Inflammation of the bronchial tubes or wind-pipe is called bronchitis. Bronchial tubes carry oxygen to and from the lungs.
The thin mucous lining of these airways can become irritated and swollen. Due to the inflammation, the cells of the mucous lining secrets fluid. In order to clear the secretion, the reflex mechanism occurs in the form of a cough.
Bronchitis is more common in females in comparison to males and also amongst younger age group in comparison to adults.
Viral or bacterial bronchitis can prove to be contagious. If bronchitis occurs due to smoking, air pollution, or other inhaled irritants, it is not contagious.
The trachea divides into the right and left bronchi at the level of the vertebra T5. The right bronchus is short, wide and more vertical than the left bronchus. It measures about 2.5 cm. The left bronchus is around 5 cm in length. The right and left bronchi divide into lobar bronchi and then into segmental bronchi.
The windpipe is another name for bronchi. Windpipe connects the trachea to the parenchyma of the lung. It is made up of a branching system of airway passage that transmits air from the atmosphere to the alveoli.
Mucociliary function decreases because of the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchus and results in acute bronchitis.
When there is the excess production of tracheobronchial mucus it results in a cough with expectoration for more than 3 months a year for continuously two years at least. This condition is called chronic bronchitis.
Is There Any Type Of Bronchitis?
• Acute bronchitis:
Bronchitis resolve within three weeks.
• Chronic bronchitis:
Daily cough with excess sputum production occurs for at least three months, continuously for two years.
• Infections caused by viruses (rhinovirus, influenza virus, etc.) or bacteria (Mycoplasma, Pneumococcus, Klebsiella, etc.).
• Allergy to pollen, environmental pollutants, etc.
• Weak immune system.
• Chemical irritants such as tobacco smoke, gastric reflux etc.
• A cough.
• Fever and chills.
• Chest pain.
• Shortness of breath.
• Pain in the throat.
• Nasal congestion.
• Body ache, soreness, fatigue.
• Physical examination
• Chest X-ray.
• Sputum culture.
• Pulmonary function tests.
• Bronchodilator inhalers help in opening airways and decreasing wheezing.
• Antibiotics and antiviral medicines.
• Hospitalization in case of difficulty in breathing.
• Viral infection do not require antibiotics as the infection resolves within a week. Antibacterial is needed in secondary bacterial infection.
• In fever and muscle aches aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen is given.
• Drink plenty of fluid. It helps in thinning the lung secretions and make it easy to clear out.
• Quit smoking.
• Proper bed rest.
• Inhaler opens up the airways.
Prognosis is good in absence of any complications.
• Recurrence of respiratory infections.
• Pulmonary hypertension.
• Beneficial for children and aged persons.
• Cough is caused by violent tickling in windpipe.
• Suffocative cough with vomiting of food after eating.
• Copious mucous expectoration gives relief.
• Paroxysmal spasmodic cough.
• Construction in throat resulting in difficulty swallowing.
• Drowsy, sleepy but cannot sleep.
• A cough causes pain that shoots upwards.
• A cough worse in the morning and daytime.
• Drinking small quantities of water gives relief.
• Aggravation of fresh air.
• Difficult expectoration.
• Aggravation after eating and drinking.
• Pale face with puffed eyelids during coughing.
• Chest pain is referred to the abdomen.
• Suited to young people.
• Aggravation of damp weather.
• A frequent cough with little sputum.
• Stitching pain in the left chest has to sit up and support chest with both hands.
• A dry cough.
• Labored inspiration.
• A violent cough on slight exposure to the wind with dyspnoea.
• A spasmodic cough with the rattling of mucus in larynx.
• Cold sensation on inspiring.
• Windpipe feels filled with smoke.
• Burning pain behind sternum with a cough.
• Suffocating spells.
• Worse going upstairs.
• The chest is sensitive to touch.
• Scanty, salty expectoration.
• A cough with free expectoration and tickling in larynx.
• Worse in damp weather.
• A cough after physical exertion.
• Must cough for a long time to expel phlegm.
• Pressure upon the chest with soreness.
• A dry cough in the evening and night and loose cough in morning.
• Anxiety and palpitation when lying on left side.
• Expectoration is thick, bitter and greenish.
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