Monday, October 31, 2016

The Difference between Viral and Bacterial Bronchitis

People suffer from illnesses or diseases due to viruses and bacteria; but sometimes, environmental factors also play an important role in triggering such illnesses. When a person becomes ill, his life is naturally affected. And this includes his relationship with his family, colleagues, and friends. That is why, may experts stress the need for a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent these illnesses.

Inflammation of your bronchial tubes is a condition called bronchitis. This illness can be caused by viral infections, bacterial, and allergens. There is a great difference between a viral bronchitis and a bacterial bronchitis. Most people may not be able to distinguish between the two, and only a professional can evaluate and diagnose a person's condition.

The Difference between Viral and Bacterial Bronchitis

The most common cause of bronchitis is viral infection. If the bronchitis is viral in nature, you may experience several symptoms like wheezing, burning pain, difficulty in breathing, headache and other symptoms. Bronchitis caused by viruses is not that serious, and can disappear without medications. Usually, home remedies are enough to relieve bronchitis symptoms.

If the illness is caused by a virus, you may only have mild fever and you don’t feel that sick. You might cough up with little or even no mucus at all. While with bacterial bronchitis, you will have higher fever and cough (with discolored, dark, and thick mucus).

Bronchitis can become serious if you're suffering from another disease like asthma, cystic fibrosis, or COPD. If this is the case, home treatments are not enough.

Your doctor knows the right treatment suited for your condition. By performing the necessary physical examination and considering your symptom's history, an accurate diagnosis can be obtained. If you're only suffering from a mild condition, using the stethoscope is enough to examine your lungs, but with severe or prolonged symptoms, the best way is to have your chest x-rayed.

Treatment of bronchitis also differs between one that is caused by a virus and that of bacteria. Viral bronchitis can be resolved without undergoing any treatment. But this doesn’t mean that you will take your condition for granted. You can do simple things like increasing your fluid intake; this helps in reducing congestion especially when you have fever. You must also take a rest and if you feel muscle pains, you can use acetaminophen. If you can’t withstand the symptoms, you can purchase cough expectorants and suppressants to thin the mucus. Having a steamy shower can also open your airways thereby allowing mucus expulsion.

If you're bronchitis is caused by bacteria, your doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic like erythromycin, tetracycline, and amoxicillin. The antibiotic prescribed is dependent on the type of bacterial infection. You can experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. There are certain bacteria that are resistant to drugs, and just recently, FDA approved a drug suited for these kinds of bacteria. The drug is called gemiflaoxacin mesylate. This is a tablet that needs to be taken orally once a day for five days. If you use this drug, you may experience rashes, diarrhea, and nausea.

Remember that a viral bronchitis can't be treated with antibiotics because your condition might become worse. Don’t just use any medication without consulting first with your doctor to ensure that you're on the safe side.

It is essential that you rest to make exertion of the mucus easier. Later on, you can do cardio respiratory exercises moderately as this can help regain the normal functions of your lungs, and expel remaining mucus.

A good way to avoid viral and bacterial bronchitis is to have good hygiene. Getting immunizations can also lessen the risk of getting bronchitis. Make sure that you also avoid cigarettes, smoke, fumes, and other environmental factors that might trigger bronchitis. This way, your lungs can filter the pollutants easily.

You can get sick every now and then especially if you have many unhealthy habits and if you live in a polluted environment; and this can happen whether you like or not. This is the sad reality that many people have to bear. Strive to be healthy and while you're alive and kicking, try to save some money so that in the event you get sick, you can handle the medical costs without worrying.

Pregnant Women with Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an ailment of the airways manifested by the existence of sputum production and cough for at least three months in each of two successive years. From the name itself, bronchitis is the inflammation and infection of the bronchial tree. The bronchial tree is composed of tubes that bring air to the lungs. When these get inflamed and infected, the tubes swell and produce thick mucus inside of them which makes it difficult to breathe.

pregnant woman with bronchitis

There are basically two kinds of bronchitis: acute (meaning short term) bronchitis and chronic (meaning long term) bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is mainly caused by viruses and bacteria. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is caused by smoking or environmental pollutants that causes an irritation on the airways.

