Bronchitis Symptoms: All you need to know -Basic facts
Some people often ask the simple question is bronchitis contagious? Millions of people suffer from symptoms of bronchitis every year, especially from acute bronchitis. Here is a rundown of the basic information you need to know about bronchitis and Bronchitis Symptoms. It is sub-divided into headings to make for an easy read.
- What is Bronchitis and Bronchitis Symptoms?
- Types of Bronchitis
- Causes of Bronchitis
- Is Bronchitis contagious?
- Home remedies
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes which carries air to and from the lungs. It causes coughing, wheezing and bronchial spasms which occurs when the bronchial tubes get irritated and inflamed. Bronchitis can be a symptom of an illness.
Types of bronchitis
There are basically 2 types of bronchitis;
- Acute bronchitis
- Chronic bronchitis
This type of infection is short-lived, occurs mostly in young children and elderly adults. It is a minor bacterial infection of the bronchi, and can be introduced by common cold, influenza, measles and other upper respiratory conditions. The virus starts by attacking the bodies normal defence system, which causes multiplication of pathogenic bodies that are already present in the respiratory tract. It lasts from about 1-3 weeks.
The main symptom of acute bronchitis is a cough. Other symptoms that may present include;
- nasal congestion
- sore throat
- sputum production
- head ache
- running nose
- mild fever or a low grade fever
- Shortness of breath
Acute bronchitis can be contagious, but when caused by irritants like tobacco smokes, chemical pollutants, and fumes from cars, it is not contagious.
This is a common disorder which becomes increasingly crippling. Here, the individual has had cough with sputum production for at least 3 months in 2 consecutive years.
There is a prolonged irritation of the bronchial epithelium s a result of the progressive inflammation which is worsened by damp or cold conditions. It can mostly be associated with infection of the upper respiratory tract and in most cases, predisposes emphysema.
Chronic bronchitis can be predisposed by;
- Cigarette smoking
- recurrent episodes of acute bronchitis
- irritating pollutants from the atmosphere e.g. fumes, industrial chemicals, sulphur oxide
- acute bronchitis which is primarily caused by Haemophilus influenza or Streptococcus pneumonia
Causes of bronchitis
Acute bronchitis can be caused by;
- Streptococcus pneumonia or Haemophilus influenza
- Bordetella pertussis which is the bacteria that causes whooping cough. This is one of the rarest cases.
Chronic bronchitis can be caused by;
- Cigarette smoking
Is bronchitis contagious | Bronchitis Symptoms?
Often times, people then fail in distinguishing between acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis can be contagious when the cause is viral in nature or even bacterial, which can easily be transferred by person to person contact from droplets which are produced when the affected individual coughs, talks or sneezes.
The virus is also spread when the affected individual touches people with unwashed hands after touching the nose or mouth.
Bronchitis is not contagious when the causative factors are; tobacco smokes, chemical irritants etc.
Medications can be given to relieve the symptoms of bronchitis. Examples include; acetaminophen, cough suppressant, Nsaids and antibiotics. Antibiotics are only given in cases of bacterial origin and not when the case is viral in nature.
A paediatrician should be consulted for children under 2 years. You should always consult your doctor before over the counter (OTC) are used since bronchitis can only be a symptom of a major disease.
Home remedies to Bronchitis Symptoms
There are several ingredients found in our kitchen which can be used to relieve symptoms of bronchitis. It’s important to note that checking with your doctor is the safer remedy to rule out any major illness.
These ingredients include;
Honey is known for its natural antiviral and antibacterial properties, which acts to produce a soothing relieve for coughs.
The vitamin E it contains also helps in tissue repair, promotes faster healing for sore throat, so go on, lots of honey has never hurt.
- Adding a teaspoon of honey to your tea or in warm water to drink helps in soothing symptoms of bronchitis.
- Honey can also be given in combination with lemon water which relieves nasal congestion, throat soreness which often accompanies bronchitis.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are used commonly in common colds.
Ginger can also act as an immune booster and is closely related to turmeric which another important ingredient containing anti-inflammatory properties also used to treat cough and sooth the irritated bronchial tubes.
Ginger comes in fresh form and the already grounded powder form.
- Add a teaspoon of grounded ginger in warm water, mix properly. It can be taken with honey or milk depending on choice, and taken twice or thrice daily.
- Ginger can also be used as our everyday spice for food. So ginger up!
Garlic is highly recommended in the treatment of acute bronchitis. Garlic contains lots of antiviral properties and boosts the function of the immune system.
- Peel about 3 cloves of garlic, chop them
- Boil in a little water
- Add some milk. Milk provides a soothing effect
- Take every night before bed