Effective methods of treating bronchitis at home
Bronchitis is a fairly common and serious disease of the respiratory tract, which often occurs in the autumn-winter period. If bronchitis is not treated promptly and correctly, then serious consequences can occur. And so it is important to find out how the disease manifests itself, and how it should be treated.
What is this disease?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, which are branches of the respiratory throat. In total, there are two forms of this disease: acute and chronic.
In the first case, the disease develops rapidly and leads to serious changes in the functioning of the bronchi. Chronic bronchitis is usually the result of incorrect treatment of the acute form. With this disease, the structure of the bronchi changes, which is why they cannot perform their main functions, namely, to clean the air before it enters the lungs, and also to protect the lungs from hypothermia or overheating.
Separately, obstructive bronchitis is isolated, in which the bronchial clogging (obstruction) occurs, due to the swelling of tissues associated with inflammation.
It is worth noting that the disease can develop in both children and adults. Children, as a rule, are ill more seriously, which is connected with the peculiarities of the structure and work of the respiratory organs, as well as the inadequate functioning of the immune system. The peak incidence occurs at the end of autumn, the winter period and the beginning of spring.
The main causes of bronchitis:
- Viral infections (adenovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, Epstein-Barr virus and so on).
- Bacterial infections (bronchitis is most often caused by microorganisms such as chlamydia, streptococcus, mycoplasma, hemophilus bacilli, staphylococcus and some others).
- Smoking, including passive. Tobacco smoke, containing a lot of harmful substances, getting into the bronchi, strongly irritates their mucous membranes and causes inflammation.
- Allergy. Allergic bronchitis can develop in the event that allergens fall on the mucous membranes of the bronchi.
- Adverse working or living conditions: smog, dusty, excessively hot or cold, polluted or dry air, emissions from factories, exhausts, chemical fumes.
- Also the cause of the development of bronchitis can be a chronic disease of the nasopharynx or upper respiratory tract, for example, pharyngitis, laryngitis or tonsillitis.
Let's list the main signs of bronchitis:
- Cough. At first it will be dry and unproductive, which is associated with irritation of the cough receptors, which is observed during the inflammatory process. But for about the third day, the cough will become wet, and sputum will begin to stand out. It can be either liquid or very viscous. Its color varies from transparent to yellow and even green (it all depends on the severity of the disease and its pathogens). In some cases, a strong cough may be accompanied by pain in the chest. With obstructive bronchitis, the cough becomes loud and painful, barking.
- Increased body temperature. It may be accompanied by general malaise, increased sweating, fever, weakness, drowsiness, body aches, headache and other symptoms.
- If there is an obstruction, then the breathing becomes heavy, rattling will be heard. With severe obstruction, dyspnea and difficulty in breathing may occur.
Having found the first symptoms of bronchitis, you should immediately go to the clinic, since only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment.
First, he will examine the patient, and also listen to the breath with the help of a phonendoscope. Secondly, a specialist is likely to prescribe an X-ray examination, which will allow to identify inflammation and its localization. Thirdly, sputum examination may be required to identify pathogens (viruses and bacteria are detected in it).
In some cases, effective blood tests, which also allow to identify the causative agents of the disease. In addition, in some cases, such procedures as bronchoscopy (the study of bronchial tissues using a special apparatus), as well as spirography - measurement of the airway of the respiratory tract.
How to treat bronchitis? In most cases, treatment is carried out at home, placement in a clinic is only required if the course of the disease is complicated. Therapy has several directions.
First, you need to eliminate the causes of inflammation.Secondly, it is necessary to alleviate and moderate the symptoms of bronchitis. Thirdly, it is necessary to create for the patient the most comfortable conditions necessary to accelerate the recovery process.
Possible directions of treatment:
- If the cause of the development of bronchitis is a bacterial infection, then the appointment of antibiotics will be appointed. Such drugs should be selected only by a doctor and after identifying pathogens. It is important to follow all the rules of application, namely, not to exceed or reduce the dosage, as well as to complete the course of treatment completely (even in the case of recovery).
- In the case of a viral infection, a specialist will prescribe an antiviral drug.
- Mucolytic drugs are designed to thin the sputum and are prescribed only if it is very viscous and difficult to move.
- Antitussive drugs affect cough centers and receptors and suppress an unproductive, dry and painful cough. But such drugs are contraindicated in the formation of sputum, as in this case, cough is necessary and helps to remove sputum. If the patient does not cough, the sputum will not be able to go out and will begin to descend into the lungs, which will lead to the development of pneumonia.
- Bronchodilators extend the bronchi and are shown with their obstruction. Acceptance of funds belonging to this group, allows you to ease breathing and get rid of shortness of breath and wheezing.
- To reduce body temperature will help antipyretics, such as "Nurofen" or "Paracetamol."
- Inhalations will be useful, they will help to lower the viscosity of sputum and speed up its discharge. It is better to use alkaline compounds, for example, mineral water ("Essentuki No. 4", "Borzhomi", "Essentuki No. 17"). Remember that steam inhalation is contraindicated during obstruction and with increasing body temperature, so it is better to use a special device for the procedures - an inhaler (nebulizer).
- Excessive drinking will help, firstly, to facilitate and accelerate the discharge of sputum, lowering its viscosity, and secondly, to quickly eliminate toxins secreted by the causative agents of the disease.
- During the period of the disease is shown compliance with a sparing diet. It is best to eat soups, mashed potatoes, cereals, jelly. Food should not be too hot or too cold.
- The room in which the patient stays should be regularly moistened with a humidifier or water tanks, aired, and cleaned (wet cleaning is done daily).
- To speed up the restoration of bronchial mucous membranes, physiotherapy procedures such as electrophoresis, UHF therapy and some others will help.
- You can use folk remedies, for example, warm milk with butter (about 5-10 grams of butter per glass of milk), propolis infusion (to prepare it 50 grams of raw material is poured with a glass of boiling water and infused for several hours), chamomile or sage decoction.
If you do not treat bronchitis, it can turn into a chronic form. In addition, the development of pneumonia is possible. And with obstruction increases the risk of choking.
How to avoid?
Prevention of bronchitis includes the following measures:
- Avoid crowded places during periods of colds.