Chronic Bronchitis Treatments

Finding effective chronic bronchitis treatments can be very important for anyone who is suffering from this serious and ongoing health condition. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic in nature. The acute variety of this disease will usually occur during or immediately following a respiratory infection and will generally not last for longer than three weeks or so. The ailment is defined as chronic when it lasts for a longer period of time and has a habit of returning. A number of other maladies, as well as serious lung diseases, will generally be a factor in chronic cases. Characterized by an inflammation of the air passages that are located between the lungs and the nose, patients are generally in need of relief whether the disease is of a short or continuing duration.

The demand for chronic bronchitis treatments may be connected with serious diseases of the lung such as emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, tuberculosis, or asthma. The trachea, the windpipe, and the bronchi are generally affected by this inflammatory illness. There is no cure for the disease, but there are treatments that can address symptoms and ease a patient's suffering. The acute variety of the disease can occur in a wide variety of people. Those with weak or impaired immune systems can be more susceptible. Smokers may be at higher risk as well. Anyone who works in an environment that provides regular exposure to pollutants or chemical fumes may also face a greater probability of contracting the disease. Some of the symptoms of this ailment may include a persistent cough, mucus expectoration, difficulty breathing, a higher susceptibility to respiratory infections, and a narrowing of the bronchi. In serious cases, the skin and lips may take on a blue appearance, feet may swell, and serious disability or even heart failure could occur.

Factors such as cigarette smoke can greatly exacerbate the condition. The care of a skilled physician as well as the implementation of chronic bronchitis treatments is a necessity. Diagnosing this illness may involve a variety of tests including pulmonary function tests such as spirometry evaluations and peak flow monitoring. Other tests may include an arterial blood gas test, pulse oximetry measurements, x-rays, and a computed tomography, or CT scan. A spirometry evaluation will measure lung function with a spirometer. This test will tell medical staff how effectively the lungs are able to receive air as well as use and contain it. The progress of the disease as well as the effectiveness of any chronic bronchitis treatments can be measured as well. Peak flow monitoring tells a physician how quickly and effectively a patient can blow air out of the lungs. An arterial blood gas is a blood test that provides information on how the lungs are delivering oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. A pulse oximeter measures the amount of oxygen in the blood by placing a small sensor on the toe or fingertip. In some cases, imaging technologies may be called for. X-rays and CT scans can provide needed information as well. These tests can be extremely helpful in diagnosing the illness and determining how effective chronic bronchitis treatments have been so far.

There are a number of medications that can be effective chronic bronchitis treatments. Some of these drugs come under the category of broncholilator medications. These drugs may come in the form of aerosol sprays that are inhaled, or they may be medications that are taken orally. Drugs in this category will act to relax airways and open them up. Steroids may also be prescribed and can be effective, but are not without danger. Taken over an extended period of time, a number of harmful side effects may present themselves. Such side effects could include an increase in blood pressure, a weakening of the bones, cataracts, or even diabetes. If an infection is behind the need for chronic bronchitis treatments, antibiotics can be effective. Vaccines such as flu and pneumonia shots are a must for anyone who frequently battles this disease. Some patients may come to the point where supplemental oxygen therapy is necessary. In extreme cases, surgery may be required and damaged tissue in the lungs may need to be removed. The Bible points to God as a source of hope and extols the benefits of trusting God during youthful years and throughout life. "For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth." (Psalm 71:5)

The types of chronic bronchitis treatments that may be prescribed will generally depend on many factors including the medical history, age and health of the patient. How far the disease may have advanced is another important factor. Different patients may have varying tolerances for certain medications and therapies and a conscientious doctor will usually be able to adapt treatment to accommodate these preferences as much as possible. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases of the lung. Normal breathing is compromised for anyone who suffers from COPD. Anytime a patient regularly inhales substances that tend to irritate the bronchi, the windpipe or the trachea, they put themselves in danger of contracting a pulmonary disease such as bronchitis. Smoking is an activity that can cause great irritation to the bronchi and can lead to more serious pulmonary issues. Mold or dust in the home atmosphere can put inhabitants at risk as well. A skilled physician will be able to diagnose the condition and recommend treatment. While there is no cure for bronchitis, there are a number of steps that can be taken to provide the patient with relief.

