WHAT CAUSES BRONCHITIS?
Bronchitis refers to an inflammation of the mucus membrane located in the bronchioles by viruses, bacteria or other alien substances. This makes the membrane thick and swollen, leaving only a small area for air passage. Cilia are tiny hairy-like microbes in the bronchioles that are responsible for brushing out alien particles and excess mucus from the air passages in the lungs. However, when bronchitis is contracted, the cilia become weakened. In cases involving severe chronic bronchitis, they may stop functioning completely. Bronchitis is commonly characterized by persistent coughing, coughing out phlegm, flu, breathlessness and other symptoms.
CAUSES OF BRONCHITIS
What causes bronchitis among people are not the same. In broad terms, causes of bronchitis are bacterial infection, viral infection or other environmental and health/medical complications. Bronchitis is widely classified into two types; acute and chronic bronchitis. Let’s take a look at the two types and causes of bronchitis.
a) Acute Bronchitis
Scientific studies and researches have proven that, most of the time, the viruses that are responsible for flu and colds are also responsible for causing acute bronchitis. An acute bronchitis may be caused by lung membrane irritations and viral infections or bacterial infection. Aside these, acute bronchitis may be caused by inhalation of fumes, dust, vapors, tobacco and air pollution.
People who are exposed to highly polluted atmospheres or environments such as miners are prone to contract bronchitis. These toxic chemicals, when inhaled, may get stuck in the bronchiole membranes and cause irritations, leading to an acute infection.
b) Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis may be developed as time passes by. Unlike the acute bronchitis, it is a serious lung membrane disorder and must be reported to a health center for treatment. The known major cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. A continual exposure to fumes and toxins in the air that irritate the lungs may lead to the development of a chronic bronchitis. Within a year, the symptoms may last for as long as 3 months, subside and reoccur again. Although a person may have chronic bronchitis, they are likely to contract viral or bacterial acute bronchitis as well within the year.
SOME COMMON CAUSES OF BRONCHITIS
Cigarette is by far the most common known cause of bronchitis. Cigar smokers, their relatives or friends that live or spend much time with them often risk contracting both acute and chronic bronchitis.
STRENGTH OF IMMUNITY:
The immune system is supposed to battle out sicknesses. If it is unable, viruses from other acute ailments like flu and cold may go further to cause bronchitis. Acute bronchitis, if not combatted by the immune system, may also mature into a chronic bronchitis.
People who work at places where the air is polluted with serious toxins or lung irritating chemicals are bound to be infected. This includes people that work in textile production firms, miners, road constructors as well as churners of charcoal.
Heartburns occur when there is a gastric reflux – an unusual situation where the gastric acid in the stomach climbs up, bypassing the esophageal sphincter and into the lungs. A regular occurrence of this situation may weaken the cilia or cause inflammations in the lungs’ tissues and mucus membrane. This may develop later into a bronchial infection.
HOW TO TREAT BRONCHITIS
How to treat bronchitis is very dependent on the type and cause of bronchitis. Under usual circumstances, acute bronchitis need not be subjected to any serious medical bronchitis treatment. If your immune system is strong, symptoms shoulddisappear after some weeks. Instead of rushing to take some antibiotics and bronchial drugs, try to use some home remedies as treatment for bronchitis. Note the following importantly;
- While applying treatment for bronchitis, affected victims must stop any form of smoking and move away from toxin-polluted areas and environmental irritants.
- Victims also need a lot of rest and must drink a lot of fluids.
- Avoid using antibiotics immediately you see symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchitis treatment may be applied in any of the following ways:
a) TREATMENT BY SYMPTOMS
A treatment for bronchitis may be applied based on the symptoms exhibited by the victim. Doctors may prescribe a combo of drugs that are meant to battle each symptom individually. Therefore, drugs for sinus decongestion may be prescribed for victims experiencing nasal congestion, cough mixtures or drugs for reducing the severity of the cough, vitamin c tablets for sore throats etc.
Some of such treatments are;
- Cough suppressants (dextromethorphan and codeine) as short term relief of coughing
- Beta2-agonist bronchodilators as treatment to get rid of bronchitis associated wheezing.
- Using anticholinergic bronchodilators for treating acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis.
b) ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT
As stated earlier, do not rush to use antibiotics as they can be of more harm than good to you. Antibiotics are usually recommended for chronic bronchitis. Many studies have proven the futility of using antibiotics for treating acute bronchitis. However, an antibiotic may be used as an acute bronchitis treatment if the infection is caused by or is suspected to be caused by a pertussis infection. Medical advice suggest not to treat an acute bronchitis with antibiotics unless any of the following conditions exist;
- Persons that are 65years or older,
- They are on steroid usage
- Have been recently admitted or hospitalized
- Have serious health complications like diabetes, congestive heart failures, lung cancer etc.
c) VACCINATION WITH INFLUENZAS
Bacteria may cause bronchitis. Vaccination with influenzas helps to effectively eradicate bacteria from the bronchioles as well as preventing or reducing the occurrence of tract infections in the upper respiratory system. Such vaccinations may be carried out on people that are aged 6months and above. One common vaccination is the Pneumococcal vaccination which is effective as a chronic bronchitis treatment.
d) TREATMENT WITH ZINC
Zinc treatment for bronchitis is not one that is approved by all medical practitioners. I won’t stake on its use either. Aside it possessing a very bad taste, it has certain unwelcoming side effects including severe nausea and stomach ache in some victims.
To play safe, always see a doctor before using drugs for treating bronchitis.Have a nice day.