During pregnancy the woman's body undergoes a lot of changes. Her body now consumes oxygen and nutrients not just for her own well-being but for the baby inside her as well. The health of a pregnant woman with respiratory problems can be quite a predicament for physicians. There are major factors that are involved when dealing with the health of pregnant women such as their anatomical and physiological alterations to pregnancy, balancing both fetal and maternal needs, and the pregnant woman's vulnerability to diseases. Although there may be modifications in the care of pregnant women with respiratory health problems, such as, bronchitis, management and treatment of the said health predicament is similar to those of nonpregnant individuals.

Respiratory health problems have the possibility to get worse in pregnancy because of the rising uterus tends to squeeze the diaphragm, decreasing the dimension of available space in the lungs and the size of thoracic cavity just when lung function is essential to supply sufficient oxygen exchange for the mother and the fetus.

Moreover, histologic evaluations of the upper respiratory tract during pregnancy expose hyperemia (increase amount of blood), glandular hyperactivity (increase workload of the glands), increased mucopolysaccharide content, and increased phagocytic activity. These alterations seem to be caused by the increase in estrogen levels. As a result, pregnant women experience nose bleeding and nasal stuffiness.

Being knowledgeable enough about the changes in respiratory physiology among pregnant women is crucial to their care and management when they become affected by a respiratory disease. As you may well know, these changes permit the mother-to-be to meet the metabolic needs of the unborn child.

The following are signs and symptoms of bronchitis:

  • Fatigue
  • Low grade fever
  • Chest aches
  • Wheezing
  • Labored breathing or dyspnea which is worsened by physical exertion
  • Cough with sputum or mucus
  • Rales, these are abnormal lung sounds that can be heard in the lungs through the stethoscope

To diagnose the disease, tests are utilized by the doctors in addition to the obvious signs and symptoms in the confirmation of the disease such as pulmonary lung function tests, pulse oxymetry, arterial blood gas, chest x-ray, and sputum examinations

Treatment for bronchitis in pregnant women is similar to those individuals who are not pregnant. In any case, if the disease is caused by a virus then an antibiotic is useless (which is prescribed for bacteria-caused bronchitis). Acute bronchitis is usually self-limiting and may clear out within a week. General treatment is comprised of complete rest, lots of fluid intake, use of humidifiers to clear out the lung congestions, and avoiding air pollutants such as smoking. Although aspirin is prescribed to common individuals, pregnant women are not allowed to take this since it can cause bleeding and may induce complications.

Furthermore, prevention is still better than the cure. And being in a vulnerable state, pregnant women should always be careful with their bodies like always wash their hands (to avoid bacterial or viral bronchitis) and stop smoking or avoid smokers. It is also recommended that pregnant women obtain a flu vaccine especially if they are going to be pregnant during the influenza season.  Although the vaccine will not wholly prevent the woman from getting afflicted with bronchitis, it will at least shield her from certain strains of virus caused respiratory illnesses.

Any respiratory predicament can create serious damage to the unborn child if allowed to progress until the mother's oxygen- carbon dioxide exchange is altered and heavily compromised.

More Cures for the Bronchitis Condition

Bronchitis conditions are usually viral infections and are known for being contagious since it can be acquired through contact with a person suffering from such infection and it can travel by air. This infection can be a stepping stone for other branching infections or complications such as pneumonia and emphysema, not to mention that it can also lead to lung cancer should an individual not be treated and further exposed to factors that may worsen the condition of the patient.

This kind of respiratory disease is where the mucus membrane in the lungs’ bronchial passageway is inflamed. This causes the membrane to become irritated which will grow and swell thicker. In turn, the lungs' tiny airways narrows down and/or shuts off, which results in breathlessness and coughing spells that is usually associated with thick phlegm.

bronchitis cure

There are a couple of treatments that are used to cure this condition, however because of the fast advancement of our technology, nowadays, the cure can now be found in just capsules or inhalers provided that you use the cure within the prescribed duration and should not be used without the consent of your doctor.

