What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a condition in which the bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs get inflamed and swollen. It is often characterised by a nagging cough, difficulty breathing, and wheezing.
People with bronchitis often end up with thickened mucus, which is pale or discoloured.
There are two types of bronchitis:
- Acute bronchitis: Often similar to a chest cold or viral infection, the signs of acute bronchitis often get better within 10 to 14 days. The coughing may persist for weeks; usually, the other signs get better in 15 days. The signs of acute bronchitis may become intense after smoking.
- Chronic bronchitis: The repeated episodes of bronchitis for three months in a year for at least two consecutive years. The cause of the inflammation could either be respiratory infection or illness, exposure to irritant substances or smoking. It is a more severe form of bronchitis because it obstructs the airflow and is included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
For either- acute or chronic bronchitis, the signs and symptoms may include:
- Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-grey or green in colour
- Blood when coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort or pain
- A blocked nose and sinuses
A person with bronchitis may have a cough that stays for up to months if the body’s self-healing capacity is low. The symptoms may flare up in between with the episodes of relapse. For many people, chronic bronchitis is mainly triggered during the winter months.
However, cough is not the only sign to look for bronchitis. Many other conditions also cause cough, such as asthma, pneumonia, etc. If you have the signs of bronchitis, immediately see a doctor for a diagnosis.
For those with acute bronchitis, the signs usually go away in up to two to three weeks. But if you have chronic bronchitis, you are likely to have symptoms that worsen over time.
Signs of acute bronchitis
Acute bronchitis may have symptoms similar to that of a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu.
The person may have:
- chest discomfort or soreness
- cough with or without mucus
- headache and body aches
- difficulty taking breath
Signs of chronic bronchitis
The signs of chronic bronchitis are often similar to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in which the bronchial tubes secretes too much mucus. Likely it does not go away on its own, but rarely, in between, the signs keep coming back.
Most often, the virus that triggers the common cold or flu also causes acute bronchitis. Rarely, the bacteria can be the cause of acute bronchitis.
As you get infected, the body fights with the germs. In the same process, the bronchial tubes swell and inflame, resulting in too much mucus production. This also narrow downs the openings for air to flow through, which can make breathing a little hard.
Other causes of acute bronchitis may include exposure to triggers that irritate the lungs, such as tobacco fumes, smoke, dust, vapors, and air pollution.
There is a higher risk of developing acute bronchitis if:
- you have got infected with a virus or bacteria that causes inflammation
- smoke or inhale secondhand smoke
- have asthma
- have an allergy
Chronic bronchitis causes include:
Chronic bronchitis occurs due to repeated infection and damage to the lung and airway tubes for an extended time period. The most common cause is smoking, but not everyone with bronchitis has a causative factor linked to smoking.
Other possible causes include:
- Repeated bouts of acute bronchitis
- A family history of bronchitis
- Long term exposure to pollution, dust, and fumes
- An ongoing respiratory disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Exposure to pesticides may also elevate the risk of bronchitis
Smoking or secondhand smoking can trigger either type of bronchitis, so we recommend avoiding smoking to prevent the risk of life-threatening conditions later in life.
Ayurvedic treatment for bronchitis
In Ayurveda, bronchitis is known as Shwasa Pranali Shoth. This disease is an occurrence of doshas imbalance, namely Vata with Kapha, that affects the lungs and result in persistent cough with mucus. The problem can be more intense in those who perform more Vata related activities.
There are many herbal concoctions that help with balancing the aggravated Vata and Kapha. Along with the medicines, rejuvenating therapy and procedures are quite helpful in removing the toxins from the cells and tissues. Messaging the body with specific oils help the body help manages stress and balances the entire physiology.
This therapy prepares the body for nourishment so that tissues get helped with rejuvenation and development.
At AyuKarma, we are dedicated to boosting your health using our natural healing response. We employ techniques and procedures characterised, by evidence-based recovery to enhance your ayurvedic treatment experience.
If you or anyone in your family is experiencing the signs of bronchitis, let us know. Our ayurvedic treatment is purely authentic and organic.