Acute Bronchitis - Symptoms, Causes, Best Home Remedies

Best Home Remedies for Acute Bronchitis 

The acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes (the tubes that carry air to your lungs). It is mostly caused by viruses and heals without any special treatment within a few days without consequences. The therapy consists mostly of bed rest and means for mucous solution. In certain cases, however, acute bronchitis can also be difficult and involve complications. Read all the important information about symptoms, diagnosis, and  most effective home remedies of acute bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is a mucosal inflammation of the so-called bronchi. They belong to the respiratory tracts: the air flows either through the nose or mouth into the pharynx and from there into the eleven-centimeter long trachea. In the thoracic cavity, the air-tube, at the level of the fourth thoracic vertebra, divides into two so-called main bronchi, which in each case carry air into the left and right lung. Acute bronchitis is characterized by inflammation, especially at this site. In the lungs, the bronchial tubes are fissured and branch as bronchioles to the lobes of the lungs, where the oxygen from the air passes into the blood and can be used by the body.

Most of the patients affected by acute bronchitis are not concerned with a doctor so that it is very difficult to measure the number of diseases. Acute bronchitis, however, is a very common disease, especially in the autumn and winter months, but it is usually remedied by a symptom-relieving treatment at home. The duration of the bronchitis is up to several weeks, but after a week a significant improvement should be noticed. A doctor should be consulted at a longer duration, bronchitis is then perhaps not the apt diagnosis.

Bronchitis: Symptoms

The uncomplicated viral bronchitis begins for a short time with a runny nose, headache, and limb pain, and a general feeling of illness as a sign of an infection of the upper air passages. Subsequently, dry cough appears with a clear, viscid sputum, which soon becomes mucoid-purulent. Often, the patient complains of chest pain. Fever above 39 ° Celsius is rare. In addition, the throat is reddened. When listening to the lungs, the doctor hears few, so-called rattle sounds.
Usually, the acute viral bronchitis sounds within a few days and usually heals by itself. If, however, as a result of a viral infection, bacterial bronchitis occurs, the ejection changes and becomes slimy-purulent. Healing, in this case, is usually only possible by treatment with antibiotics.

Without treatment, the bacterial infection of the bronchial tubes can extend into the surrounding lung tissue. There is then pneumonia. For this reason, a doctor should always be consulted if the symptoms do not disappear by themselves after a few days, or when blood casts are visible in the mucus.

Acute Bronchitis: Causes and Risk factors

Most acute bronchitis is a result of upper respiratory tract infections that spread into the bronchial tubes. Acute bronchitis usually occurs one to a few days after infection. However, the bronchitis incubation period is strongly dependent on the pathogen. The viruses have a particularly short incubation period, but bronchitis can also be triggered by other factors, also non-infective.

The main causes of acute bronchitis are viruses in about 90 percent of cases. Viral bronchitis is triggered in children, primarily by the RS virus (respiratory syncytial virus). Other causes are adeno-, coxsackie and ECHO-viruses. In adults, rhinos, corona, influenza, and parainfluenza viruses are the most common cause of acute bronchitis.

Bacterial bronchitis is rare. However, it is also possible for bacteria to trigger the second infection during a viral infection (bacterial superinfection). The range of possible bacterial pathogens is large and similar to those of a lung inflammation. These are mainly mycoplasma and chlamydia. Other possible bacterial pathogens are streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci, or Haemophilus influenza. However, these are primarily important for immunodeficient patients, already as a cause of disease in the lung and hospital patients.

Above all in pre-existing lung diseases, fungi can also cause acute bronchitis. However, acute bronchitis may also occur in other diseases (eg measles or mumps). Certain hereditary diseases, such as left heart failure, can trigger acute bronchitis through a blood reflux.

Basically, an infection can be transmitted within the scope of acute bronchitis by contact and so-called aerosols. Aerosols are small liquid particles that are emitted, for example, at high speed during coughing. In these cases, bronchitis is contagious, but many of the bronchitis pathogens are only disease-prone when the infected person is weakened. Otherwise, the infection often remains undetected or runs mildly in the form of a cold.