Some doctors advice their patients to use Albuterol and Ipratropium inhalers, these drugs are both by prescription. If the patient has fever and discolored phlegm, then the doctor may advise antibiotics. However, some persons who has experience such condition recommend a Z pack. It is usually taken 5 pills a day for not less than 5 days. It should stop the congestion but a cough will still be there so your doctor may write you a cough syrup that will help you get rid of the left cough and get you some rest.

Another solution to bronchitis is that if you are smoking the best treatment to the condition is to stop smoking although it is easier said than done, your doctor may also give you some Mucinex it is an over the counter kind of medicine at any drugstore and you will also have to take in more fluids like water, even sodas and juice will do but not coffee. Should a cough occur with your bronchitis, Codeine will help you stop it but if you are sick of tablets and capsules, you should try mixing lemon juice and honey, it works, not as well as Codeine though.

Meanwhile, if you have chronic bronchitis, what helps a lot is to have a cool mist steamer running while sleeping. You may also try some Chinese food remedies like the following:

1. 500 mg unpeeled pear or radish (crushed and soaked in honey).
2. Make a soup out of boiled licorice in water over low heat.
3. Put a peeled grapefruit inside the chicken cavity. Cook by steaming the chicken in a pan by adding a little water. Drink the chicken broth and eat the chicken.
4. For older patients with chronic bronchitis, It is recommended that they should eat seafoods and yam.

According to some sources there are so many ways to cure it, like by drinking onion juice mixed with honey, or onion decoction which is said to give relief from coughing that is usually associated with bronchitis. You can also try boiling pepper powder in milk and then drinking it or you can also lick pepper powder mixed with ghee and sugar. Bronchitis can also be cured by drinking a mixture of 2 teaspoons of green ginger juice and 1 teaspoon of honey.

Bronchitis is also cured by drinking roasted asafetida mixed in warm water. One should also try the combination of raisins and sugar kept ion mouth while sucked.

The condition can also be treated by sucking on pomegranate fruit skin. Eating some dates while drinking warm water can dilute and remove the cough, thereby relieving the symptoms of bronchitis. One should also try drinking mint juice or licking approximately one half tola honey up to four times a day; or drinking tulsi juice along with sugar. Tea also has its own curing substance that acts as bronchodilator. Here are more natural ways to cure bronchitis. Put warm castor oil planet leaves on a pan. Cool and spread on the chest for the night (Caution: castor oil planet is poisonous). You can also try mixing mustard powder and equal amount of flour and water, and then smear it on the chest. However some people may have sensitive skin that applying mustard might sting, test on a small area first to know whether you have sensitive skin or not.

There are yet more ways to cure bronchitis however, if we do not take good care of our bodies and continue to do things that may weaken our immune system, infections such as bronchitis will always be there to threaten us.

Is bronchitis contagious?

Bronchitis and Its Infectious Nature

Ever heard your doctor mention the term bronchitis? This is actually a chronic or acute swelling or soreness of the mucous membranes of the respiratory system’s tracheobronchial tree (trachea or windpipe and the bronchial tubes). Under some circumstances, it may or may not be contagious.


There are two kinds of bronchitis, long term or chronic bronchitis and short term or acute bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is manifested by fever, hypertrophy or increase in the size of the mucus secreting tissues, productive cough, sore throat, chills, runny nose, headache, general malaise, and back aches. While chronic bronchitis is a debilitating illness that is caused by persistent coughing with an immense production of phlegm or mucus by the glands of the bronchi and trachea. To be considered as chronic bronchitis, coughing with phlegm must persist for no less than three months for two successive years.

Common causative factors of both kinds of bronchitis are bacterial infection, viral, infection, and environmental pollution (such as cigarette smoking, chemical fumes, etc).

In diagnosing a patient for bronchitis, the physician primarily takes a health history and observes for telling signs of the disease. The medical professional will auscultate or listen to the patient’s chest through a stethoscope for sounds that may be a sign of inflammation of the lungs. These sounds could be moist rales, crackling, and wheezing. Wheezing is a sign of narrowing of the air passages, crackling is like the sound of hair being rubbed together, and moist rales is a bubbling sound that indicates fluid secretion in the bronchial tubes.

