Bronchitis is a condition when the tubular network which carries the air to our lungs called bronchial tubules are affected. These tubules are the penultimate parts of the lungs' spongy structure just before the air exchange parts of the lungs called alveoli. One of the main problems associated with the affection of tubular networks is that the excessively secreted mucus plugs the air entry to the alveoli. One of the main symptoms of bronchitis is cough and the production of mucus. Bronchitis can present as acute bronchitis or sometimes as chronic bronchitis. When the symptoms last for more than a few weeks it is called chronic bronchitis and it always lasts for the long time.
The main symptoms associated with bronchitis are chest congestion, shortness of breath, wheezing and cough associated with production of mucus. Sometimes bronchitis may also present acutely as acute bronchitis with fever and body aches, fever chills, run and stuffy nose and sore throat.
Acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis is most common in smokers. It is also most common in exposure to pollution. One of the main contributing factors also is that if one has a family history of lung disorders.
A case of bronchitis has to be properly evaluated by physical examination by a doctor and also proper evaluation of microbiological tests on the mucus which comes out in both acute as well as chronic bronchitis. Tests also need to be done to know about the competency of the airways structure of the lung by doing lung function tests. The oxygen levels which indicate lung competency in bronchitis can be examined by testing the oxygen levels by the pulse oximeter and a chest x-ray can give some indication of the affection of the physical architecture of lungs. Sometimes blood tests may be indicated like ABG analysis which checks the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
Bronchitis leads to dehydration so one has to keep himself hydrated well by drinking a lot of water and getting proper rest during the acute phase. Usage of a humidifier or steam is also indicated. Exposure to cold air and air conditioning may be avoided, if that’s avoidance is not possible in bronchitis one has to go for high-end humidifier which maintains the water content in the air.
In bronchitis if there is indication of infection, treatment by antibiotics is required. To maintain the competencies of the airways, one has to treat with medicines called as bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs.Sometimes in bronchitis, oxygen therapy shall be the mainstay as the competencies of the bronchial system of compromised and higher concentration oxygen may be required to maintain oxygen levels in the blood.
One of the best ways to avoid bronchitis is to avoid smoking, air pollution. Get proper physical exercises. One can get seasonal flu shots which has shown so have some degree of protection against bronchitis.