Allergic Bronchitis- Causes, Symptoms and Cure
Allergic bronchitis is an illness wherein someone has severe allergies that lead to a bronchial immune system reaction.
Chronic bronchitis is not caused by a bacterial infection. It is a long-term inflammation or irritation of the bronchial tubes. It lasts longer than three months and it is often triggered by allergies.
The overactive immune system often treat the harmless substances entering in the wind pipe as dangerous and send antibodies to counteract them which results in the deposition of fluid inside the wind pipe or the lungs which are in fact the dead antibodies and harmless substances entering the body. Because chronic bronchitis is caused by allergens rather than bacteria, it’s often called allergic bronchitis.
What is a non-allergic bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes which gets narrow due to the viral infection and starts secreting fluid in them. It results in cold and flu which then receds away after couple of days as the virus or bacteria is removed, by administering the antibiotics.
What are the various symptoms of an allergic bronchitis?
The chief symptom of allergic bronchitis is a daily cough that lasts for at least three months. The intensity of the cough might differ from person to person. There may be some sputum from coughing, but not necessarily. If you smoke, this cough is often called a smoker’s cough. This dry cough is often very bad at the night often leading to sleeplessness due to constant coughing.
Shortness of breath
This is another main symptom that will typically get worse over time. If you have allergic bronchitis you will experience shortness of breath during exercise or other activities. As the disease gets worse you may experience Dyspnea while resting, in which case you could have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema.
Another common symptom is wheezing-a high-pitched sound made by air coming through the narrow airways of the bronchial tubes.
Other possible symptoms of allergic bronchitis include
- sore throat
- chest pain
- Bluish-gray skin color.
- Swelling in the lips
What are the various causes of allergic bronchitis?
An allergic bronchitis is caused by different environmental & genetic factors namely:
- Tobacco smoke
- Animal dander.
- Faulty diet leading to the triggering of respiratory tract infections in the body
How an allergic bronchitis is diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects your may have chronic bronchitis, he or she will send you to a pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of diseases, conditions and abnormalities of the lungs and cardiopulmonary system. Your pulmonologist will run some tests including a chest X-ray, a CT scan of your lungs and bronchial tubes and a pulmonary function test.
What are the various treatment procedures available to cure allergic bronchitis?
If you have allergic bronchitis, your doctor can help you control the symptoms with several different medications and treatments including bronchodilators like albuterol, corticosteroids and/or oxygen therapy.
If you suspect that you may have bronchitis visit your doctor at the earliest. A complete physical exam will be conducted to determine the extent of the infection You may also be required to have a chest x-ray, a lung function test, and a pulse oximetry test to check the levels of oxygen in the blood. Sputum samples can be checked for signs of an infection as well.
What are the various Complications that can develop to the person suffering from an allegic bronchitis?
Allergic bronchitis is a chronic condition that can lead to complications like COPD, severe shortness of breath, respiratory failure and even death.
What preventive measures can be adopted to not fall prey to the allergic bronchitis?
There are several things you can do to help prevent an allergic bronchitis flare up.
- Wash bed lines and blankets weekly in mild, allergy-free detergents.
- Purchase a good vacuum cleaner with an HEPA filtering system and use it often to dust and vacuum.
- Shampoo your pets weekly to keep their dander to a minimum, and keep pets out of your bedroom.
- Stay away from areas where people are smoking.
- Finally, get your flu shot annually to reduce your chances of getting sick.
What are natural remedies for treating an allergic bronchitis?
There are several home made remedies for the allergic bronchitis which are less harmful to the body.
- Mix half a teaspoon of ginger with half teaspoon each of pepper and cloves. This combination can be blended with a little honey to make it more palatable or had as a tea infusion. There are compounds in ginger, pepper and cloves that help reduce fever and improve the immunity of the person suffering from bronchitis.
- Add half a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of milk and drink this thrice a day. This natural remedy for bronchitis in children is more effective when taken on an empty stomach.
- Infuse spinach leaves in water and add a pinch of honey and ammonium chloride. Drink this as a natural expectorant to loosen phlegm and reduce chest pain.
- Powder the kernels of almonds and mix this powder in a glass of orange juice. Drink this every night before sleeping.
- Use the powder of dry chicory root mixed in honey. You can get chicory root powder in most herbal or alternative medical stores. When taken thrice daily, this is one of the most effective chronic bronchitis home remedies.
- 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 can also help to loosen the phlegm and reduce constriction that you may feel in your chest.
- During a bronchitis attack have a hot bath with Epsom salts every night. Remain immersed in this water for at least 20 minutes. This should offer some relief from the congestion and coughing that often gets worse during the night.
- The alternate placement of hot and cold towels over the chest is believe to help treat both acute and chronic bronchitis. Apply hot towels thrice and end with a cold towel. This can be repeated several times a day to loosen the phlegm and reduce chest pain.
The best way to treat bronchitis is by getting adequate rest. Doctors may prescribe an over-the-counter cough syrup to reduce the mucus build up in your lungs. Cough drops can also reduce a sore throat but wont really stop the cough.