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapy is beneficial to individuals who suffer with breathing problems especially chronic conditions that affect the lungs and airways. The therapy will greatly depend upon the diagnosis of each individual patient. Common symptoms that need to be treated are fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the chest, headache, fever, and loss of appetite. Some conditions that are helped with respiratory equipment include asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, lung cancer, Farmer's lung disease, and cystic fibrosis. The first thing that a person needs to do when suffering with respiratory problems is to see a physician and find out what is causing the symptoms. Allergies to substances in the environment can be the cause of breathing problems as can cigarette smoking and occupational hazards.

Asthma is one of the most common diseases associated with breathing problems especially in children. The disease is primarily caused from allergic reactions to substances in the environment such as pollen, mold, pet dander, cigarette smoke, dust, and some foods. Other triggers that can bring on an attack are changes in temperature, stress and exercise. Asthma causes swelling, tightness, and increased secretions of mucus in the airways. Respiratory therapy usually includes corticosteroids for inflammation and bronchodilators to open up the airways. Both of these types of medications are administered either through an inhaler or a nebulizer also called a breathing machine. Nebulizers are commonly used for young children until they learn how to use an inhaler.

While asthma is a chronic condition associated with children, emphysema is a chronic condition that primarily affects the elderly. Emphysema is usually caused from smoking or the deficiency of a protein that protects the lungs from damage. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest tightness, and cough. When the natural elasticity of the lungs is lost the air sacs become very weak so air is trapped in the sacs inhibiting the flow of air and causing the loss of the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Treatment for the condition will often include respiratory equipment such as an oxygen tank or tent. Other treatments include medications such as steroids and bronchodilator drugs. For those who smoke, the most important thing to do is to quit. Emphysema can lead to other problems such as the development of pneumonia.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and is usually the result of complications from other conditions such as influenza or chronic lung disorders. Since the illness is primarily caused from bacteria then antibiotics is the common form of respiratory therapy prescribed. Other causes can be associated with viruses and substances inhaled. The inhalation of food, liquids, and dust can cause a type of pneumonia that is produced from fungus. Symptoms of the illness are fever, cough, headache, muscle aches and pain, and shortness of breath. Chronic pneumonia can result in severe chest pains, increased pulse rate, and severe chills. Other health problems or substances can make a person susceptible to contracting the illness. Some of these are diabetes, heart disease, aids, cancer, organ transplants, and smoking.

Lung cancer is another condition that is primarily caused from smoking. Cigarettes contain over 4000 different chemicals and many of these are chemicals that are carcinogenic. The longer a person smokes the greater the risk for developing lung cancer. Other causes include breathing harmful gases or toxic chemicals. Prolonged exposure to some substances can cause changes in the lungs that lead to cancer. Often these substances are considered occupational hazards because people are often exposed in the workplace. The symptoms associated with the illness include hoarseness, chronic coughing and coughing up blood, shortness of breath, wheezing, reoccurring pneumonia, and chest pain. Respiratory therapy for lung cancer will most likely involve radiation and chemotherapy treatments, and sometimes surgery. Surgery can be beneficial if the cancer is contained and easy to remove. Unfortunately lung cancer that is left untreated is often fatal. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are needed for positive outcome. People who have smoked for many years often find that quitting is so difficult they just give up. If this is the case then find some help somewhere because quitting could not be near as difficult as suffering with lung cancer. "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)

Farmer's lung disease is a chronic allergic disorder that is usually caused from breathing in too many substances while farming. Some of the culprits are dust, moldy hay, straw, corn, grain, and tobacco. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, coughing, and pneumonia. Breathing in irritants causes an allergic reaction and after awhile the immune system will start responding by attacking the allergen. The best treatment is to avoid the allergens that are causing the problems. Drugs are often prescribed to alleviate some of the symptoms and in severe cases respiratory equipment such as a humidifier and nebulizer may provide some benefit.

Cystic Fibrosis is primarily a childhood disorder that can lead to chronic a life-threatening lung infection. However, some people are not diagnosed until they get older. The cause has been linked to defective genes. Symptoms often include persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and ravenous appetite with little weight gain. The condition causes a production of thick mucus to obstruct the lungs and the pancreatic ducts. Individuals with cystic fibrosis often have reoccurring lung infections and digestive problems. Respiratory therapy can be beneficial by using medications that decrease the mucus through inhalation therapy and the use of nebulizers. A common treatment includes ultrasonic respiratory equipment that sends medicine directly into the lungs breaking up the mucus that is obstructing the lungs. If infection is present treatment may involve using an antibiotic that is administered through an aerosol.

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