How To Prevent Having Bronchitis And Pneumonia
There is actually a vaccine that will help to protect you against bacterial pneumonia. You may not have heard about it because it is not heavily marketed and is mostly recommended for people over the age of 65, although some preexisting medical conditions may require that you take it before that age.
You should also take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infections by practicing proper hygiene. Always remember that bronchitis usually follows a common cold or flu, so you should practice washing your hands regularly, using hand sanitizes and eating food that enhances the function of your immune system.
Changes in lifestyle such as refraining from smoking cigarette can also help prevent the development of bronchitis. People who also have GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease should always treat their symptoms and flare-ups as it can lead to the irritation of their airways, making them prone to viruses and bacteria.
What Are Bronchitis And Covid
Acute bronchitis and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses. They can have some of the same symptoms.
It’s important to know the difference between these two illnesses.
Acute bronchitis is sometimes referred to as a chest cold. It can develop after an upper respiratory infection , which is usually called the common cold.
Bronchitis happens when the bronchial tubes that carry oxygen to your lungs become inflamed and irritated. These irritated airways then produce excess mucus and cause you to cough. Acute bronchitis typically will get better on its own. It can develop into pneumonia when not properly cared for.
COVID-19 is a new type of virus that has caused a global pandemic.
There are many different types of coronaviruses. Some cause mild illnesses such as colds. Some cause more severe diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome .
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread from person to person. Symptoms usually appear within two weeks of exposure. You can spread COVID-19 to others even if you don’t have any symptoms yourself.
What Are The Types Of Bronchitis
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic:
Acute bronchitis comes on quickly and can cause severe symptoms. But it lasts no more than a few weeks. Viruses cause most cases of bronchitis. Many different viruses can infect the respiratory tract and attack the bronchial tubes. Infection by some bacteria can also cause acute bronchitis. Most people have acute bronchitis at some point in their lives.
Chronic bronchitis is rare in children. It can be mild to severe and lasts longer . The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. The bronchial tubes stay inflamed and irritated, and make lots of mucus over time. People who have chronic bronchitis have a higher risk of bacterial infections of the airway and lungs, like pneumonia.
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Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: What Are The Differences And Similarities
Acute bronchitis is a condition in which the lining of your bronchial tubes become inflamed. This condition usually develops as a result of a viral infection like a cold or the flu, and it typically gets better in about one to two weeks.
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. When you have pneumonia, the air sacs of the lungs fill up with fluid or pus. While anyone can get pneumonia, some people such as children, the elderly, people with asthma, and individuals with chronic disease are at an increased risk of developing this lung condition.
Both bronchitis and pneumonia involve inflammation in the chest . And both conditions share some common symptoms:
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
While symptoms for either bronchitis or pneumonia can range from being mild to serious enough to require hospitalization, symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, and chest pain tend to be more severe with pneumonia.
In people with pneumonia, the alveoli fill with pus and other fluids and prevent oxygen from reaching the bloodstream when theres too little oxygen in the blood, the body cannot function properly, increasing the risk of death.
What Tests Are Needed To Differentiate Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia
Although both bronchitis and pneumonia cause similar symptoms, they are quite different and require tests to confirm a diagnosis. Your doctor will take your medical history, look for the signs and symptoms, and examine your chest to listen for any wheezing or problems with air in your lungs. Depending on these factors, they may order tests such as:
- Chest X-ray: Helps distinguish between bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Sputum analysis: Involves removing sputum after a deep cough and analyzing it in a lab.
- Blood tests: Blood tests can confirm whether an infection is responsible for the cough, as well as determine the type and severity.
- Pulmonary function test: Performed if your doctor suspects you have bronchitis, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During the test, you blow air into a device called a spirometer, which measures how much air your lungs can hold and how fast you can get the air out of your lungs.
- Chest CT scan: Provides a detailed view of the lungs and helps distinguish between different lung conditions, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
- Pulse oximetry: Uses a small device called a pulse oximeter, which shows oxygen saturation levels in the blood in percentages.
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What Are Pneumonia And Bronchitis
Pneumonia and bronchitis are infections of the lungs. Pneumonia is less common but can be more severe than bronchitis and sometimes requires hospitalization.
Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways of the lungs, most often caused by a viral infection.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs air sacs. The air sacs are deeper in the lung and are responsible for oxygen exchange with the blood. Pneumonia is often caused by bacterial or viral infections and causes the air sacs to fill with fluid or pus .
Pneumonia and bronchitis require different treatments. Its important to get the correct diagnosis from your doctor so you receive the right care.
Things That You Can Do To Help Your Child At Home Are
- Control the fever with the proper medicine and right strength for the age of your child. Fevers lower than 101° F do not need to be treated unless the child is uncomfortable .
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- See that your child gets lots of rest.
