Inflammation of the bronchial tubes is also known as bronchitis. This disease, which affects the airways to the lungs, can be an acute or chronic condition. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by some viral infection and tends to resolve on its own in a few days. Chronic bronchitis, however, is an obstructive disease of the lungs that can be caused by smoking or inhalation of dusts, gases or some industrial pollutants for a long period of time. Studies revealed that asthma patients are more likely to develop bronchitis than any other group of people.
Acute case of bronchitis usually starts similar to a common cold. Patients complain about having a sore throat, sinus infection and runny nose. Beside these symptoms, bronchitis can also cause discomfort in the chest, breathing difficulties and tiredness. Patients have reported persistent dry cough which might persevere for weeks, and increased production of mucus.
Treatment Options for Bronchitis
Acute form of bronchitis is usually gone after a couple of days of resting and drinking sufficient amount of fluids. Be careful if you experience high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.3 degrees Celsius) or your cough doesn’t stop after three weeks, you should consult your doctor. Chronic heart and respiratory patients should also be aware that this bronchitis may become serious and should consult their doctors as soon as possible.
There are some available medications for the treatment of bronchitis, especially for the cough, fever and runny nose, which are the most common and bothersome symptoms. However, since the illness is usually caused by some virus, bronchitis can’t be treated with antibiotics. This is simply because antibiotic medications don’t work against viruses.
Natural treatments are also an option for the treatment of bronchitis. These include good old chicken soup, plenty of water and other fluids, and the use of lemon, honey, ginger and turmeric. Hot compresses, vitamin supplements and various massages with essential oils are also proven to be beneficial and speed up the recovery of bronchitis patients.
Several plants have been used as a part of bronchitis therapy. Eucalyptus oil contains ingredients that will certainly ease any respiratory problem, including bronchitis. The best way to use this oil is to add few drops of the oil to the steaming water and inhale it. Slippery elm tea can ease the coughing and sore throat, while Pelargonium sidoides extract is believed to do the same, and additionally relieve some chest pain associated with bronchitis.
Plants which could boost your immune system and make it stronger are also available if you are suffering from bronchitis. Naturopaths suggest using echinacea or astragalus for this purpose.