Bronchitis – 6 Major Mistakes Patients Make

Almost everyone has experienced bronchitis. For some, the illness eventually goes away completely, while it becomes chronic for others. Why does this happen, and what should people do when they have bronchitis?

Dr. Helene

General practitioner

The nature of bronchitis

Bronchitis is a very common disease associated with the inflammatory process of the lower respiratory tract. The causative agents of bronchitis are viral infections ===such as influenza, rhinovirus, staphylococci, etc. Bronchitis can be caused by allergic reactions, ingestion of toxic substances in the respiratory tract, smoking, and work in hazardous fields.

Coughing is the primary symptom of bronchitis — it will be dry at first, but appears after a few days. Its color depends on the degree of bronchial damage and can be transparent, yellowish, or greenish. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, headache, muscle pain, chest pain, sore throat (appears in conjunction with irritation of the back of the throat due to severe cough), weakness, and fatigue.

One interesting aspect of bronchitis is that all concomitant diseases and symptoms, with proper treatment, pass quickly enough, but the cough can last for several weeks or even months. After suffering inflammation, the bronchi will be fine for a long time.

Let's figure out what you should NOT do when you have bronchitis

Take the medications prescribed by the doctor and continue to go to work: patients with bronchitis are granted sick leave so that they can recover. For recovery, bed rest in a warm room is necessary. In addition, bronchitis is contagious and transmitted by airborne droplets.

As soon as you get sick, try to defeat the disease with antibiotics. It is typically viruses, not bacteria, that cause bronchitis. And it is better to start treatment with antiviral and immunostimulating drugs. Self-administration of antibiotics not only does not cure the disease but makes it even worse.

Antitussive drugs: Follow guidelines when treating a cough. First, when it is dry, take antitussive drugs. When sputum appears, use mucolytics and expectorant drugs that thin it and remove it from the bronchi.

Antihistamines: their intake is possible only with a confirmed allergy accompanying bronchitis.

Self-administration of medicinal herbs and substances: all medications are taken and the procedures for taking them must be agreed upon with your doctor.

How not to confuse bronchitis with another disease

By itself, bronchitis is not a dangerous disease, but it can lead to complications and provoke pneumonia and even asthma. In addition, acute bronchitis becomes chronic and then worsens over time.

People often confuse bronchitis with a common cold, so they do not go to the doctor. What's the difference?

With bronchitis, a dry cough persists for 1–2 weeks, and with a cold, it lasts for 1–2 days. After that, profuse snot discharge begins.

If the high temperature persists for more than 7 days, it is a sign that the infection has entered the bronchi and lungs. With a cold, the temperature passes much faster.

In order for the disease to pass as quickly as possible, you need to quickly contact a doctor, carry out a diagnosis (take a clinical blood test and an analysis for procalcitonin) and get a treatment program. A doctor will be able to determine whether it is bronchitis or pneumonia. It is important not to confuse these two illnesses! A chest X-Ray is also needed.

With a viral infection, there is no magic remedy that will quickly relieve the annoying cough. The goal of bronchitis treatment is to help the immune system eradicate the infection and relieve symptoms. The whole process of treatment must take place under the supervision of a doctor; self-medication is not permissible, in order to avoid complications.

27 May 2021

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