- Do not give over-the-counter cough medicines or other OTC medicines without asking the health provider first. The child needs to cough and bring up the phlegm. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing the infection from the lungs.
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants in the air.
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Signs And Symptoms That Mean You Have Bronchitis
But a cough that wont go away even after your sore throat, fever, and other symptoms have gotten better, and thats accompanied by wheezing or shortness of breath, may indicate that youre dealing with something more serious, like bronchitis or pneumonia.
Given how many symptoms the two respiratory conditions share, its not surprising that bronchitis is often mistaken for pneumonia and vice versa. Bronchitis thats thought to have turned into pneumonia may actually have been pneumonia all along. Its also common for people to think that bronchitis can often turn into pneumonia, but in reality this is not the case for most people, explains Ralph Gonzales, MD, the associate dean for clinical innovation and chief innovation officer for the University of San Francisco Health and an internal medicine specialist. What we call bronchitis may sometimes be pneumonia, he says.
Pneumonia Complications In Pregnant Women
If the mother has pneumonia, she and the expected, the coming child, both will have complications.
Below are few of the complications they can encounter:
- Empyema may develop in which infection takes place in bloodstream due to excessive fluid around the lung.
- Oxygen supply lowers while breathing complication rises.
- Respiratory failure may happen in the worst condition.
- Born with low weight
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Symptoms Of Acute Bronchitis
You may have various problems with breathing, such as:
- Chest congestion, where your chest feels full or clogged
- Coughing — you may cough up a lot of mucus thatâs clear, white, yellow, or green
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe
You may also have some of the typical cold or flu symptoms, such as:
- Body aches
Even after the other symptoms are gone, the cough can last for a few weeks as your bronchial tubes heal and the swelling goes down.
How Do People Confuse Bronchitis And Pneumonia
The same infections that cause bronchitis may also cause pneumonia. Moreover, chronic bronchitis is a risk factor for developing pneumonia and other serious infections.
A person with a previous diagnosis of one type of infection may still develop another infection. It is crucial to watch out for changing or worsening symptoms.
The symptoms of the two diseases are virtually indistinguishable to most people. Only a doctor can conclusively diagnose the cause of breathing difficulties.
Both bronchitis and pneumonia can be severe and life threatening. It is important not to self-diagnose either condition and take all breathing symptoms seriously.
People should see a doctor if:
- they have difficulty breathing
- it feels impossible to stop coughing
- they have a very high fever
- symptoms of pneumonia or bronchitis do not get better with treatment, or symptoms get better and then return
- they have another chronic illness and breathing difficulties
- a baby or young child gasps for air, has irregular breathing, or cannot catch their breath
Breathing issues can quickly worsen. If a doctor is unable to see a person with suspected bronchitis or pneumonia within a day, a person must go to the emergency room or seek urgent care.
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Whats The Difference Between Acute And Chronic Bronchitis And Is Either Of These Contagious
Acute bronchitis generally lasts about one to three weeks whereas chronic bronchitis you would find more where the patients would have some symptoms more of as of coughing and shortness of breath more than three months at a time.
Also, they can persist to have these symptoms for several years as far as a contagious you would find that the reasons for acute bronchitis to be more contagious.
How Is Acute Bronchitis Diagnosed
Healthcare providers can often diagnose acute bronchitis by taking a medical history and doing physical exam. Tests may be done to rule out other diseases, such as pneumonia or asthma. Any of these tests may be used to help confirm a diagnosis:
- Chest X-rays. A test that uses invisible radiation beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs, including the lungs.
- Arterial blood gas. This blood test is used to analyze the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.
- Pulse oximetry. An oximeter is a small machine that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. To get this measurement, a small sensor is taped or clipped on a finger or toe. When the machine is on, a small red light can be seen in the sensor. The sensor is painless and the red light does not get hot.
- Cultures of nasal discharge and sputum. Testing the sputum you cough up or swab from your nose may be done to find and identify the microorganism causing the infection.
- Pulmonary function tests. These are tests that help to measure the ability of the lungs to move air in and out of the lungs. The tests are usually done with special machines that you breathe into.
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Add Spice In Your Foods
If you want your nasal congestion melt and help air inhalation, add some aesthetic spices in your foods. Adding ginger, garlic, black-pepper, cumin, cinnamon, etc. would give you a warm taste and bring your lost appetite.
Fiery dishes with pepper and other spicy ingredients would make your nose run and clear mucus in your lungs.
Preventive Measures In Lifestyle To Prevent Pneumonia:
- Allow yourself to visit your doctors for regular check of your lungs condition. Dont neglect even the insignificant cold symptoms for this could lead to vitalizing of residual viruses and bacteria.