In addition, there are also a number of non-infectious causes. Thus, allergens, smoking, and even harmful gasses can be the trigger for acute bronchitis.

In pregnancy, a doctor should be consulted for bronchitis-like symptoms, especially for the exclusion of severe diseases such as a whooping cough. In the case of bronchitis during pregnancy, the course must be closely observed. However, uncomplicated bronchitis usually does not lead to a greater risk for the unborn child or the mother.

However, an adaptation of the therapy must be carried out in the case of severe bronchitis that requires treatment, and pregnancy can be an exclusion for certain drugs.

Respiratory performance is often diminished with bronchitis, so sport is not useful during acute illness. Bronchitis can also be carried away.

Acute bronchitis: Diagnosis

Acute bronchitis can be treated in most cases without medical assistance at home. Severe bronchitis, however, should be assessed at least once by a family physician. Since acute bronchitis is a common disease, home doctors are well-versed in the disease and can well assess the risk of acute and severe bronchitis.

Specialists in pulmonary and respiratory diseases are neurologist or ENT specialists, who, however, are rarely used in acute bronchitis. In any case, you should consult a doctor in the following cases:
  • Respiratory distress, and chest pain
  • Cough of blood
  • High fever
  • Strong, yellowish discharge (possibly due to bacterial superinfection)
  • Complaints lasting more than seven days
  • Pre-existing conditions such as COPD, bronchial asthma or cardiac insufficiency
  • Immunodeficiency in HIV infection, cancer or cortisone therapy
  • Acute bronchitis in the elderly or children
The most important examination for an initial assessment is the monitoring of the lung with the stethoscope. In addition to the normal breathing sounds, rattling, whistling, or even hum. These noises are caused by the mucus, which vibrates in the bronchi when the air passes by. In children, so-called tube breathing may occur.

By evaluating the knocking sound (finger tapping), the physician can obtain information about any secretions or effusions in the lung. In the course of the further physical examination, the doctor will also examine the neck from inside and outside.

A blood test is not necessary in most cases. Although it is possible to determine inflammation parameters, which also indicate a possible bacterial infection, this is necessary only in certain cases and with complicated courses and has only limited power.

Through the direct connection of the bronchial tubes to the lungs via the airways, bronchitis can develop into a lung inflammation. The transitional bronchitis-lung inflammation must necessarily be established and a therapy initiated. An X-ray or CT scan (computed tomography) is therefore arranged if there is a suspicion that a lung inflammation exists. On the other hand, bronchitis is rarely and uncertain.

In order to confirm a possible displacement of the bronchi (obstruction), pulmonary function tests (spirometry) can be connected.

The ejection can also be examined for its composition and possible pathogens. Usually, however, this is not necessary. The doctor will instead inquire exactly according to the nature of the mucus emitted during a cough. If the mucus is yellowish, it is probably purulent bronchitis. In the case of blood vessels, a so-called bronchoscopy may be required. The airways and the mucous membrane are examined with a camera inserted over a long, thin tube.

Bronchial carcinomas also cause symptoms similar to bronchitis, which is why, in the case of a chronic, protracted course, investigations must be carried out which exclude cancer suspicion. Other alternative diagnoses include flu, asthma, and pneumonia. In addition, in the case of repeated, acute bronchitis, it must be noted that a transition into a chronic course is possible or that, for example, an immune deficiency may be present.

Acute bronchitis: disease history and prognosis

The prognosis of acute bronchitis is very good. Mostly the treatment is possible without a hospital stay and without a doctor's visit. However, increased vigilance is required in elderly or immunodeficient subjects. It is possible that complications, such as a lung inflammation result. Effective treatment of acute bronchitis is important in these patients to prevent the spread of the infection. Acute bronchitis can become chronic and lead to dangerous complications. This is especially true in patients with risk, such as people with lung diseases.

Complications of acute bronchitis are primarily the inflammation of the lungs or another bacterial secondary infection. If an over-sensitive (hyperreagibles) bronchial system is formed by acute bronchitis, spastic bronchitis can result from acute bronchitis.

