Bronchitis is an acute condition in the respiratory system and over millions of people across the world suffer from it. Every year, health practitioners note an alarming increase in the number of patients who visit chronic bronchitis treatment centers.
Bronchitis can be of two types, acute and chronic. Chronic bronchitis is also said to be a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is a long-term disorder which can be managed efficiently with changes in lifestyle, medication, and therapy. The doctors at the chronic bronchitis treatment centers aim at providing relief to patients by treating the symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease.
Chronic bronchitis and its causes
The bronchial tubes are the main lifeline of the lungs. These tubes carry air that is breathed into the lungs. Inthe case of a patient suffering from chronic bronchitis, the bronchial tubes get blocked or inflamed and develop secretions of mucus, that narrows the passage in the tubes. This disrupts the flow of air to the lungs. This shortage of air can lead to frequent coughing, which often brings up mucus. A patient is said to be suffering from chronic bronchitis if he or she has a cough several times a day with sputum production that has lasted for more than three months.
The experts at leading chronic bronchitis treatment centers suggest that cigarette smoking as the main reason that causes chronic bronchitis in people. Other reasons may be the inhalation of bronchial irritants along with the air. This could include passive smoking, airborne chemicals, industrial pollutants, smog, and dust. Certain infrequent causes may be viral or bacterial infections, several bouts of acute bronchitis or pneumonia, diseases like heart failure, asthma, immunodeficiency and others.
Signs of the disease
Usually, people above the age of 45, are commonly found to suffer from chronic bronchitis. However, this disease can affect people of any age group. The primary symptoms of chronic bronchitis as specified by physicians of chronic bronchitis treatment centers are:
- Shortness of air
- Consistently coughing
- Sputum production
- Nasal and chest congestion
- A sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Discoloration of skin
In severe cases, the patient may experience extreme breathing problems due to a mismatch in blood and air flow in the lungs. This may disturb the process of oxygenation of the blood and the removal of carbon dioxide from the body. It is best to visit a chronic bronchitis treatment center, to seek medical help if a person is a regular smoker and has developed problems while breathing or a frequent cough. Thus, the condition can be treated better, before it becomes chronic.
Treatment at chronic bronchitis centers
Once a patient seeks medical attention, the doctors, specifically a pulmonologist, conducts a thorough medical discussion with the patient, that enables him or her to formulate a record about the duration and interval of a cough and sputum production and other general health details about the patient and his or her past ailments. The doctor will then conduct physical examinations of the patient. A chest X-ray is done to confirm the severity of the condition and to check for acute bronchitis. Tests like blood tests, pulmonary function test and CT scan of the lungs is conducted to rule out other complications. Once the diagnosis is drawn, the health expert suggests the right treatment procedure.
The first and foremost advice given to patients at the chronic bronchitis treatment centers is to quit smoking at the earliest and for good. This is mostly ignored by major sections of the population, making the entire treatment effort futile. This is the reason that most pulmonologists refer patients for pulmonary rehabilitation camps and therapies that can help them overcome their addiction to tobacco smoking. This combines education along with physical and breathing exercises. It is also best to avoid second-hand tobacco smoke as well.
Other forms of treatment as stated by the chronic bronchitis treatments centers are as follows:
These relax the muscles of the bronchial tubes and expand the passageway inside the tubes, to allow the flow of air to the lungs.
Steroids help in reducing the inflammations of the tubes, mucus secretion and prevents further damage to the tubes. However, these have side-effects that need to be discussed, before starting to use them.
Such medications are prescribed to treat bacterial or viral infections if any.
- Over-the-counter syrups
OTC cough syrups help soothe the patient, by reducing cough symptoms.
Patients with chronic bronchitis are often asked to take vaccines for flu and pneumonia every 5 to 7 years, to prevent the disease from triggering.
- Oxygen therapy
This is required for patients with severe conditions. Here, an Oximeter monitors the level of oxygen in the blood, during routine activities or sleep.
Lung volume reduction surgery is suggested in severe cases, where a small section of the damaged lung is removed to relieve the patient of grave symptoms.
Apart from these, patients may also try certain remedies like wearing a cold mask in extreme cold weather conditions, using air humidifiers in humid climatic conditions, and wearing a pollution mask when outdoors.