We’ve broached on the topic of bronchitis before and we feel that it deserves another mention. An infection of a specific part of the lungs – the bronchi or main airways as it is otherwise known, and causes them not only to become rather inflamed, but also to be very uncomfortable and irritated. As you could imagine, not only is this medical condition a very painful one, but it also becomes very old very quickly. Unimpressed face!
The problem that most people face is that the symptoms of bronchitis are often rather similar to that of the common cough and cold – a painful cough combined with a scratchiness that just won’t go away. At what point are you supposed to suck it up and make an appointment to go and see your doctor?
If your cough seems to have gone on for forever (normally longer than three weeks) then you should probably get it checked out. This is considerably longer than the average cold and cough will bring along, and is a sign that bronchitis could be the culprit. If you have a fever that has lasted for longer than three days, you should definitely make an appointment with a medical professional. Also, if you have coughed up a load of phlegm that seems to have streaks of red within it, you should again, make that appointment.
There are some lucky people that suffer at the hands of acute bronchitis – this is a flash of bronchitis, if you will. It turns up, bugs you for a few weeks and then goes away, almost as quickly as it arrived. This is the good kind of bronchitis, if there is such as thing as a good kind, and this one will normally go away without the need for medication.
The other form of bronchitis, also known as chronic bronchitis, is a rather more sinister affair. The symptoms of this longer-lasting form of the disease will generally affect you for a few months – up to three or four months in some cases, and although there is no definitive cure, there are medications that can help with the pain and discomfort. You will be advised during this time to quit smoking, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest.
If you get bronchitis and you then suffer from complications or already have underlying medical conditions that could be seriously affected by bronchitis, things can get a little trickier. Pneumonia, for example, is one of the most common complications to arise from bronchitis, with as many as one in every twenty cases of bronchitis going on to become pneumonia. This could lead to a spell in the hospital and more than your fair share of fluids and medications.
The majority of people that suffer with bronchitis are aged over fifty, and the condition tends to be more prolific in the winter months, when the cold weather sets in. It can arise in spring however, with the change in temperature affecting everyone more than anticipated. Another group of people that are particularly prone to the condition are kids, normally under the age of five. It is well worth keeping an eye on these folks when they get a cough or a cold to ensure that medical advice is sought if necessary.
Although there aren’t that many things that you can do to prevent bronchitis, (aside from trying to steer well clear of germs) there are things that you can do to prevent your cold and flu from getting to this stage. There are plenty of supplements that you can take to boost your immune system, for example a supplement that contains garlic.
Not only is it an anti-bacterial and anti-viral herb, but when made into tea and served with some honey and lemon, although it sounds disgusting, it actually goes down a treat and can soothe even the most irritating of coughs. Saying that, honey and lemon alone can make a huge difference, but this doesn’t give you the anti-bacterial properties that the garlic offers. Chicken soup, as we all know, also helps to soothe all ailments and has actually been shown in some studies to have a positive effect on many illnesses, but mostly those around during cold and flu season.