20 Jan 2016
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes that attached via windpipe to the lungs. It’s a respiratory disease characterized by inflammation of the bronchi or trachea branches due to virus or bacteria. It is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and can affect people of any age. When the bronchi are inflamed or infected, less air inhales the lungs and exhales less. As a consequence, people suffer much sputum or phlegm coughing.
Causes of bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis does not appear suddenly. The first symptom may be a persistent cough with phlegm after a bad cold attack. If this is not monitored properly can causes more damage and subsequent cough lasts more time to become even commonplace with the passage of time.
As the internal membranes of the bronchi are inflamed or infected, there is excess mucus secretion, which can even lead to blockage of the ducts. Acute bronchitis is caused by viruses and bacteria. 90% of acute cases are caused due to viral infection. The influenza virus, rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are viruses that cause bronchitis. And bacterial bronchitis is caused due to Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Mycoplasma and Chlamydia. It occurs most often during the winter.
Moreover, severe kind may develop after prolonged infection or inflammation in the airways or bronchi. Second factors such as smoking, constant exposure to industrial pollutants, and the cold air can cause chronic bronchitis.
Is bronchitis contagious?
The answer of this question may be yes or no. If bronchitis caused due to viral or bacterial infection, then it’s contagious. Only a few cases of acute bronchitis are contagious, and not chronic. Therefore, it is essential to determine the cause in order to determine whether or not contagious. Acute bronchitis is an airborne disease, and therefore, can be spread easily if a normal person comes into contact with body fluids of an infected person. In contrast, chronic bronchitis is usually caused by smoking and other reasons, and therefore is not contagious.
Symptoms of bronchitis
One of the most important and distinguishing signs of bronchitis is a cough expectorant produces excess thick, yellowish phlegm. Bronchitis gets worse with increasing concentrations of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants in the air. Often people do not pay attention to bronchitis until the disease reaches too worse stage, because they wrongly believed that bronchitis is not that much risky. After reaching worse stage when patient finally visits the doctor, he/she may suffers its lungs severely injured and the risk of serious respiratory problems or having a heart failure is high. Other symptoms include:
Difficulty in breathing
Cough followed by chest pain
Vibratory noise in the lungs
Bluish discoloration of the lips due to low oxygen levels
Home Remedies to treat bronchitis
The main goal of treatment to bronchitis is reducing irritation of the bronchial tubes. Here I’m quoting some of the most used and effective home remedies that help treat and reduce symptoms.
Malva leaves infusion
Bring to boil 50 grams of malva leaves in one liter of water for 20 minutes. Drink this water thrice a day. It will remove the inflammation of the mucosa, calms the cough and promotes expectoration.
Onion, thyme drink
Take 3 onions, peel and slice them. In a pan take 2 liter water, add sliced onions, 1heap tbsp brown sugar, 1 stalk of thyme. Simmer this mixture for 2 hours. Now remove from fire, press the mixture to get all juice. Fill a glass half of this mixture and half with milk. Drink thrice in a day.
Boil three fresh cranberries in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes and then add pear juice in it. Drinking 3 glasses a day.
Prepare an ointment by mixing two tablespoons of warm castor oil with four cloves of crushed garlic. Massage the chest while mixture is still warm. Cover the chest with a woolen cloth after massage. Most recommended essential oil for chest massaging are Eucalyptus oil, Melissa oil, and Jasmine oil.
In a glass of water add 10 drops of sandalwood oil. Bring to boil for 2-3 minutes. Then take steam before bed.
As we have seen that bronchitis is contagious, it is better to take preventive measures to avoid it. Vaccination is the best method to prevent bronchitis. In order to prevent chronic cases, one should stay away from people who suffered it. It is also recommended to avoid sharing personal items of daily use such as towels, toothbrush, food and clothing of people suffering from this disease. Moreover, quit smoking and exposure to industrial irritants to avoid chronic bronchitis.