What is it?
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the larger airways in your lungs, causing an ongoing cough. Bronchitis can be due to an infection, smoking or breathing in irritating substances.
Bronchitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or breathing in smoke or dust.
Acute bronchitis can last for weeks, whereas chronic bronchitis lasts for months and may come back each year.
Chronic bronchitis is usually related to smoking.
What are the symptoms?
- The main symptom of bronchitis is a hacking cough. It is likely that your cough will bring up thick yellow-grey mucus (phlegm), although this does not always happen.
- Other symptoms of bronchitis are similar to those of other infections, such as the common cold or sinusitis, and may include:
- sore throat
- runny or blocked nose
- aches and pains
- If you have bronchitis, your cough may last for several weeks after other symptoms have gone. You may also find that the continual coughing makes your chest and stomach muscles sore.
- Some people may experience shortness of breath or wheezing, due to inflamed airways. However, this is more common with long-term (chronic) bronchitis.
- Mix half a teaspoon of ginger with half teaspoon each of pepper and cloves (you can also add a little bit honey).
- Add half a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of milk and drink this thrice a day.
- Infuse spinach leaves in water and add a pinch of honey and ammonium chloride.
- Powder the kernels of almonds and mix this powder in a glass of orange juice. Drink this every night before sleeping.
- If you do suffer from shortness of breath or tightness in the chest, rubbing turpentine over the chest can offer some much needed relief.
- Warm salt water gargles
- Cigarette smoking should be strictly avoided.
Things to watch out for
Acute bronchitis can be easily treated at home with rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) and plenty of fluids. GP should be contacted if symptoms such as cough is severe lasting longer than three weeks, constant fever of 38C (100.4F) or above lasting more than three days, coughing up mucus with blood