance is down and the lungs may already be slightly irritated.

Likewise, anyone whose immune resistance is low or who has any other type of chronic lung irritation or injury, especially from exposure to cigarette smoke or other toxic gases, is at increased risk of developing bronchitis. And the viruses that cause bronchitis can be passed to others much the same way cold and flu viruses are:

An infected person coughs, spraying viral particles either into the air, where they can be breathed in by others, or onto their own hands, where they can be picked up when the person shakes hands with others.

There can be an irritated throat (from the coughing), burning or aching pain just beneath the breastbone, a feeling of tightness in the chest, wheezing or shortness of breath, and a “rattling” sensation in the lungs and chest.

A low-grade fever, chills and achiness may also occur. The irritation caused by the virus in turn leaves the respiratory tract vulnerable to other complications, such as pneumonia.

If you have an underlying chronic disease or suffer from asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or any other serious respiratory or heart problem, you need to contact your doctor if you develop symptoms of acute bronchitis.

Bronchitis symptoms in infants, the elderly or anyone else with a weak immune system should be treated by a physician.

If you’re otherwise healthy, however, you’ll likely have to allow the infection to simply run its course. Antibiotics, after all, are useless against viral infections.

Fortunately, acute bronchitis generally goes away on its own within a few days or a week, although the cough can sometimes linger for weeks or even months.

This doesn’t mean you have to lie in bed, suffering, and wait for your body to defeat the virus. In this article, we’ll examine ways to help your body heal from a bronchial infection and ease symptoms of the condition.

Move on to the next section for some home remedies to alleviate the congestion and coughing of bronchitis.

This information is solely for informational purposes.

IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.

Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information.

The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

Before taking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Bronchitis germs 2

As I am currently battling the little creatures pictured above, I’ve learned a lot from today’s offering, ..how about you?

Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow

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Crusader Rabbit…

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