Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis.  Photo from www.sciencephoto.com

Chronic Bronchitis — is a prolonged inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis may be called chronic if for two consecutive years cough lasts for at least three months a year.

In Russia chronic bronchitis meets at10-20% Of Population. More often suffer from chronic bronchitis, men and the elderly. Particularly at risk smokers and workers productions to air pollution.

Chronic bronchitis is a long-term occurs against bronchial stimulation (smoke, dust, smoke, etc.), which leads to changes in their mucosa and facilitates penetration of infections (viruses, bacteria, fungi).

What's going on?

Begins chronic bronchitis gradually. Mucosal injury allocates more sputum, with worse bringing it out. This causes coughing, first — in the morning. Over time, cough occurs at night and during the day, increases in cold and wet weather. Over the years the cough becomes permanent.

In chronic bronchitis permanently allocated an increased amount of mucous sputum (the clear, odorless). During periods of exacerbation sputum muco-purulent or purulent — muddy, thicker, perhaps — yellowish or greenish, with an unpleasant odor.

If chronic bronchitis continues for a long time, bronchi constrict and passed less air attacks occur periodically in violation of expiratory dyspnea (up to suffocation), there comes a new stage of the disease — Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Previously it was called chronic obstructive bronchitis, but the new name more accurately reflects the essence of the disease — affects not only the bronchial tubes and lungs but (until the development of emphysema). As a result, the blood and, consequently, to the body falls less oxygen — respiratory failure.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of chronic bronchitis sets therapist or pulmonologist after a minimum two-year follow-up. Not to be confused with asthma, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, etc., the doctor may order an X-ray of the chest, general and biochemical blood tests, sputum with bacteriological sowing and antibiotic susceptibility test, the study of respiratory function, bronchoscopy.

In the study of respiratory function should blow the air into a special device that determines the amount of light and a number of other parameters.

Bronchoscopy— This endoscopy. In airways introduced a thin tube with a light and inspect the bronchi inside. This procedure is not very pleasant, but it is fast and under local anesthesia. It is very important because chronic bronchitis may predispose to the emergence of bronchial obstruction and other complications that need to be identified as early as possible. Furthermore, during bronchoscopy can carry out various manipulations — biopsy aspiration of viscous mucus, and administration of drugs, etc.

Treatment of chronic bronchitis begin in early stages and is carried out continuously — as during sharpening and during the disappearance of symptoms.

In the period of acute chronic bronchitis, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, expectorant and anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs to enhance immunity.

Perhaps a therapeutic bronchoscopy (bronchoalveolar lavage). When this tube is introduced into the airways and bronchial washed various solutions and medications to reduce inflammation and mucus.

Also used a special breathing exercises, physical therapy (inhalation, elektroprotsedury).

Outside of exacerbations to reduce the production of mucus and bronchoconstriction used regular inhaled anticholinergic drugs. This allows you to improve the condition of the mucous membrane, to reduce the number of exacerbations, significantly delay or even prevent the development of respiratory failure.

Prophylaxis

Prevention of chronic bronchitis involves, first of all, a healthy lifestyle (no smoking, hardening, physical education), removal of foci of chronic infections.

If you already have chronic bronchitis should avoid hypothermia in a timely manner to treat infections of the upper respiratory tract.

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