What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi and is either: acute or chronic; different methods are used for the treatment of each!
Acute bronchitis often occurs during the course of an acute viral infection such as the common cold or influenza and is characterized by the development of a cough, with or without the production of sputum. Approximately 90% of acute bronchitis cases are caused by viruses, and the other 10% by bacteria. Acute bronchitis can last about three weeks with the main symptoms being coughing, wheezing, sputum production, and chest pain symptoms in the lower respiratory tract. Acute bronchitis treatment usually involves antibiotics when there’s a bacterial infection. In the case of viral infections, acute bronchitis will go away almost always on its own in about a week.
Chronic bronchitis is a chronic inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs.This is clinically defined by a persistent cough that produces sputum and mucus for at least three months per year for a minimum of two consecutive years. Common symptoms include a productive cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing, but chest pain, fever, and fatigue may also occur. Mucus can be thick and of varying colors depending on the pathogen.
Acute and Chronic Bronchitis Treatment
In classical treatment, chronic bronchitis is addressed symptomatically using corticosteroids to treat inflammation and edema in the respiratory tract. Bronchodilators are employed to manage wheezing and shortness of breath, while mucolytics or expectorants help fluidize the sputum.
An example of a natural mucolytic is the natural rock salt particles used in salt therapy. In chronic bronchitis treatment, long-term salt therapy exposure is necessary – at least 7-8 hours daily. Home salt therapy helps reduce inflammation, fluidize and expel mucus and improves overall respiration. Together with home salt therapy, one may use other natural mucolytics such as garlic and ginger, which also have anti bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. As garlic may be difficult for some people, ginger may be a better option. You can easily make a ginger tea from fresh ginger, lemons and honey… it tastes delicious and will help you!