- If you are a chain-smoker or have weakness to alcoholism, you surely are at high risk of generating pneumonia symptoms in your lungs air sacs. So quit smoking and alcoholism. At best, start lowering the bad habits.
- Strengthen your immune system by taking nutritious diet as per your health experts instruction.
- Eat plenty of water to help your bloodstream carry more oxygen to your air passages smoothly.
- Eat vitamin C enriched foods to fight cold and flu.
- Take enough rest after work or other physical activities to keep your immune system active.
- Wash hands before eating with hygienic hand-wash or antiseptic soaps. Use hand sanitizer before and after visiting patients or kids. Keep a hand sanitizer in your home too if you are allergic to soaps.
- Do not allow dust or fumes enter your house or workplace. Wear mask and gloves when dusting your furniture or books. Keep your mask on as much as possible when you are at factories, shops, hospitals, playgrounds, swimming pools, or commuters.
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How Do I Know Whether Its Acute Or Chronic
First, itâs important to figure out a time line.
If you have a cough and breathing problems that have lasted for months or years, it might be chronic bronchitis. This is a long-term health problem that needs ongoing treatment.
Some people with very serious chronic bronchitis have it their entire lives. Others can successfully treat it. Youâre more likely to get it if you smoke.
This usually requires a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Important ways you can improve your lung health include:
- Quit smoking ask your doctor about therapies that might help.
- Avoid things that can irritate your lungs, such as secondhand smoke, air pollution, and dust.
- Wash your hands a lot to lower the odds of infection.
But those steps are important if you think you have acute bronchitis, too.
To learn other ways to treat your cough, see your doctor to find out whatâs causing it.
How Is Acute Bronchitis Diagnosed In A Child
Your childs healthcare provider can often diagnose acute bronchitis with a health history and physical exam. In some cases, your child may need tests to rule out other health problems, such as pneumonia or asthma. These tests may include:
Chest X-rays. This test makes images of internal tissues, bones, and organs.
Pulse oximetry. An oximeter is a small device that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. For this test, the healthcare provider puts a small sensor on your child’s finger or toe. When the device is on, a small red light can be seen in the sensor. The sensor is painless and the red light does not get hot.
Sputum and nasal discharge samples. These tests can find the germ causing an infection.
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When To Call The Doctor
You should call your childs doctor if your child:
- Has trouble breathing or is breathing much faster than usual
- Has a bluish or gray color to the fingernails or lips
- Is older than 6 months and has a fever over 102°F
- Is younger than 6 months and has a temperature over 100.4°F.
- Has a fever for more than a few days after taking antibiotics
When your child should stay home and return to school or childcare
How Doctors May Treat Bronchitis That Turns Into Pneumonia
Treatment of pneumonia that has developed after bronchitis can vary depending on factors like age, severity of symptoms, and medical history. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend hospitalization, says Holguin.
If youre not experiencing breathing difficulties or other serious symptoms and your pneumonia is determined to be bacterial, you may be prescribed an oral antibiotic.
Your doctor may also test you for other infections, such as the flu, and depending on your symptoms and test results, recommend an antiviral medication, says Holguin.
If your doctor determines that your pneumonia can be treated at home, they may suggest the following:
- Drinking plenty of fluids, which can help loosen phlegm and clear it out of your body
- Getting lots of rest
- Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever or chest pain
If hospitalized for pneumonia, you may be given these treatments:
- Oxygen therapy and other breathing treatments
- Antimicrobial agents
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How Long Does Asthmatic Bronchitis Last
Its hard to determine how long the asthmatic bronchitis would last- it may be about 10-15 days, or 3 weeks, or a couple of months.
Since asthmatic bronchitis is a combination of two different conditions, it simply depends on the number of symptoms one has developed, the strength of immune system one possesses, and the kind of treatment he or she is taking, for determining the longevity of it.
How Bronchitis And Pneumonia Are Treated
Treatments for both bronchitis and pneumonia depend on the underlying cause, such as whether its bacterial or viral.
Bacterial pneumonia and acute bronchitis are both treated with antibiotics. For viral cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug. However, theyll likely suggest you get a few days of rest and drink plenty of fluids while you recover.
If you have chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe a breathing treatment or steroid drug that you inhale into your lungs. The medicine helps to reduce inflammation and clear mucus from your lungs.
For more severe cases, your doctor might also prescribe supplemental oxygen to help you breathe. Its also important to avoid smoking or exposure to the substance that caused your bronchitis.
Regardless of the cause, follow these tips to speed up your healing time:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids to loosen up the mucus in your lungs. Water, clear juices, or broths are the best choices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
- Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to reduce a fever and soothe body aches.
- Turn on a humidifier to loosen up the mucus in your lungs.
- Ask your doctor about using an over-the-counter cough remedy if your cough is keeping you up at night or making it hard to sleep.
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