Commonly Experienced Bronchitis Symptoms
Bronchitis is described as an inflammation and swelling of airway tubes, the bronchi, that is caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. Over 70% cases of acute bronchitis are actually the development of a viral infection of the bronchi; other cases of bronchitis are usually caused by bacteria, with fungal infections being very rare.
There are several main factors that may increase the risk of contracting bronchitis, such as:
- Exposure to polluted air and other environmental irritants;
- Asthma, COPD, or other chronic respiratory tract conditions;
- Constant exposure to personal allergens;
- Chronic viral or bacterial infection;
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke;
- Weakened immune system.
At first, bronchitis may surface in a series of common and seemingly minor symptoms like cough or throat irritation that the person may link to a slight cold or random food intolerance. It is when these symptoms persist or worsen significantly that you have to seriously consider the possibility that you may have bronchitis.
Common signs of bronchitis may include:
- Cough that often brings out white, yellowish-gray or green colored mucus (sputum);
- Tiredness, fatigue, body ache, irritability;
- Moderate fever, chills, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness;
- A feeling of itching or burning in the chest.
Most forms of bronchitis can be safely and efficiently treated if the symptoms and indications are noted at early stages of the disease. Off course, the best and probably the quickest way to determine if you have bronchitis is to consult with your doctor and run several simple tests. Some forms of bronchitis may require certain medications and you will still need to visit a doctor in order to get a prescription.
Recommended Viral Bronchitis Treatment
Viral infection is the cause of the absolute majority of bronchitis cases. This condition may be caused by the influenza virus, rhinovirus or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and can be contracted after prolonged systemic infections including the flu or common cold. Although it is relatively frequent, this infection is considered a relatively harmless disorder; the symptoms will dissipate on their own in a lapse of 2-5 days, provided the patient has access to the following viral bronchitis treatment items:
- Sufficient bed rest and sleep;
- Enough fluid - preferably water, tea or juices, excluding alcoholic beverages;
- Over the counter pain and cough medications;
- Herbal drugs that stimulate the secretion and riddance of mucus;
- Can breathe in warm, moist air or prepare similar inhalations.
Bacterial Bronchitis Symptoms and Treatment
Although this condition is caused by a different type of infection, bacterial bronchitis symptoms are usually very much alike to those of other forms of bronchitis. The only way to say for sure if you have a bacterial infection is to visit a doctor and have him run chest X-ray, blood test, or nasal culture test. The bacteria that cause bronchitis include Klebsiella, Haemophilus, Mycoplasma and several others.
In addition to the standard recommendations during an infection (mentioned in the previous section), the treatment may involve using:
- Antibiotics to suppress the bacteria as well as prevent the condition from worsening;
- Steroid medications to reduce inflammation in case of widely spread or chronic infection;
- Bronchodilators such as inhaled albuterol to make breathing easier.