Bronchitis is the inflammation of the membrane of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. As it swells the membrane can block off small airways which can cause coughing and breathlessness.
Bronchitis symptoms to look out for
There are 2 types of bronchitis; acute and chronic:
Acute bronchitis is usually caused by infection. It is most common in small children but anyone can suffer from it. Acute bronchitis often occurs after a cold or flu and can last a few weeks. Symptoms include:
- productive cough (where you cough up phlegm)
- you may also experience wheezing
- and chest pain,
- as well as shortness of breath,
- sore throat,
- runny nose,
- other cold/flu type symptoms.
Chronic bronchitis is most common in over 50s. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. Exposure to dust and fumes in industries such as coal mining can also be a cause. Chronic bronchitis is bronchitis which lasts at least 3 months. The symptoms are:
- a productive cough, (where you cough up phlegm)
Treatments for bronchitis
Acute bronchitis will usually clear up by itself, and rest and fluids are beneficial. The cough is the body's way of clearing excess mucus and so should be encouraged rather than taking a cough suppressant. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can help ease discomfort or mild fevers.
There is no cure for chronic bronchitis. Avoiding the irritants and giving up smoking will help. Cough suppressants should not be taken for chronic bronchitis. In severe cases you may require oral steroids or oxygen. Annual vaccinations against flu and pneumonia may also be recommended.
Tower Health's natural Bronchitis solutions – Natural salt therapy treatment
Salt therapy has proven beneficial in many different respiratory illnesses. The Salitair Salt Pipe is an easy way to use salt therapy at home. It involves inhaling tiny micro particles of salt which can loosen and help you cough up mucus, and ease breathing. Proven to be safe, you use it for just 15 minutes a day. Thousands of people including ITV's Dr Chris have used it to help treat their respiratory problems.