Bronchitis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation of the individual’s bronchi .
During respiratory movements, our lungs shrink and expand thanks to the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm. Also, there is a significant change in internal pressure compared to that of the external environment, creating air currents.
On the other hand, our organism has a series of ducts or channels through which the air passes. In this way, our lungs do not connect directly with the outside. In inspiration, the air passes from the nasal (or buccal) cavity to the pharynx and up to the larynx.
Then the trachea bifurcates into two large bronchi (one to each lung) and into bronchioles. Thus, a minimum amount of air comes into contact with the alveoli , where it travels to incorporate the bloodstream. This last process occurs in the case of oxygen, which is coupled to red blood cells.
During expiration, the non-absorbed gases and carbon dioxide , a waste substance, are expelled .
However, there are pathogens that can accumulate in the bronchi , irritating them and causing an infection. They usually have a viral or bacterial origin. It can also be due to toxic substances, such as tobacco smoke.
In them, patients experience a series of alterations or discomforts. For example persistent cough with mucus, chest pressure, shortness of breath, rhinitis , etc.
Treatment of bronchitis
Currently, a series of treatments have been developed with the ultimate goal of alleviating the patient’s symptoms and neutralizing the infection. However, it is only completed in the case of acute bronchitis (short duration) while during chronic bronchitis it is not completely eliminated (it has a long duration).
If the infection has a bacterial origin, the appropriate antibiotics will be administered. These will always be recommended by the corresponding medical team, that is, we should avoid self-medication. Likewise, you must follow all the guidelines cited by the doctor (such as the time of intake etc.).
On the other hand, if the disease is caused by a virus, drugs can not be prescribed to neutralize them directly. Currently there are no chemical compounds that attack this type of pathogen.
Instead, our body is able to adapt and create new specific antibodies that destroy viruses. As a general rule, the patient experiences a great improvement after one week of infection, the response time of our immune system.
On the other hand, bronchodilators should be mentioned. This type of medication increases the diameter of the obstructed bronchi, allowing the patient to breathe more easily. Also, its administration must be controlled by the specialists in question.
We can also use a series of drugs to reduce fever if it occurs. These compounds include paracetamol, ibuprofen, and aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid. However, the use of aspirin is not recommended in children.
Also corticosteroids will be used to control and try to reduce the inflammation of the bronchi. These types of compounds are inhaled according to the guidelines recommended by the medical team.
Another group of medicines, antitussives, reduce the cough reflex in the most severe cases. However, it must be administered under strict control since if the mucus is not expelled from the ducts, the pathology may be aggravated.
A healthy and balanced diet along with an abundant intake of fluids. Thus, the mucus loses its concentration and its elimination is easier. On the other hand, with a controlled diet we avoid the nutritional deficits that other alterations could develop.
It may also be convenient to use oxygen . It is used in the most severe clinical cases, where the patient can barely breathe and feels a constant choking sensation.
Other usual recommendations are to avoid the consumption of tobacco or environments that present a large amount of contamination since it irritates the respiratory tract.
Also, other medical tests can be carried out in order to detect another underlying pathology. In such a case, the treatment will depend on the problem that has led to bronchitis.
They are usually tests designed to study the bronchial tree and the thoracic cavity, sometimes effort measurements are made to measure the expansion of the lungs during exercise.
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