In rare cases, a so-called bronchiolitis obliterans can arise as a complication. This is an inflammation of the smallest airways, which can result in a complete closure of parts of the lung.

When asked "how long does bronchitis last?" The doctor can not give a precise answer, usually a period of three to seven days. Acute bronchitis usually heals without success in many cases within a few days without any medical intervention. However, the cough can persist much longer and even last for two weeks or even longer.

Most effective Home Remedies for Bronchitis:

Onion juice :- Onions contain valuable ingredients that dissolve mucus in bronchitis and facilitate coughing. Moreover, they are usually present in every household and are therefore an excellent home remedy.

  • Take 2 onions
  • Pour the onion cubes in a lockable glass with honey
  • Close the glass and place in the oven at medium heat
  • When the juice has leaked from the onion, remove the glass from the oven and remove the onion pieces.
  • Allow passing through the refrigerator overnight
  • Directions: Take a tablespoon three times a day
Quark wrap:- Wipes provide heat to the body and transport healing substances through the skin to the inflamed areas. In the case of quark coiling, lactic bacteria are bacteria which are mucolytic and anti-inflammatory. In the case of bronchitis a bodily quark wound is used.

  • Heat the curd (simple food) first to body temperature
  • About half a centimeter of curd on a cloth or a compress
  • Place the quark wrap on the chest and fix it with a thin gauze bandage
  • Application time: at least 30 minutes - preferably until the curd begins to dry
  • Then dry the skin well and cover it warm
  • Application: Once daily
Note: do not apply quark wrap directly to the skin, because dried quark is difficult to dissolve from the body.
Tea :- Warm tea is the most common home remedy for all kinds of colds and therefore an indispensable part of a bronchitis cure. The warmth of the tea transfers to the airways and keeps the mucus fluid. In addition, certain herbs have a healing and anti-inflammatory effect in bronchitis.

  • Drink at least 2-3 liters per day.
  • Herbal teas with sage, thyme, gooseberry and fennel are the most suitable for you to get at your pharmacy.
  • Consult your pharmacist when choosing the appropriate mix. 
  • Sweeten the tea with honey

Inhalation with herbs or essential oils :- Inhalations with herbs or essential oils are among the classic home remedies for colds. They alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis, moisturize the respiratory tract and release the whole respiratory system. Steam digesters from the pharmacy are particularly suitable for this purpose. They allow targeted inhalation via the mouth and nose and thus prevent eye irritation. If a steam handhaler is not available, the inhalation can also take place over a pot or bowl.

  • Boil 2-3 liters of water and pour into a container
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dried herbs (eg anise, fennel, mint, chamomile or thyme) or alternatively add a few drops of essential oil (peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme) to the hot water (1 drop to 1 liter of water)
  • Hold the head over the vessel and possibly hold a towel over the head and vessel to intensify the inhalation
  • Breathe slowly, deeply and evenly
  • Application: Once or twice daily for 10-15 minutes
Note: The inhalation of essential oils is not suitable for infants, children, and asthmatics.
Inhalation with saline solution:- An even more suitable home remedy for bronchitis than the steam treatment is inhaling with saline solution. The saline solution is inhaled in the form of tiny droplets (aerosols), which penetrate deeply into the respiratory tract. There, they support the cleansing function of the mucous membranes and thus contribute to improved immune defense. By the way, the inhalation with saline solution is also suitable for the prevention of acute infections.

To produce the appropriate droplet size, the saline solution is atomized using an electrical nebulizer and then inhaled. Ultrasonic or nozzle nebulizers are available in pharmacies. Please consult your GP or pharmacist when choosing the device.

  • Dissolve a teaspoon of cooking salt (about 9 grams) in 1 liter of water.
  • The lukewarm solution is then inhaled using the nebulizer over the mouth
  • Pick up the solution for a maximum of 24 hours.
  • Finished saline solution is also available in small packages at the pharmacy.
Caution:- In chronic bronchitis, heat supply in the form of red light or saunas is also a beneficial home remedy. However, these methods are not suitable for acute infections because the symptoms can also worsen.

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