The bronchitis is the chronic or acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchi, which constitute the main routes respiratory into the lungs. This inflammation produces a tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and coughing (which may be accompanied by coughing up mucus).
Chronic bronchitis falls within the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases) and is characterized by difficulty for the entry and exit of air from the lungs. Breathing dust or smoke for long periods and smoking are the main causes of chronic bronchitis, a disease that can be treated to relieve symptoms but never completely goes away.
The acute bronchitisOn the other hand, it is a viral disease (caused by a virus). It begins with sinusitis, a runny nose, and a sore throat and then reaches the airways, with a dry cough that usually lasts for several weeks. Once affected by acute bronchitis, it is common for the patient to contract a secondary bacterial infection in the respiratory tract.
The chronic bronchitis it can promote the development of recurrent infections in the respiratory tract and lead to the development of pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and emphysema. In all cases, it is important to go to the doctor to determine the appropriate treatment for each patient.
Acute bronchitis that does not present underlying pulmonary disorders, on the other hand, usually disappears in a period of between seven and ten days, although the cough it may persist longer.
When making a diagnosis, doctors often practice analysis physical tests (the best known method being the auscultation of pulmonary activity with the help of a stethoscope) and asking a series of questions to clearly identify the symptoms, without allowing the preconceptions and information obtained from unreliable sources that patients usually carry interfere with observation. It is important to emphasize that diseases such as pneumonia or asthma present similar symptoms, which is why it is essential to rule them out during this process.
To avoid the onset of this disease, it is recommended to maintain the habit of washing your hands before meals and when you get home after having been on the street, do not frequent closed places where many people gather, avoid tobacco (be it the own consumption or contact with smoke), respect the recommended hours of sleep and carry a healthy eating and nutritious. It should be mentioned that bronchitis, as well as other more common and less serious conditions, are more likely to appear in the coldest and rainy times of the year.
The most common treatment is usually based on the consumption of fever reducers, analgesics (to treat headaches) and medicines to reduce coughing attacks; The use of inhalers is also indicated, which promote the dilation of the bronchi. It is also of great importance rest as much as possible, take inhalations of steam and drink large amounts of water to help dissolve lung phlegm.
With regard to antibiotics, they are not indicated in cases of acute bronchitis, since its origin is usually viral; They are only prescribed if the doctor orders a culture test and the presence of bacteria. On the other hand, since chronic bronchitis is commonly accompanied by bacterial infections, it is generally treated with antibiotics.
As in other cases, many people recommend treatments with natural medicine, whether they complement those indicated by a doctor or replace them completely; the best known are the phytotherapy (the consumption of certain species of plants), aromatherapy (with essential oils) and lymphatic drainage (through massages).