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Bronchitis - Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition It is a type of respiratory disease. It involves inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial passage of the lungs. Coughing spells, breathlessness and thick phlegm accompany this breathing difficulty disease. They are caused by the thickening and swelling of the irritated membrane which closes or narrows down the tiny air passages inside the lungs and makes breathing troublesome. There are two types of bronchitis-chronic and acute.


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Antihistamines and decongestants may be a good choice for treating coughs associated with post nasal drip. Elevate your head with extra pillows at night to ease a dry cough.

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Quit smoking. If your physician has not limited your fluid intake, consume water or fruit juices or other such healthy fluids once an hour. You can take the help of medication/drugs like acetaminophen or aspirin to give relief to your aching body. Keep away children from aspirin. Consult your physician for best results.

Bronchitis is an infection of the intricate network of airways both within and connecting to the lungs. Usually striking when the immune system is low, bronchitis commonly develops as a progression of an upper respiratory infection and will normally clear within a couple of weeks although chronic cases may last for months. A small percentage of bronchitis cases are bacterial in nature and will respond to antibiotic treatment however in most cases the bronchitis is caused by a virus and so antibiotics will have little effect.

Exposure to secondhand smoke. Allergies and asthma. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( emphysema or chronic bronchitis). Lung infections such as pneumonia or acute bronchitis.

Oesophageal cancer deaths numbered just under 5,000 and the deceased were found to be 66% smokers, 71% and 65% men to women respectively; again another clear link that smoking and oesophageal cancer are linked.

6. Regular Flu Needle If you suffer from chronic bronchitis then it is wise to have a regular flu injection to be on the safe side. This is especially important for the elderly as bronchitis can progress to pneumonia quite easily.

3. Avoid Diuretics It is a good idea to avoid diuretic type drinks such as alcohol and coffee as these have the effect of lowering fluid levels within the body because they make you urinate more. To assist the body to fight the bronchitis infection you need to maintain good fluid levels to break up the mucus.

It has long been known that smoking and lung cancer are causally linked. After having discovered this association though, much has been made of the heightened incidence of other forms of cancer caused by of smoking. I am going to highlight the data that reiterates the claims and suggest that the evidence is not so strong for other forms of cancer being causally linked with smoking. The evidence is analysed from the mortality statistics for the UK in 2002.

Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. Coughing is an action the body takes to get rid of burden that are irritating the air passages. In the more advanced stages, it's marked by the symptom that gives the disease its name: a severe, hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like "whoop. Coughing can also be triggered by a bolus of food going down the trachea instead of the esophagus due to a failure of the epiglottis although this may result in choking instead.

Some sources suggest that pneumonia is more likely to kill in smokers but only 17% of the 36,000 fatal pneumonia cases were found in smokers suggesting this is not the case.

Emphysema is the destruction of the lung leading to loss of surface area, alveoli (air sacks in the lungs) and the loss of elasticity. Chronic bronchitis manifests itself through swollen bronchii and over production of mucus within the lung. It is characterised by daily coughing, bringing up sputum. Both emphysema and bronchitis lead to slow, debilitating and frustrating deaths for their victims.

1. Stop Smoking Smoking is directly linked to the vast majority of chronic bronchitis infections either from being a smoker or breathing passive cigarette smoke. If you smoke then the only solution for complete recovery from chronic bronchitis is to quit and if you are a non-smoker then it is wise to consciously avoid areas where others are smoking.

Firstly, we will deal with the cancer deaths so lets get underway with the 33,600 deaths from lung cancer. 84% of these deaths were in smokers. This means that the average 26% of the smoking population yielded more than three times the proportion of deaths ' a clear link.

4. Use a Vaporizer Using a vaporizer to deliver warm moist air into the lungs will also help to break up the mucus and assist your recovery. If you don't have access to a vaporizer then you can either run a hot shower with the bathroom door closed or perhaps place some boiled water in a pan and place your head above it and breathe the steam.

I will work through the statistics because 26% of the population are smokers and so one might reasonably assume that any incidence of cancer where less than 26% of sufferers are smokers may have other more prevalent causes than smoking.

Although the bronchitis virus which causes the more common acute bronchitis infection needs to run its course, the coughing and wheezing symptoms can be eased by following a few simple guidelines such as:

Don't smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke. Antitussives are useful in suppressing dry, hacking coughs. (Specific products may be recommended by a physician or pharmacist.)

Finally, heart disease is the biggest single killer in the UK with over a quarter of a million deaths a year as a result of its various forms. Of all the major forms of heart disease, ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, aortic aneurysm, myocardial degeneration and atherosclerosis, the percentage of smokers suffering from aortic aneuryism was just under 60%. All other forms of heart disease showed near 26% or below. This suggests that smoking may not be the main contributory factor but it almost certainly will have had an impact.

All in all, there were over 114,000 premature deaths in 2002 from cigarette smoking, mostly from cancer, but also from heart disease and pulmonary (lung) disease. The best way to improve ones chances of not suffering from a shortened life and succumbing to one of the diseases mentioned in this article is by quitting smoking once and for all. Benefits have been clearly documented and the sooner smokers quit, the bigger the benefits of quitting become on their life expectancy. Indeed, smokers who quit before they reach thirty, statistically negate virtually all the ill health effect of smoking and can generally expect to live as long as a non-smoking contemporary.

