What Causes Bronchitis Exactly?
Bronchitis is a rather common disease, but one that’s largely misunderstood. Bronchitis occurs when bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs, become inflamed. This can cause a variety of symptoms, some more severe than others. This is why it’s important to have an understanding of these symptoms to avoid complications. You also have to find ways to avoid bronchitis if you have other respiratory conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes and symptoms of bronchitis, how to avoid getting it, and some treatment options as well.
What Causes Bronchitis?
While people often assume that acute bronchitis has to do with low temperatures, it’s actually caused by a virus. This virus is the same one responsible for the common cold and influenza. Since antibiotics aren’t made to kill viruses, they won’t be able to help in this case.
When it comes to chronic bronchitis, however, there may be many factors at play. Chronic bronchitis, unlike acute bronchitis, is not caused by a virus. It’s agreed that the number one cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. Air pollution and poor air quality in your work environment can also be possible causes.
How is Bronchitis Diagnosed?
Bronchitis is diagnosed through a physical exam. The doctor will check your lungs and breathing to see if they notice anything unusual. They will check if you’re wheezing, for instance. They will also ask a few questions, like how many times you cough and what these coughs sound and feel like.
They might also perform a chest x-ray if they have doubts. It’s also possible that they use spirometry and an oximeter to check the level of oxygen in your blood. If you don’t know what those are, we suggest you check out medical-supermarket.com.
Once this has been done, they will usually be able to give you a diagnosis. They’ll be able to tell if you have acute or chronic bronchitis and start looking over treatment options with you.
How is Bronchitis Treated?
If your symptoms aren’t severe, there’s a strong chance that the doctor won’t prescribe anything to you. In most cases, bronchitis can be treated at home using over-the-counter medicine. You may have to look for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. It will also be recommended that you humidify the air in your house and drink plenty of fluids.
In the case of chronic bronchitis, treatment should focus on both the causes and symptoms. This means quitting smoking and staying away from second-hand smoke. You might also be prescribed oral medication to open up your airways and expel mucus. In some extreme cases, a surgeon might perform lung reduction surgery to remove parts of the lungs that are damaged or perform a transplant.
Now that you know a bit more about bronchitis, you’ll be better prepared for it and be able to reduce the chances of catching it. The most important piece of advice is to watch your habits and feed your lungs with the best air possible.