A sputum culture may be ordered by the physician in case of suspicious color or some streaks of blood. This is done to identify what kind of infection or what type of bacteria or virus is present in the respiratory tracts which consequently help the physician in formulating a treatment plan for the patient. Sputum is collected by instructing the patient to breathe deeply and cough out the phlegm then spit out into a container. Sputum collection is best done in the morning before breakfast or any food intake. The sample will then be sent to the laboratory and results will come out within three days.

But sputum collection in patients with chronic bronchitis is sometimes done through a method called bronchoscopy. The patient is administered with a local anesthesia and then a tube is inserted in the respiratory tract to collect the sputum. For further analysis, the physician may also order chest x-rays and blood tests.

With these tests and examinations, the physician will not only determine what type of treatment is best for the patient but will also determine if the bronchitis of the patient is contagious or not. If it is contagious then precautionary measures are employed.

Both acute and chronic bronchitis can be contagious. The cause of its being contagious is due to viral or bacterial infections. Common viruses, but are not limited to this list, that cause bronchitis are influenza virus, adenovirus, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Bronchitis can be caused by two influenza strains: influenza A and influenza B. However, these two strains can be avoided if the patient takes a yearly shot of influenza virus vaccine which will help the patient to be immunized from the virus. The adenovirus on the other hand, can be any of the forty-nine medium sized viruses of the family Adenoviridae, which is pathogenic (disease causing) to man. It does not only cause disease in the respiratory tract but also may cause cystitis, conjunctivitis, and gastro-intestinal infection. Mycplasma pneumoniae is highly contagious among young children and adults.

With virus-caused bronchitis antibiotics are quite useless since it can only fight off bacterial infection. Virus infection is self-limiting, though, and may clear out within fourteen days providing the bronchitis is uncomplicated.

If there is an underlying bacterial infection, then the physician will likely prescribe antibiotics to kill off the bacteria and to prevent its further widespread to neighboring organs. Patients should religiously take the antibiotic medication as prescribed to prevent relapses and avoid any resistant bacterial strains to develop.

Prevention from acquiring contagious bronchitis is possible. Individuals must have an adequate amount of healthy nutrition and rest to improve their immune systems especially during the cold season. Washing hands regularly can also help prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. Having clean surroundings can also avoid bacterial or viral caused bronchitis.

More Symptoms of the Bronchitis Condition

More Symptoms of the Bronchitis Condition: Knowing About the Different Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis

Every year, you may suffer from a disease that can render you sick and disabled. Diseases that you cross paths with can immobilize you and can stop you from going to work to earn money, or will not allow you to go to school and catch up with the latest lessons. You have to consider that in order to get back to work or to school as soon as possible, you have to cure the disease in order to become a productive member of society again.

chronic bronchitis

This is why you should be aware of the common diseases today and know about their symptoms so you can take the necessary action to prevent it from becoming worse. As soon as you notice the signs and symptoms, you can consult with your doctor immediately and will provide you with the medications and advice that you need in order to get cured as soon as possible.

First of all, one of the most common diseases affecting humans today is called bronchitis. You have to consider that there are two kinds of bronchitis where one is acute bronchitis, and the other is chronic bronchitis. In acute bronchitis, treatment is usually quick and will not require any special medications for it. This is because acute bronchitis is commonly caused by virus infection which can go away in a matter of 12 to 14 days.

However, it is still recommended that you should consult your doctor once the signs and symptoms of bronchitis. This is because bronchitis can also be caused by bacterial and fungal infection that will need medications, such as antibiotics and antifungal drugs. You have to consider that there is no way of knowing if the bronchitis is caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungus unless proper laboratory examination is done.

So, before your bronchitis becomes worse and do more damage to your lungs, you have to know what the signs and symptoms is associated with bronchitis in order to detect it early on. First of all, bronchitis is mainly the swelling of the bronchial tubes. Because of the swelling, the bronchial mucosa cannot get rid of mucus anymore. This will cause you to cough, and have difficulty in breathing.