 
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Bronchitis should not be taken lightly as it can progress to more serous health problems such as pneumonia if left untreated. In most cases antibiotics are not the answer so the simple measures outlined above along with plenty of rest will help to reduce the time it takes to recover from the infection and make life a little easier while you have the condition. Follow these bronchitis treatment tips and you'll be back to health in no time.

5. Liquorice Tea The liquorice herb is a good treatment for assisting recovery and preventing bronchitis. When treating bronchitis three cups of liquorice tea can make a big difference to the length and severity of the infection.

Worldwide, there were over 45 million cases of whooping cough and 409,000 deaths in 1997 making this easy-to-prevent disease one of the leading causes of illness and death. Provided the patient is a non-smoker and has a normal chest X-ray the cause of chronic cough in 93% of all patients is due to asthma reflux ( heartburn ) or post-nasal drip. Other causes of chronic cough include chronic bronchitis and medications such as ACE inhibitors. Coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick caused by a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

Symptoms There may or may not be a fever. Breathing will be a difficult task, accompanied by a wheezing or rasping sound. The patient will feel lethargic and depleted of energy. Another common symptom is a persistent cough that produces mucus and may throw up blood. The patient may experience shortness of breath. The other warning symptom is a chest cold which has lasted for more than a fortnight.

2. Drink More Water Drinking plenty of water will loosen up the phlegm and mucus and make it much easier for the body to eliminate it when coughing. Warm clear drinks are also good but stay away from mucus producing drinks such as milk as this will only make things worse.

Stay away from fumes, pets, dust, or other such irritants. Utensils used for eating and food should not be shared. Hands should be washed often.

Jim Bary

http://www.symptomsofbronchitis.net

Copyright © 2007 Colin Wolfenden

About the Author:

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Death from cancer of the upper respiratory tract was found at a rate of 66% in smokers, nearly three times the percentage of smokers. Note though that women sufferers represented half of their cohort compared with three quarters of men, suggesting upper respiratory cancer is more likely in men than in women smokers.

Next, bladder cancer takes over 1,800 lives per year of which 37% are found to be smokers. However, only 19% of female cases were smokers compared with 47% of male cases. It is fair to assume that there are other factors more prevalent in female bladder cancer other than smoking but the link is clear in men.

Kidney cancer is another cancer where smokers are seen less frequently than non-smokers in the statistics. The next disease we shall look at is the non-cancerous, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. The disease manifests itself mainly in two forms, being emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Deaths from COPD in 2002 in the UK numbered 28,500 of which 84% were smokers demonstrating a clear link between the inhalation of tobacco smoke and the disease as is the case with lung cancer.

Cough suppressants or expectorants will help to loosen mucus. Since most bronchitis cases are viral attacks, you can give antibiotics a miss. Antibiotics, however, may be necessary if a bacterial infection has led to bronchitis or if he has impaired lung function. In cases of chronic bronchitis, oral or inhaled steroids for reducing inflammation, annual flu shots, one shot pneumonia vaccine, or/and supplemental oxygen are to be taken, as advised by your doctor, to protect your vulnerable lungs.

Cigarette smoking. ACE inhibitors (medications used to control blood pressure). Symptoms of Cough Some Symptoms of Cough: A runny nose Dry cough

Nasal congestion A mild fever Sneezing General feeling of being unwell and loss of appetite Red, watery eyes Treatment of Cough Antitussives should not be given when the cough is productive and the patient is bringing up mucus. If the cough is keeping the patient awake at night, then their use at bedtime is indicated.

7. Forego the Cough Suppressors It is sometimes best not to take cough suppressing medicines as the action of coughing actually helps to loosen up the phlegm and move it from the lungs. Cough suppressing medicines tend to dry the mucus which slows its elimination.

Causes of Cough The common Causes of Cough: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Lung disease such as bronchiectasis interstitial lung disease, or tumors.

Pancreatic cancer is another cancer that is less prevalent in smokers than the general population. Indeed 20% of men and 26% of women dying from the disease in 2002 were smokers, suggesting parity with women and a disparity with men. It may be reasonable therefore to assume that there are other contributory factors in male pancreatic cancers.

Treatment Please do not commit the blunder of waiting for all of the above mentioned symptoms to appear. Seek medical assistance. Take enough rest.

If you have allergies year round, cover your pillows and mattress with dust mite covers, use an air purifier, and avoid pets and other triggers. For patients with underlying disease states causing the cough, treatment should first be based on treating the underlying disease.

Stomach cancer took 1,650 lives in 2002 but is found in 35% of men compared with only 11% of female smokers. It is reasonable therefore to draw the same conclusion about the causes as for bladder cancer between men and women.

Antitussives are useful in suppressing dry, hacking coughs.



Juliet Cohen writes health articles for health diseases and disorders. She also writes articles on women makeup tips.


 
 
     
 
 





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