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What Is Bronchitis?
A cold or the flu runs its course in a couple weeks, if you’re lucky. After that, you’re back to normal. But sometimes you may get bronchitis, too.

That’s when your bronchial tubes, which carry air to your lungs, get infected and swollen. You end up with a nagging cough and a lot more mucus.

You can get bronchitis in other ways, too, and there are actually two types of it:

Acute bronchitis: This is the more common one. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.
Chronic bronchitis: This one is more serious, in that it keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s one of the conditions that makes up what's called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
This article focuses on acute bronchitis.

What Causes It?
Most often, the same viruses that give you a cold or the flu also cause bronchitis. Sometimes, though, bacteria are to blame.

In both cases, as your body fights off the germs, your bronchial tubes swell and make more mucus. That means you have smaller openings for air to flow, which can make it harder to breathe.

If any of these things describe your situation, you have a bigger chance of getting bronchitis:

You have a weaker immune system. This is sometimes the case for older adults and people with ongoing diseases, as well as for babies and young children. Even a cold can make it more likely since your body’s already busy fighting off those germs.
You smoke or live with a smoker.
You work around substances that bother your lungs, such as chemical fumes or dust. (Examples: coal mining, working around farm animals).
You live in or travel to a place with poor air quality or lots of pollution.
What Are the Symptoms?
You'll definitely have a cough, and you may have various problems with breathing, such as:

Chest congestion, where your chest feels full or clogged
A cough that may bring up a lot of mucus that’s clear, white, yellow, or green
Shortness of breath
A wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe
You may also:

Have body aches and chills
Feel “wiped out”
Run a low fever
Have a runny, stuffy nose
Have a sore throat
Even after the other symptoms are gone, the cough can last for a few weeks while your bronchial tubes heal and the swelling goes down. If it goes on much longer than that, the problem might be something else.

When Should I Call My Doctor?
Call your doctor if your cough:

Brings up blood or mucus that thickens or darkens
Keeps you awake at night
Lasts more than 3 weeks
Causes chest pain
Has a barking sound and makes it hard to speak
Comes along with unexplained weight loss
You’ll also want to call your doctor if you have a cough and you have:

A foul-tasting fluid in your mouth (could be reflux)
Fever over 100.4 F
Wheezing or shortness of breath
If you are 75 or older and you have an ongoing cough, you should call your doctor to figure out whether a visit is needed.

Bronchitis can lead to pneumonia, though this is rare. Usually, it doesn’t cause any other problems.

How Is It Diagnosed?
Your doctor usually can tell whether you have bronchitis based on a physical exam and your symptoms.She’ll ask questions about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it and what kind of mucus comes up with it. She’ll also listen to your lungs to see whether anything sounds wrong, like wheezing.

That’s usually it, but in some cases, your doctor may:

Check the oxygen levels in your blood. This is done with a sensor that goes on your toe or finger.
Do a lung function test. You’ll breathe into a device called a spirometer to test for emphysema (a type of COPD in which air sacs in your lungs thin out and are destroyed) and asthma.
Give you a chest X-ray. This is to check for pneumonia or another illness that could cause your cough
Order blood tests.
Test your mucus to rule out diseases caused by bacteria. One of these is whooping cough, which is also called pertussis. It causes violent coughing that makes it hard to breathe. If your doctor suspects this or suspects the flu she'll also take a nasal swab.

What Are the Treatments?
Most of the time, bronchitis goes away on its own within a couple of weeks.

If yours is caused by bacteria (which is rare), your doctor may give you antibiotics.

If you have asthma, allergies, or you’re wheezing, she might suggest an inhaler. This helps open up your airways and makes it easier to breathe.

To ease your symptoms, you can:

Drink a lot of water. Eight to 12 glasses a day helps thin out your mucus and makes it easier to cough it up.
Get plenty of rest.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin help with pain. But avoid giving aspirin to children. You can use acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help with both pain and fever.
Use a humidifier or try steam. A hot shower can be great for loosening up the mucus.
Take over-the-counter cough medicines. You might take an expectorant (like guaifenosin) during the day to loosen your mucous so it's easier to cough out. For children, check with your pediatrician before using any cough syrups.

Can It Be Prevented?
Here are some ways to lower your chances of getting bronchitis:

Avoid cigarette smoke.
Get the flu vaccine, since you might get bronchitis from the flu virus.
Make sure your pertussis vaccine is up to date.
Wash your hands often.
Wear a mask when you’re around things that bother your lungs, such as paint fumes.

ब्रोन्कायटिस (Bronchitis) ही एक वैद्यकीय संज्ञा फुप्फुसातील श्वासनलिका व तेथील इंद्रियांना आलेली सूज यासाठी वापरली जाते. ब्रोन्कायटिसचे दोन भागात वर्गीकरण करता येऊ शकते. तीव्र ब्रोन्कायटिस व कालांतराने घडणारा ब्रोन्कायटिस.

