Bronchitis is an acute swelling of the air passages within the lungs. It happens when the trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi (airways) within the lungs become inflamed from an infection or irritation.
Bronchitis occurs when the mucous lining of these airways become irritated and swollen. The cells that make up this lining leak fluids in response to the inflammation, which then causes the coughing reflex.
Both adults and children can experience bronchitis.
Symptoms are the same.
Infants usually get bronchiolitis, causing symptoms similar to asthma.
Asthmatic bronchitis happens when asthma and bronchitis are present at the same time.
Asthma inflames airways that leads to tightening of the muscles around the airways and swelling. Both asthma and bronchitis cause the airways to narrow, and in combination with the inflammation of the inner lining of the airways and mucus production, this then leads to severe wheezing and shortness of breath.
Bronchitis most often occurs during the cold and flu season, usually coupled with an upper respiratory infection.
Viruses like influenza A and B cause bronchitis. Bacteria are also known to cause bronchitis, like Mycoplasma pneumoniae, also called “walking pneumonia.”
When a person inhales irritating fumes or dust, such as chemical solvents and smoke, they may experience acute bronchitis.
The elderly, those with weakened immune systems, smokers, and anyone with repeated exposure to lung irritants are more susceptible to bronchitis.
Bronchitis describes a number of symptoms including airway inflammation, over-production of phlegm and cough. If the bronchitis is viral or bacterial, it can be contagious, but if it’s caused by smoking, air pollution, or other inhaled irritants, it’s not contagious. For more details you can read this article: is bronchitis contagious.
Home Remedies for bronchitis:
Sipping slippery elm tea helps relieve sore throat and cough with bronchitis. The herb calms irritated or inflamed tissue.
Pelargonium Sidoides (South African Geranium) is a medicinal plant native to South Africa)
Extracts of the Pelargonium sidoides plant have long been used to treat respiratory tract infections.
Breathing in warm, moist air calms irritation in the lining of the bronchial tubes. Eucalyptus has antiviral properties, so doing a eucalyptus steam inhalation may further promote healing from bronchitis.
How Can You Prevent Bronchitis?
Limiting your exposure to tobacco smoke and other irritants, washing your hands frequently should reduce your risk of developing bronchitis.
Botanicals like astragalus and echinacea may boost your immune defense against bronchitis type viruses.
Author: Steve Berchtold