Here are the other signs and symptoms of bronchitis and what you can do to relieve it:

Coughing with thick phlegm
Pain on the throat
Tightness feeling around the chest
Pain and swelling around the eyes
Slight fever
Difficulty in breathing

These are the signs and symptoms you should watch out for with bronchitis. Here are more signs and symptoms usually associated with bronchitis in order for you to identify if you have one and know when to consult a doctor:

Excessive sweating
Chest pain

It is very important that you should pay close attention to the signs and symptoms associated with bronchitis in order for you to know when to visit the doctor immediately. You should also know that there are also other signs and symptoms associated with the chronic form of bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis can include all the symptoms associated with acute bronchitis but in a more severe form. There are cases where chronic bronchitis sufferers will suffer from coughing excessive mucus with blood due to the laceration of the bronchial tube.

Chronic bronchitis will require a long term treatment in order to completely cure it. This is because chronic bronchitis means that there is already a permanent damage to your respiratory system that can heal quite slowly. It will require inhaled medications, such as bronchodilators to open up the airways and let you breath properly, it will also require you to keep yourself away from dusty places.

It is recommended that you should humidify your room by installing a room humidifier or just have wet towels or blankets placed all over the room.

Always make sure that you are well-aware of the signs and symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis. This is because if either acute or chronic bronchitis is caused by bacteria or fungus and is left untreated, it can lead to severe complication, which will include pneumonia.

Always remember that early detection of bronchitis will mean early diagnosis and early proper treatment and management which will prevent you from suffering from severe complications.

Causes of Cough

Battling with the Cough Symptoms in Chronic Bronchitis

Coughing, most often, is the onset symptom of bronchitis. Being knowledgeable on matters regarding coughing can be most helpful in combating bronchitis especially chronic bronchitis.

A cough is an abrupt, frequently recurring contraction of the “thoracic cavity,” which results in an aggressive discharge of air from the lungs that comes with a distinguishing sound.

causes od cough

When the air passages in your body are irritated, a cough takes place to do away with the irritants.

Causes of Cough 

There are two reasons why cough occurs – physiological and psychological. The psychological aspect of cough is termed as “habitual coughing.” In a medical perspective it is referred to as “steruphilia” wherein an individual loves the sound of coughing or sneezing that is why he practices the said condition. On the other hand, there is also a physiological reason why cough is evident to humanity.

The “vagus nerve” which flows through the lungs into the brain has a major role in the physiological act of coughing. Under this type, the following are broken down into sub-causes:

? Infection – the presence of bacteria, virus from a common cold or fungus triggers humanity to develop a cough.

? External factors – cough is evident when an individual is allergic to irritants such as dust, smoke from cigarettes or belches, pollens and some medicinal drugs.

? Internal factors – as diseases in heart, ear, sinuses especially in the lungs progresses it causes a person to cough.

Types of Cough

1. Dry cough

Dry cough or sometimes termed as non-productive cough is described to be arid, stiff and exasperating. Apart from being bothersome, dry cough gives you a wearing and strenuous time.

2. Chesty coughs

Chesty coughs are commonly known as “productive coughs.” The common cause of this type of cough is infection from a virus or bacteria.

Phlegm is being taken away from the respiratory channels so that unwanted mucus and germs can be eradicated in the body. By doing so, your breathing will be normalized.

Effects of Cough in Chronic Bronchitis

There are a lot of consequences if cough is persistent and productive especially if you have chronic bronchitis. When you cough you will experience any of the following:

? There is aggravation in the “anus” which can worsen piles or crevices from within it.

? Headache oftentimes occur with persistent or aggressive coughing.

? Stomach-strain heightens which may lead to “hernia” or “scrotal sac.”

? There is increased pressure in your chest. Having so, “air emphysema” may occur.

With the above-mentioned consequences, it is best to know important ways for coughing to be reduced.

1. Medical studies show that smoking is the main culprit for the development of chronic bronchitis. Hence, if you are a smoker, it is highly recommended for you to stop smoking. Breathing for you will be easy if you decide to stop smoking. It is not only cough that will be reduced but you will have better lungs as well by putting an end to smoking cigarettes.

