Bronchitis – inflammation of the bronchi is one of the most common respiratory diseases.
Classification. According to the course of the disease, acute and chronic bronchitis are distinguished.
Etiology and pathogenesis. Acute bronchitis usually has an infectious nature. Essential in the occurrence of the disease are: cooling the body, the influence of sharp temperature fluctuations, prolonged exposure to high humidity, and therefore the highest incidence of bronchitis is observed in spring and autumn.
The onset of the disease contribute to smoking, excessive drinking, weakening of the body due to chronic diseases. In some cases, bronchitis develops as a result of the irritating effect of poisonous gases, essential oils, dust, etc.
The occurrence of chronic bronchitis is promoted by smoking, inhalation of dusty and contaminated air, prolonged irritation of the bronchial mucosa with toxic gases, and alcohol abuse. In the occurrence of chronic bronchitis, a certain role is played by diseases of the nose, nasopharynx, paranasal sinuses.
In chronic bronchitis, both the bronchial wall and the respiratory departments of the lung are involved in the process, which, combined with the long course of the disease, contribute to the occurrence of complications: pneumonia, pulmonary emphysema, pneumosclerosis. Chronic bronchitis is often accompanied by the development of
bronchial asthma, respiratory failure.
The clinical course of acute bronchitis. The disease begins with a general malaise. Muscle pains, often a runny nose, inflammatory lesions of the pharynx, larynx, trachea appear. There is a feeling of tightness in the chest, soreness behind the sternum. A steadily increasing cough with scanty sputum, which often has a fawn or greenish tint, gradually joins; body temperature rises, but more often it is normal.
Usually acute bronchitis ends with a complete recovery within 1-3 weeks. Acute bronchitis in children and the elderly often proceeds severely, complicated by pneumonia.
The clinical course of chronic bronchitis. Periods of calming down the disease alternate with periods of exacerbation, when patients are bothered by a persistent cough with the release of sputum of a grayish-green color. Chest pains appear, aggravated by deep breathing, coughing, shortness of breath during physical exertion, rapid walking, lifting, and then at rest. Persistent dyspnea increases paroxysmally with an asthmatic version of chronic bronchitis: a distinctive feature of it is difficulty exhaling.
Body temperature often rises to 37.5-38 ° C, during periods of the quenching of the disease, these phenomena completely disappear or are not very pronounced. Exacerbation often occurs in the cold season and often accompanies other diseases.
Treatment. In the treatment of acute bronchitis, the advice and prescription of a doctor must be strictly observed. The choice of drugs depends on the form and stage of the disease.
In chronic bronchitis, treatment is also carried out as prescribed by the doctor at home, and with severe exacerbations – often in the hospital.
In addition to medicines, it is necessary to perform special complexes of respiratory gymnastics. Outside of exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, spa treatment is widely recommended. Residents of large cities benefit from relaxation, walks in the countryside.
First aid. In acute bronchitis, it helps well: bed rest, good nutrition, plentiful warm drink (tea with raspberry jam, tea from linden flowers, milk with soda or half with mineral water), mustard foot baths.
In the period of exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, it is important to properly care for the patient. The room where the patient is located should be warm, dry and well ventilated. Ventilating the room in winter, they carefully cover the patient with a blanket, turn their backs to the window so that cough and shortness of breath do not intensify from the cold air; body overheating and hypothermia should be avoided. If the air is excessively dry, a large vessel of water is placed in front of the heat source, and heating radiators are hung with a damp cloth. Extraneous odors should not enter the room where the patient is located, because they can increase coughing and shortness of breath.
With a strong cough or shortness of breath, the patient is seated so that he can lean his hands on a bed or chair. Sputum should be spit in an individual spittoon, which is pre-filled in 1/3 of the volume with 5% chloramine solution for disinfection.
With an exacerbation of the inflammatory process, the patient should receive food containing a sufficient amount of vitamins, as well as animal proteins, because with excessive secretion of sputum, the body loses a lot of protein.
Prevention of acute and chronic bronchitis boils down to hardening. Long stay in the air, development of resistance to temperature changes, water procedures enhance the body’s resistance. Of significant importance in the prevention of bronchitis is the treatment of runny nose, tonsillitis, inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, the fight against dust, air pollution.