BRONCHITIS

06 Jun 2019

ABSTRACT –

Bronchitis causes an inflammation in the lining of bronchial tubes. Bronchial tubes are the airways which carries air to and from the lungs. Thick mucus can be seen while coughing which can be yellow/grey color (phlegm) or no color at all. It makes breathing difficult and oxygen supply to the lungs. Bronchitis generally gets developed from cold or other respiratory infections. It can be acute or chronic. Chronic bronchitis is one of the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It may also cause sore throat and wheezing.

CAUSES –

  • Virus causing cold or flu
  • Droplets coming out while coughing or sneezing can cause infection
  • Air pollution
  • Dust, fumes, vapors
  • Toxic gases
  • Smoking (Active/passive)

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –

  • Coughing with mucus or phlegm
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fever & chillness
  • Sore throat
  • Watery cold or blocked nose
  • Wheezing
  • Sinus
  • Breathlessness
  • Pneumonia in chronic and serious cases

DIAGNOSIS –

  • Physical examination using stethoscope
  • Chest X-ray
  • Sputum test – Mucus can be tested to diagnose the type of infection
  • Pulmonary function test – Spirometer to measure how much air lungs can hold and how quickly it can release it back

DIAGNOSIS –

  1. Medications depends on symptoms and type of infection which includes:
    • Bronchodilators – Opens the bronchial tubes and removes mucus
    • Mucolytics – Loosening the mucus to make it easier for cough (sputum) to come out
    • Anti- inflammatory medicines
  2. Pulmonary rehabilitation program – Work with a respiratory therapist to help and improve breathing
  3. Antibiotics – Effective for bacterial infections, but not for viral infections. These may also prevent secondary infections
  4. Breathing exercises

PREVENTIONS –

  • Quit smoking
  • Yearly vaccination for flu like infections
  • Maintain hygiene
  • Surgical mask to keep dust, fumes, bacteria away

RISK FACTORS –

  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system or less immunity
  • Exposure to lung irritants like dust, fumes
  • Age – Older people, children and infants are more prone to this infection
  • Cough formation which varies from body to body

EPIDEMIOLOGY –

  • 44 out of 1000 adults gets affected with acute bronchitis annually mostly during cold weathers (monsoon and winter).
  • It is estimated that 65 million people have moderate or chronic bronchitis globally.

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