2. If you are a non-smoker yet you encounter people around you smoking, it is best to stay away from them because according to some medical findings secondhand smoking is more serious than firsthand smoking.

3. You need to avoid irritants. Some common irritants which can worsen cough are aerosol products, fumes from chemical substances and dust.

4. When there is a high possibility that you will be exposed to irritants, it is a must for you to wear masks so that there is less chance for you to breathe those.

A visit to your physician is recommended for you to recognize the type of cough you have. The physician will also tell you if your cough is associated with chronic bronchitis or a symptom of other illnesses. Moreover, it is he who will tell you the means and ways for you to treat as well as prevent the cough you have.  There is no need for you to delay a consultation with your physician. Cliché, as it may be “the sooner…the better.”

To some, coughing is but an ordinary illness. However, no one can tell when cough is mild or fatal. When health is being talked about, you need to be extremely concern about it for life is just but once.

Bronchitis Talk: When It Hits Your Child

Bronchitis is an illness which scares most parents since it is after all an inflammation of the bronchi in a person's lungs.  However, most physicians would advise parents or caregivers to calm down since according to medical findings bronchitis is not a chronic illness in children.

Although bronchitis is not a chronic illness in children, it is still important for parents or caregivers to acquire knowledge about the said illness. By doing so, you will be well-equipped during times of bronchitis attacks.

bronchitis in child

Bronchitis is a condition wherein the air passages amid the lungs and the nose swell due to a viral infection. It affects the bronchi. The bronchi are tubes wherein air passes through into and out of the lungs. There are times that the tracheas and windpipe is also affected by the inflammation.

There are two types of bronchitis – acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is most common to children than the chronic one. Usually chronic bronchitis appears to adult especially those who are heavy smokers and are prone to inhale chemical substances.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is most common during the winter season which usually strikes children.

Some viruses attack the lining of the bronchial tree which leads to an infection.  Swelling heightens because the body combats with the viruses. When there is more swelling, it produces more mucus.

Your child will more likely develop acute bronchitis if the virus which causes the said illness is inhaled from the air he breathes or can be passed on by other people with a cough. Your child is likely to develop acute bronchitis if he breathes in the said viruses.

If you observe that your child has runny nose which starts before a cough do, has slight fever, experiences pain at the back and muscle area, has sore throat, getting chills and malaise then he is most likely suffering from acute bronchitis.

During the onset of acute bronchitis, your child will have a dry and unproductive cough which will later on develop into a copious cough filled with mucus. There are times that some children vomit or gag as they cough.

Upon observation of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is recommended that you bring your child to his physician. Acute bronchitis is initially detected by obtaining the child's medical history and performing a physical examination of the child. Furthermore to verify the said illness the following tests can be done:

  • Blood tests 
  • X-ray on Chest 
  • Lung Tests 
  • Pulse Oximetry 
  • Sputum cultures 

A child with acute bronchitis will get well if you ask him to get a good rest. Eating a well-balanced meal and drinking a lot of non-caffeinated fluids will also be helpful. Another helpful cure is to improve the humidity within your surroundings.

There are times that some physician recommends asthma-related medications. This helps release mucus inside the bronchi tubes. The said medications are usually accompanied with an inhaler.

Analgesics can be given to a child to relieve his fever as well as the discomfort he is feeling.

Parents or caregivers must be cautious not to give aspirin to a child suffering from bronchitis since it can lead to severe illness such as Reye's syndrome. Additionally, antihistamines should also be prevented since it can worsen your child's cough.  

So that your child will not have recurring acute bronchitis, it is advised that you inform your child to regularly wash his hands. It is recommended that you keep your child away from smokes coming from cigarettes or belches.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is the second type of the said illness. It usually appears after a continuing irritation of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis is referred to as "chronic" when symptoms persist by more than three months.

Studies show that there are fewer cases of chronic bronchitis in children compared to acute bronchitis. Bronchitis in children will be chronic if symptoms are not treated well.

Bronchitis should be properly treated since it can lead to serious illness such as pneumonia.

When your child experiences cold or cough, do not let it pass by thinking that things will all be well. It is better to give immediate aid to a child with colds or cough for it may lead to bronchitis.