Bronchitis describes inflammation of the bronchial tubes (inflammation = itis). The inflammation causes swelling of the lining of these breathing tubes, narrowing the tubes and promoting secretion of inflammatory fluid. Air is pulled into the lungs when we breathe, initially passing through the mouth, nose, and larynx (voicebox) into the trachea and continues en route to each lung via either the right or left bronchi (the bronchial tree – bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli). Bronchi are formed as the lower part of the trachea divides into two tubes that lead to the lungs. As the bronchi get farther away from the trachea, each bronchial tube divides and gets smaller (resembling an inverted tree) to provide the air to lung tissue so that it can transfer oxygen to the blood stream and remove carbon dioxide (the waste product of metabolism).
Causes of bronchitis:
– Allergy (environmental and industrial pollutants, pollen, etc.)
– Infections (viral, bacterial, fungus
– Exposure to temperature changes (extreme cold, change from cold to heat and vise versa, etc.)
Cough is the most common symptom. The cough may be either dry (without mucus) or wet (with mucus), depending on the cause and severity. Allergic cough is often dry while infective cough has a tendency to have mucus production. The symptoms of Bronchitis may be listed as under:
– Cough (with or without mucus)
– Chest pain,
– Difficulty in breathing. (dyspnea)
– Throat pain
– Nose congestion,
– Body ache, joint pain, tiredness (usually due to infection.) .
Types of Bronchitis:
Acute bronchitis is a cough that begins suddenly usually due to a viral infection involving the larger airways. Colds (also known as viral upper airway infections) often involve the throat (pharyngitis) and nasal passages, and at times the larynx (resulting in a diminished hoarse voice, also known as laryngitis). Symptoms can include a runny nose, nasal stuffiness, and sore throat. Croup usually occurs in infants and young children and involves the voice box and upper large airways (the trachea and large bronchi).
Recurrent Bronchitis : If there is an underlying cause of lowered immunity, tendency to catch infection or if there are factors such as Smoking and environmental pollution, there may be a tendency to have Recurrent Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis for research purposes is defined as a daily cough with sputum production for at least three months, two years in a row. Chronic bronchitis is a diagnosis usually made based on clinical findings of a long term persistent cough usually associated with tobacco abuse. From a pathologic standpoint, characteristic microscopic findings involving inflammatory cells in seen in airway tissue samples make the diagnosis. When referring to pulmonary function testing, a decrease in the ratio of the volume of airflow at 1 second when compared to total airflow is less than 70%. This confirms the presence of obstructive airways disease of which chronic bronchitis is one type. Certain findings can be seen on imaging studies (chest X-ray, and CT or MRI of the lungs) to suggest the presence of chronic bronchitis; usually this involves an appearance of thickened tubes.
Homoeopathy for Bronchitis:
Homeopathic treatment is very strongly suggested during for all forms and stages of Bronchitis. Homeopathy has proven treatment which helps towards:
- Relieving nasty cough.
- Controlling and treating the underlying tendency to catch cold and cough.
- Improving immunity and general vitality.
- Reducing the severity, frequency and duration in case of Recurrent bronchitis.
- Helping allergic as well as infective cases of bronchitis.