Many people suffer from a variety of respiratory disorders. It is important that your respiratory system remains in a healthy condition. Many people ignore the early signs of a respiratory disorder, as a result of which they are unable to control a condition that can later becomes chronic and lead to disability. For example, acute bronchitis, when neglected, leads to chronic bronchitis, a condition that causes severe, irreversible damage to your respiratory system and leaves you disabled for life. Therefore, updating your knowledge about bronchitis and its various signs and symptoms is of utmost importance. Neglect of this condition could lead to a medical as well as a personal disaster.
What is Acute Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is a disease of the respiratory system caused due to viral infection of the bronchial tree. In some cases, the infecting agent is a fungus. Usually, people mistake this condition to be common cold and underestimate the seriousness of it. This is the common reason why most people tend to ignore bronchitis.
Children and infants are easy prey for this condition because their immune systems are still in the growing phase and are not that well-equipped to battle the virus. Bronchitis also affects tobacco smokers and those who reside in highly polluted cities.
Treatment for Bronchitis
If the condition is acute bronchitis caused by a virus, it does not require any special treatment. All that you need to do is rest and relax as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids such as water and the juices of fruits and vegetables. If you or someone at home is suffering from bronchitis, it is highly advisable that you use humidifiers to raise the humidity in the rooms. If this is not possible, place wet towels or blankets in different areas of the house. A humid condition is ideal for the recovery of a person suffering from bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis does not last more than 10-12 days if treated properly. Usually, it is closely followed by a flue or cold. You might also cough for 2-3 weeks, and you will continue to cough till your bronchioles are completely healed and free of infection. If the cough persists, it may be due to another condition. In this case, you need to consult your physican and get yourself checked for any other medical condition. It is very important to know that acute bronchitis, if left unattended to, can lead to a condition called chronic bronchitis. This can cause intense misery and last from 3 months to two years. Moreover, it can permanently damage your respiratory system.
Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis
You know that you are in for acute bronchitis when you experience breathlessness, slight pain and tightness in the chest, light fever, chills, persistent cough that brings out a lot of mucus, wheezing, and headache. Now, this can easily be mistaken for a common cold. Only a doctor can make out the difference. So, as soon as you experience these symptoms, visit your family doctor and get a medical examination.
A number of tests are required to determine if you are suffering from acute bronchitis or just a common cold. A doctor will study your breathing pattern through a stethoscope. Chest X-rays will be taken. Laboratory tests will be conducted to examine your mucus in order to determine if the condition has been caused by bacteria, virus, or fungus.
Recovering from Bronchitis
If you are diagnosed with acute bronchitis, quit smoking immediately. Avoid cigarette smoke completely if you want a speedy recovery. Smoke is really bad for you, so is polluted air. Ensure than the air around you is perfectly clean. You can do so by installing an air purifier or two inside your house.
Prevention of Acute Bronchitis
You don’t need to suffer from acute bronchitis. You can easily prevent it by taking a few precautions. It is important to avoid getting infected by virus, bacteria, and fungi that cause acute bronchitis, and you can do so by washing your hands regularly and giving up smoking.
Never ever ignore the signs of acute bronchitis. Visit your doctor to ascertain once and for all if what you have caught is acute bronchits or just a common cold. Don’t take the decision yourself.
The health of your respiratory system is in your control. Keep yourself informed about acute bronchitis and understand its symptoms well. You can prevent it from turning into a chronic condition simply by taking the right treatment at the right time.