Bronchitis is an inflammation or swelling of the bronchi. It is one of the top conditions for which patients seek medical care. Patients who have bronchitis commonly have a cough which brings up mucus.
List of 33 Interesting Facts About Bronchitis:
1) There are two main types of bronchitis: acute (AB) and chronic (CB).
2) Acute bronchitis is a form of lower respiratory tract inflammation that affects the air tubes (bronchi) of the lungs. When these tubes get infected, they swell and mucus forms inside them.
3) AB is the most common disease of the bronchopulmonary apparatus, with an annual incidence rate of about 10 percent in children and 5 percent in adults.
4) The same viruses which cause the flu and the common cold frequently cause AB as well. These viruses spread through physical contact or through the air when carrier individuals cough.
5) This form of bronchitis is typically caused by a respiratory virus and sometimes by bacterial infection, however, this occurs in less than 10% of cases.
6) A few factors increase the risk for AB. Examples include exposure to tobacco smoke, fumes, dust, air pollution, and vapors. To help lower your risk for AB, it is recommended to avoid these lung irritants as much as possible.
7) In patients with an underlying cardiopulmonary disease (disorders which affect the heart and lungs), an episode of AB may accelerate cardiac failure and the sufferer may require to be admitted to hospital for cardiac and ventilatory support.
8) AB should be differentiated from acute inflammation of the small airways — bronchiolitis or asthma — that usually presents as a progressive cough accompanied by tachypnea, wheezing, hypoxemia, and respiratory distress.
9) CB is a long-term condition which keeps coming back or never goes away completely. It is defined as a cough for at least 3 months during each of the preceding 2 years.
10) This form of bronchitis is usually found in individuals who have smoked and have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
11) Smoking is the most common cause of CB, but other causes include:
- repeated episodes of AB;
- dust and fumes from the environment;
- long-term exposure to air pollution.
12) Second-hand smoke can also contribute to the development of CB.
13) CB is the most common form of chronic obstructive lung disease, with emphysema being the next most often observed manifestation.
Symptoms in Adults & Children
14) Both forms of bronchitis share many symptoms, however, there are also some differences:
15) Common symptoms of AB include:
- body aches;
- sore throat;
- shortness of breath;
- chest congestion;
- a cough which brings up yellow, clear, or green mucus;
- fever (high temperature).
Note – a cough after an AB usually persists for 10 to 20 days, nevertheless, sometimes it may last for a month or more.
16) Cough is the most common symptom of CB. It may produce phlegm or it may be dry. Substantial phlegm production hints that the lower respiratory tract and the lung itself are infected.
17) Other symptoms of CB may include:
- bad breath;
- sinus congestion;
- chest discomfort;
- a fever;
18) Exacerbation of CB happens when symptoms become more frequent. Symptoms of exacerbation of CB include:
- cyanosis (bluish/grayish skin coloration);
- severe coughing which causes chest pain or chest discomfort.
19) Factors which increase your risk of any form of bronchitis include:
- gastric reflux – severe heartburn can irritate the throat and make you more prone to developing bronchitis;
- exposure to irritants at work – the risk of developing bronchitis is higher if you are exposed to chemical fumes or work around certain lung irritants;
- low immunity – infants, young children, and seniors have greater vulnerability to infection;
- sedentarism – it may lower your immunity;
- bad sleeping habits – it may increase your stress levels and lower your immunity;
- cigarette smoke (and second-hand smoking) – individuals who smoke tobacco are at higher risk of both AB and CB.
20) The consensus seems to be that antibiotics are not necessary for the treatment of most patients with AB and have a low or modest benefit for only a minority of suferrers.
Antibiotics should not be used in the treatment of AB, particularly in children in whom pertussis (a highly contagious bacterial disease) is not suspected.
21) Treatment of most patients with CB includes:
- oxygen therapy;
- medical treatments which include steroids and bronchodilators;
- avoiding air-borne bronchial irritants;
- quitting tobacco smoking (and second-hand smoking).
22) Pneumonia (a common lung infection ) is the most common complication of bronchitis. An estimated 1 in 20 cases of bronchitis leads to pneumonia.
When Should You Call Your Doctor?
23) Call your doctor if you have a cough and you experience:
- shortness of breath;
- fever over 100.4 F;
- a foul-tasting fluid in the mouth.
24) You will also want to call your healthcare provider if your cough:
- comes along with unexplained weight loss;
- has a barking sound and makes it hard to speak;
- causes chest pain;
- lasts more than 21 days;
- keeps you awake at night;
- brings up blood or mucus which darkens or thickens.
25) An estimated 10 million people in the United States have chronic bronchitis every year, according to the American Lung Association.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
26) Staying adequately hydrated when you are battling this condition helps to thin out mucus. Fluid can include water, herbal tea, soup, juice, and the water in fruits and vegetables.
27) Its antibacterial properties will help in the healing process of your cough. Also, adding eucalyptus essential oil will soften the mucus in the obstructed airways.
28) Sleep helps the physical body to release important hormones, repair tissue damage and generate new tissue, and renew energy.
Note – it may be difficult to sleep soundly while fighting a cough, however, take care to avoid any unnecessary activity.
29) According to studies, ginger can have an anti-inflammatory effect against respiratory infections.
30) Cayenne pepper will encourage coughing – in a good way. In addition, cayenne pepper will thin the mucus, making it substantially easier to get out.
31) Due to its anti-viral and antibiotic properties, garlic is highly beneficial for treating this infection, particularly AB.
Use a Humidifier
32) Humidification therapy is effective and cost-effective for individuals with CB and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as per a 2014 study that was issued in ”Value in Health.”
33) Avoid milk products since lactalbumin stimulates the production of mucus in the intestines and in the lower and upper respiratory tract.
Focus on anti-inflammatory foods when hungry, but don’t force eating. Anti-inflammatory foods include:
- red cabbage;
- red kidney beans;
- flax seeds;
- sunflower seeds.
Sources https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/bronchitis https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1398-9995.1965.tb03047.x https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1201/p1345.html https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/arrd.19188.8.131.522?journalCode=arrd