तीव्र ब्रोन्कायटिस मध्ये अनेकदा हा रोग सर्दी-ताप ह्यांच्या बरोबरीने बाधा घडवून आणतो. ९०% वेळी हा रोग विषाणूंमुळे होतो. मात्र १०% वेळी जीवाणूंपासून बाधा होणे सुद्धा शक्य असते.[१]

कालांतराने घडणारा ब्रोन्कायटिस हा "सी.ओ.पी.डी." म्हणजेच श्वसनातील अडथळ्यांचे विकार ह्यांचा प्रकार आहे. हा आजार वर्षातून साधारणपणे तीन महिने, कमीत कमी दोन वर्षे चालतो. ह्या प्रकारचा ब्रोन्कायटिस हा सारखं सारखं श्वसनातून घातक / त्रासदायक कण घेतले गेल्यामुळे होतो. तसेच भरपूर प्रमाणात धूम्रपान केल्यामुळेही हा आजार होतो. .

तीव्र ब्रोन्कायटिस
साधारणतः तीव्र ब्रोन्कायटिस हा तीन आठवड्यांपेक्षा कमी वेळात बरा होतो. त्याचे मुख्य लक्षण म्हणजे खोकला येणे. ह्याशिवाय खोकल्यातून कफ, छातीत दुखणे हे सर्व बघून ब्रोन्कायटिसचीच खात्री पटते.

दीर्घकालीन ब्रोन्कायटिस
कालांतराने घडणारा ब्रोन्कायटिस हा सर्वसाधारणपणे उत्पादनक्षम खोकला जर वर्षातून तीन महिन्यांपेक्षा जास्त काळ टिकून किमान दोन वर्षे राहिला तर ओळखू येतो- हे तेव्हाच, जेव्हा ह्याच्या साथीने आणखी रोग शरीरात नसतात. नाहीतर इतर रोगांच्या सह ह्याचा काल हा वाढूही शकतो. तिसरा प्रकार म्हणजे जिवाणूंमुळे झालेला ब्रोन्कायटिस. मात्र हा बरा करण्यासाठी जैवाविरोधक औषध घ्यावी लागतात.[२]

खोकला हे ह्या आजाराचे सर्वात सामान्य, प्राथमिक लक्षण आहे. श्वसनलिकेतील जास्तीचा कफ बाहेर टाकण्याच्या प्रयत्नात खोकला केला जातो. ह्याव्यतिरिक्त आणखी लक्षणे: गळते नाक, घसा दुखी, दम लागणे, भरभर श्वासोच्छ्वास, नाक चोंदणे व लहान प्रमाणात ताप. मात्र नियतकालिक ब्रोन्कायटिसमध्ये फक्त श्वासोच्छ्वासात त्रास होतो, खोक्ल्यासह.

आजाराचे कारण
तीव्र ब्रोन्कायटिस हा ऱ्हायनो, कोरोना, आडीनो, मेटान्यू सारख्या काही विषाणूंमुळे होतो. तर दीर्घकालीन ब्रोन्कायटिस धूम्रपान, तंबाखू इत्यादींमुळे होतो. बऱ्याचदा कापड उद्योग, पशुपालन उद्योग यांमध्ये काम करणाऱ्या लोकांना ह्या आजाराचा बळी बनावे लागते. [३]

रोगाचे निदान
रुग्णाची तपासणी करतेवेळी वैद्यांना ह्या रोगाचे निदान करता येऊ शकते. क्ष-किरणांच्या निदानाने न्युमोनिया नाही ना, ह्याची खात्री करून घ्यावी. अशाप्रकारे रोगाचे निदान करणे सोयीस्कर होईल.

रोगावर उपचार हा त्याच्या लक्षणांवर आधारित असून वेगळ्या लक्षणांसाठी वेगळया उपचाराची गरज असते. ९०% वेळी विषाणू रोगाचे कारण असल्यामुळे जैवाविरोधाके घेणे योग्य ठरत नाही. ब्रोन्कायटिस साठी सामान्यतः एक उपकरण देतात, ज्यातून औषधी पूड श्वासावाटे देता येते.

Dr. Bhagyashri Madake- Kuber
Dr. Bhagyashri Madake- Kuber
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Family Physician, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sandhya Kamble
Dr. Sandhya Kamble
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 26 yrs, Pune
Dr. Mahendra Sahu
Dr. Mahendra Sahu
BAMS, Ayurveda, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rohit Kamate
Dr. Rohit Kamate
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dental Surgeon, 4 yrs, Pune
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
BHMS, Family Physician, 14 yrs, Pune