What is Bronchitis?: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Bronchitis is known as the condition of swelling as well as inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are present in the mouth, nose as well as lungs. Sometimes, in bronchitis, inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes also takes place. Along with the inability to clear the phlegm and mucus from the airways, people suffering from bronchitis can also have the reduced ability to breathe air and oxygen in the lungs.

Here, we have tried to provide all the important information about the problem of bronchitis along with its causes as well as symptoms. Read on to know about various major home remedies, which you can use to get rid of bronchitis.

What is bronchitis?

As mentioned earlier, the inflammation or the swelling of the bronchial tubes is more commonly knows as bronchitis. This problem of bronchitis can be of two major types, acute and chronic bronchitis.

1. Acute bronchitis

This is a common type of bronchitis, which can cause after a viral or cold infection. Acute bronchitis can cause the formation of a cough with mucus, fever, soreness and chest discomfort and shortness of breath. This can be easily treated, although it may last for few days to weeks.

2. Chronic bronchitis

It is a more critical condition of the problem of bronchitis which can be recognized by the formation of a cough with mucus for 2 or months and which can last up to 2 years. Breathing difficulties are the most important problem caused to people suffering from chronic bronchitis. The symptoms of it might get worse or better during this period.

Chronic bronchitis with the condition of emphysema can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or commonly known as COPD.

What are the Causes of Bronchitis?

Most common cause of bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes due to viruses, bacteria as well as other irritants. The causes of acute and chronic bronchitis are different and are discussed below.

1. Acute Bronchitis Causes

Acute bronchitis is caused due to the same virus and bacteria, which can cause colds and flu.

Along with bacterial infection, the problem of acute bronchitis can also be caused due to the exposure of various substances, which can irritate the lungs like dust, tobacco leaves, fumes, vapors as well as air pollution.

2. Chronic Bronchitis Causes

The common cause of chronic bronchitis is the damage caused by the prolonged irritation of the lungs as well as airway tissues.

Along with prolonged exposure to the particles, which causes air pollution such as dust, fumes in the environment, smoking is considered as the most common cause of acute bronchitis. Apart from this, repeated episodes of acute bronchitis can also cause the condition of chronic bronchitis.

What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?

Common signs and symptoms of bronchitis includes,

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightening
  • A persistent cough, which can produce mucus
  • Breathlessness
  • A sore throat
  • Blockage of nose and sinuses
  • A headache
  • Chills and low fever

Another major symptom of acute bronchitis is a cough, which can last for a large number of weeks or months as the bronchial tubes may take a long to heal completely.

The symptoms of chronic bronchitis may get worse more than two times every year. They get worse especially during the time of winter.

A persistent cough, which does not go away can be a sign of various other illnesses such as pneumonia and asthma.

Bronchitis Treatment: How to Cure Bronchitis?

1. Diagnosis

For the accurate diagnosis, your doctor can ask for symptoms of cough along with studying your medical history. The doctors will check whether you suffered from cold or flu in the past, whether you smoke or exposed to irritants in the air such as fumes, dust, vapors as well as air pollution.

Your doctor will also check for any unusual sound from the lungs with the help of a stethoscope. Along with checking mucus level in the blood, your doctor can also ask for chest X-Ray, few blood tests, and pulmonary lung function test.

2. Treatment

Usually, people suffering from bronchitis is prescribed to drink fluids, breath warm as well as moist air and to consume certain suppressants to provide ease to breathing. Although the problem of acute bronchitis can go away with the help of treatment, it should be noted that there is no cure for the problem of chronic bronchitis. Your doctor may prescribe the certain medications to control the symptoms of bronchitis.

3. Medicine for a cough

Although this medicine will not remove the coughing completely, it will bring the mucus up and remove the irritants from the lungs.

4. Anti-inflammatory medicines

This medicine will be helpful in controlling the symptoms of chronic inflammation, which may result in the damage to the tissues.

5. Oxygen therapy

This is a helpful way in getting oxygen inhalation when suffering from the breathing difficulties.

6. Antibiotics

Even though antibiotics can be effective on bacterial as well as secondary infections, it is of no use for the viral infections.

Other remedies, which you can use to treat bronchitis are,

  • Stopping smoking, which can remove all the irritants from the lungs.
  • Use of humidifier helps in relieving airflow as well as wheezing.
  • Exercising regularly helps in strengthening the muscles, which are involved in the activity of breathing.
  • You may also try various breathing exercises.

Home Remedies for Bronchitis Treatment

Following certain home, remedies can also be useful in treating the problem of bronchitis. Here, we have listed some of the amazing home remedies to treat the problem of acute as well as chronic bronchitis. These home remedies do not cause any side effects if used properly.

1. Honey and Lemon Water

Honey is an ancient remedy, which contains major antibacterial properties. It is also highly useful in providing soothe to the mucous membranes, which becomes highly irritated due to infection.

Consumption of honey along with lemon water provides lot more important health benefits. However, honey should not be provided to children under one year of age as it can cause the effect of botulism, a rare form of food poisoning, in their body.

2. Spicy Food Consumption

Consumption of spicy food such as hot mustard, wasabi, and horseradish helps in loosening up of mucus and helps in removing phlegm and congestion. As long as you are allergic to the certain spicy foods, it is highly recommended to consume spicy foods for treating problems such as bronchitis.

3. Salt Water Gargle

In the condition of bronchitis, experts suggest swishing some salt water in your mouth several times a day. This can be helpful in removing excess mucus from the body.

Although it will not help in providing relief from viral or bacterial infection, salt water gargle can be helpful in treating and improving the symptoms.