Chronic bronchitis: symptoms and treatment
Chronic bronchitis is an inflammatory process that develops and progresses in the organs of the respiratory system. With such a disease, the functioning of the bronchi is disturbed, the damage to the protective and purifying activity of their organs predominates. Because of the disruption of the integrity of the mucous membrane of this organ, chronic bronchitis is accompanied by the release of a large amount of sputum, in pure form or with impurities, when coughing.
Diseases are considered chronic if the cough with sputum is observed for three consecutive months, for two or more years. The remaining cases of protracted cough caused by inflammatory processes in the bronchi belong to other types of bronchitis. Progress can be chronic bronchitis in children and adults. He has no restrictions regarding the age category and gender.
To determine the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, you need an average of two years. Such a period is due to the fact that an ordinary cough occurs quite often among the population, and if we take every such case as chronic bronchitis, then in the world there would not be a person who did not have it. But medical statistics are such that this disease is observed in about ten percent of the world’s inhabitants.
Quite often people who have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis do not pay much attention to such a problem. But if you do not contact a doctor in a timely manner and do not start treatment, the consequences of this disease can cause quite a serious harm to your health. The disease is manifested and exacerbated in the spring or autumn, when there is a constant change in weather conditions, temperature and humidity in the air.
The most common causes of such a disorder in the work of the bronchi are inflammatory or infectious diseases of the respiratory system.
To serve as a fertile soil for the development of this disease in adults can:
- Frequent cases of influenza history in the anamnesis. This is most common in children
- unhealthy lifestyle, especially nicotine abuse
- prolonged hypothermia or overheating of the organism
- weakened immunity;
- age. Often, adults over the age of forty are more likely to fall ill;
- air pollution
- hazardous working conditions in which a person is often in contact with chemicals, as well as a high concentration of dust
Depending on the causes of chronic bronchitis is:
- independent — develops without the influence of other inflammatory processes in the body
- secondary — is a complication of other diseases, including pneumonia and tuberculosis, which can become not only the cause of the disease, but its consequences.
Depending on the expectorated sputum, the disease happens:
- simple — allocations are minimal or nonexistent (without additional impurities)
- with small pieces of blood
- with inflammation of large bronchi
- medium and small bronchi.
By the presence of a bronchospastic element:
- chronic non-obstructive bronchitis
- chronic obstructive bronchitis
The first type of chronic bronchitis is often observed in children, and the second — in adults.
Chronic obstructive bronchitis can be divided into stages of severity of the course and methods of therapy:
- First — the patient does not need to be constantly under the supervision of a doctor. Treatment is limited to medicines and folk remedies
- Second — patients are treated under the care of a pulmonologist who prescribes physiotherapy. At this stage, the patient is significantly reduced performance,
- the third — treatment is performed only in the hospital.
According to the course in the body:
- with frequently recurring exacerbations
- with a sharp deterioration
- continuous — with recurring periods of exacerbations (approximately three times a year).
In addition to the main symptom of the disease — coughing with sputum, the following symptoms of chronic bronchitis can be observed in patients:
- dyspnea, even when performing small physical exertion or walking
- increased sweating
- general weakness of the body
- wheezing when breathing
- blueing of the tip of the nose and ears, fingers and toes
- Sleep disorder
- degradation of health;
- the pulse rate in the patient’s calm state
- severe headaches.
Basically, these symptoms are observed with chronic obstructive bronchitis. Non-obstructive type of disease can occur without manifestation of any signs.
Consequences of chronic bronchitis may appear individually (against a background of weakened immunity).
- obstructive pulmonary disease of a chronic nature
- respiratory failure
- cancerous tumors in the lungs
- bronchial asthma
- disruption of the structural structure of the bronchi;
- heart problems, including the «pulmonary heart» (in which the right part of the heart increases in size).
In order to diagnose a doctor, the physician should conduct an examination of the patient, listen to his breathing, learn about the symptoms that the patient feels. A characteristic sign for the doctor will be a cough. Its intensity and the presence of additional impurities in the sputum, will help him to make a more vivid idea of the course of bronchitis. After that, the following tests will be performed:
- blood — general and biochemical (to detect inflammatory processes)
- laboratory tests of expectorated sputum
In order to disclose the full picture of the course of the disease and the formulation of the final diagnosis, the patient will need to undergo such examinations:
- chest radiography;
- fibrobronchoscopy, to exclude oncology or tuberculosis
- spirography — to determine respiratory functions
Treatment of chronic bronchitis involves a set of tools:
- treatment with medicinal substances;
- use of folk remedies
- sanatorium treatment
Treatment with medication is aimed at:
- elimination of the causative agent of pathology (with the help of antibiotics)
- increased expectoration
- normalization of breathing and relief from dyspnea (performed with the help of bronchodilators)
- strengthening of immunity;
- Elimination of the underlying ailment that could trigger the appearance of chronic bronchitis
Physiotherapy consists of:
- electrophoresis — from cough
- UHF — from inflammation
- Respiratory gymnastics.
If the disease occurs without raising the body temperature in the patient, then the therapy is carried out with the help of mustard plasters and cans.
Folk remedies for chronic bronchitis are combined with medication and physiotherapy. They usually include such plants:
- linden flowers
- raspberry berries
- Elder flowers
To improve expectoration (using folk remedies) use:
- decay from the root of elecampane
- syrup made from fruits of viburnum and sugar
- infusion of honey and turnips.
In addition, folk methods of treatment include inhalations, which can be carried out independently, at home. Inhalations warm up the throat and calm the cough, which allows much faster cure of any form of bronchitis. For the inhalation use of such ingredients:
Timely appeal for help and professional treatment, will help get rid of chronic bronchitis forever, and protect the patient from unwanted complications.
This disease is well amenable to complex treatment, and preventive measures will help to avoid the occurrence of disease or recurrence of relapses.
Preventive maintenance of a chronic bronchitis includes following methods:
- a balanced diet, including vitamins and micronutrients
- the correct daily routine, you need to leave enough time to rest;
- A healthy lifestyle consisting of a complete withdrawal from alcohol and smoking;
- timely treatment of respiratory system diseases
- compliance with hygiene rules
- daily moderate exercise;
- Permanent airing of the room. If for some reason this is not possible, you need to monitor its moisture content
- Avoiding places with large concentrations of dust or chemicals
- premature prevention of ARVI and influenza
- breathing exercises, about fifteen minutes a day.
In addition to the generally available methods of preventing chronic bronchitis, there are more global methods that are used for frequent relapses of the disease. It can be:
- change of employment
- climate change (you may need to move to another city or country)
- house optimization — exchange, insulation or apartment repair