Bronchitis - Overview
‘Never neglect a cough lest a serious trouble grasp your weakened chest.’ A simple reflex mechanism such as a cough which is meant to clear the air passages can turn into a troublesome disease like bronchitis if left unheeded.
Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder in which the tubes that carry air to the lungs are inflamed and irritated. This causes the inner lining of these tubes to swell and produce mucus, leading to cough.
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic in nature depending on the duration of the illness. Acute bronchitis mostly develops from a cold or other respiratory infection whereas chronic bronchitis results from a more constant irritation of the bronchial tubes, often caused by smoking. Homeopathy can significantly help sufferers of both kinds of bronchitis and can provide gentle and safe treatment.
At Dr. Batra's, we have successfully treated thousands of cases of bronchitis over the last 35 years and can help to give good relief and a better quality of life to all our patients. Experience the wonders of Homeopathy with holistic treatment at Dr. Batra's.
What is Bronchitis?
Cough, phlegm and wheeze… treat it with ease!
Inflammation / irritation of the tubes that carry air to the lungs is called Bronchitis. As the inner lining of these tubes (bronchi) swells up, it grows thicker and starts to produce mucus. This results in narrowing of the tubes causing cough with production of thick phlegm.
Bronchitis can be Acute or Chronic in nature. Acute bronchitis usually has a quick onset and recovers within a span of 6 weeks. Most cases recover without any problems especially if the patient has been otherwise healthy prior to the attack.
Chronic bronchitis on the other hand tends to present as persistent cough with mucus for most days for 3 months of the year for at least 2 consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis is more serious in nature and requires long term treatment. In chronic bronchitis, the damage to the bronchi is more deep seated and frequently occurs on account of smoking.
Acute bronchitis tends to be very common amongst both children and adults though the prevalence rates are higher in children younger than 5 years. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is more common in people older than 40 years of age.
Causes of Bronchitis
How did I land up with this cough?
The cough that has lasted quite a few days in your case and does not get better on its own may be bronchitis and it can be caused due to a number of reasons:
Viruses: Several viruses have been known to cause bronchitis and some of the common ones include - Influenza A and B virus; these are also referred to as the flu in common language. They are generally responsible for acute bronchitis.
Bacteria: Certain bacteria such as ‘Mycoplasma pneumoniae’ can also lead to bronchitis, especially of the acute form.
Inhaling irritant fumes, chemical solvents, dust, etc. over a period of time can lead to chronic cases bronchitis though a sudden exposure can also precipitate an acute attack.
Smoking is one of the major causes for developing chronic bronchitis
People with a weakened immune system are at increased risk of developing bronchitis
It must be noted people with chronic bronchitis go through periods when their condition becomes worse than general. During such times, they may develop acute bronchitis (caused by viruses or bacteria).
Symptoms of Bronchitis
Benjamin Franklin had quoted, ‘Love, Cough and a Smoke can’t well be hid’. Indeed you can’t hide it if you have bronchitis for what you will be evidently doing is coughing. Cough is the primary symptom of both acute as well as chronic bronchitis though the rest of the presentation significantly varies.
Acute bronchitis usually starts with an attack of common cold – it’s often caused by the same viruses that cause a cold. The attack usually gets over within a span of 6 weeks. To start with, the symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Body pain
Later the symptoms may progress to the development of:
- Cough with clear mucus to start with
- Patient may develop yellow or green mucus (phlegm) during the further course (indicates a bacteria infection)
- Shortness of breath, wheezing
- Tightness in the chest or pain
- Excessive and forceful coughing may even lead to soreness of the abdominal muscles
- Low grade fever
- Sometimes, even after the infection has cleared up, the patient may still have a dry cough that lingers on for some time
Chronic bronchitis has symptoms that last a prolonged period of time and come on repetitively:
- Cough - commonly known as ‘Smoker’s cough’ this lasts for at least 3 months in a year for at least 2 years in succession
- Patient produces a lot of sputum (phlegm) which may occasionally be blood streaked
- There may be shortness of breath that may be worsened on exertion
- A weakened immune system may make the patient more prone to an acute infection
Diagnosis of Bronchitis
Timely evaluation of any disease helps significantly in instituting the right kind of treatment.
In case of bronchitis, the presenting symptoms and examination findings are usually enough to confirm the diagnosis. However, your physician may advise you some investigations in case deemed necessary:
- X-ray chest: This is generally to rule out pneumonia
- Sputum examination: Your sputum may have to be examined in a laboratory to look for bacterial infection
- Sputum culture
- Pulse oximetry: This test enables the physician to see how well your blood has been saturated with oxygen
- CT scan may be required in cases of chronic bronchitis to visualize the extent of damage
- Pulmonary function tests may be conducted to check the overall functioning of the lungs
Cases of chronic bronchitis require to be evaluated regularly in order to monitor the progress of the condition. Regular check ups can also help the physician to chart the improvement occurring with the medication.
Self Care for Bronchitis
Dr. Batra's has the proficiency and experience of treating patients for the last 35 years and we have seen a few things to be very useful for our patients in controlling bronchitis. Incorporation of these can help you to be in better control of your illness and lead a superior quality of life. Help yourself with these tips for dealing with bronchitis:
- Increase your intake of essential fatty acids (present in oily fish, flaxseeds, nuts, cold pressed oils)
- Increase quercetin rich foods such as garlic and onions
- Take plenty of vitamin C and beta-carotene rich foods such as amla, guava, mango, papaya, carrots
- Minimize your intake of mucus forming foods such as dairy, red meat, white flour, sugar and bananas
- Don't smoke – it can only do you harm and prevent you from recovering
- Rest as much as possible – this helps your body to heal itself faster
- Take plenty of fluids (unless your doctor has advised you to restrict your fluid intake). Fever causes the body to lose fluid faster and hence it’s important to hydrate the body well. The sputum formed will be thinner and can be easily expectorated if the body is well hydrated.
- A humidifier can assist in decreasing bronchial irritation
- Note the color of your sputum and report to your doctor from time to time
- Your physician may advise you some breathing exercises to improve your lung functions
- Contact your health care provider if any of the following symptoms develop:
- Severe short of breath
- Unexplained wheezing
- Coughing up of blood
- Very high fever
Breathe easy with Homeopathy…
If you are looking for a place which offers holistic healing with homeopathy, the expertise of qualified chest physicians and the proficient advice from experienced and qualified nutritionist to help your bronchitis, then Dr. Batra's is the place.
At Dr. Batra's, we have treated thousands of patients of bronchitis with Homeopathy and have given good relief and a better quality of life to most of them with our holistic approach. Homeopathy indeed has very good scope in the treatment of both forms of bronchitis. It can offer significant relief from symptoms as well as improve the general well being of the patient.
In cases of acute bronchitis, Homeopathy can shorten the duration of the illness and rule out the need for prescribing antibiotics to the patient. There is a marked reduction in the toxicity experienced by the patient when he is on Homeopathic treatment.
Chronic bronchitis is a stubborn condition in general but homeopathy has an answer to this condition as well. There are homeopathic remedies that significantly improve symptoms of chronic bronchitis and can even aid the patient in quitting smoking.
In addition, the treatment can help to prevent complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, right sided heart failure (cor pulmonale), emphysema, etc.
As it is a well known fact, homeopathic medicines are without any side effects whatsoever and are non habit-forming. Additionally, there is no problem in administering the medicines to any patient irrespective of age.