Asthmatic bronchitis is a very common infection affecting both children and adults. It is more popular during cold or rainy seasons. On their own, asthma and bronchitis are different from the asthmatic bronchitis. The condition is actually a variant of bronchitis that develops in people with asthma. The lower immune status of asthmatic patients makes them more predisposed to the infection. If you are an asthmatic and you suspect bronchitis, you better read the article below so that you’ll know what to do.
The respiratory system is made up of structures that allow the free passage of air from the outside environment to your cells. Each time you inhale, the air enters your nose or mouth. It then moves to the pharynx, larynx, to the trachea, bronchus, to the different parts of the bronchioles and then to the lungs. In the lungs, the gaseous form of oxygen dissociates to combine with the pigment present in the blood. The oxygen circulates in the blood in a dissolved form. If the respiratory passages encounter any problem like constriction of the tubules or over secretion of mucus, the amount of oxygen delivered in the tissues is compromised. As a result, patients experience shortness of breath. To catch up for the need, they need to breathe even faster.
Asthmatic bronchitis is the inflammation of the respiratory passages especially that of the bronchial tubes. It can also be classified under the conditions leading to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. People with history of asthma attacks or those who have current episodes of asthma have higher risks of suffering from the condition. The inflammation often leads to severe obstruction that can risk the life of the patient. If the illness is a recurrent type, the regular medications for asthmatic bronchitis may no longer be effective. That is why you have to deal with the problem the very moment that it strikes you.
There are several causes of asthmatic bronchitis. It can be due to the inhalation of pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria, virus or fungi or inhalation of chemicals and dust. It can also be due to exposure to weather changes or use of certain medications. Because all of these are considered as foreign, the body sees them as potential irritants. The defense mechanism of the cells lining the mucous membrane is to eliminate them as soon as possible. The hair-like projections in the respiratory tract prevent the foreign substances from reaching the lungs. They move in unison to push them out of the body. But if their collective actions fail, the external agents begin to invade the underlying tissues and cause the asthmatic bronchitis. The cells in the mucous membrane secrete more mucous and begin to obstruct the airway, the bronchial tubes swell and difficulty in breathing follows. Aside from the external factors, the defective response of the body worsens the condition. The weak immune system of both children and older adults or the hyperactivity of the body’s defense response brings a person to a higher risk for asthmatic bronchitis.
Asthmatic bronchitis comes with the classic symptoms related to almost all respiratory infections. Patients suffer cough with excessive mucous production, wheezes, difficulty in breathing and chest tightness. The constriction of the bronchioles together with the thick mucus secretion is the factor responsible for the symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis. Because breathing is one of the basic functions in the body, immediate medical attention is required. Oftentimes, this requires hospital confinement until the symptoms are reduced.
The preliminary diagnosis of asthmatic bronchitis is based on the symptoms manifested by the patients. But because other respiratory tract infections like emphysema and chronic bronchitis exhibit the same signs, it can be more difficult to diagnose the problem. Laboratory tests and physical examination aids the physician in making the diagnosis. Examples of tests include spirometry and chest x-ray. In spirometry, your doctor measures your lung function and capacity. This can be done within few minutes. In patients with asthmatic bronchitis, the results are often lower than a healthy person. X-ray allows your doctor to see through your lungs. The image provides a clearer view of the lung structures as well as possible damage brought by the condition.
The treatment of asthmatic bronchitis is based on two, the removal of the underlying cause and alleviation of symptoms. The first set of medications is directed in fighting the foreign organism while the second set is to relieve the cough, unblock the airway and loosen the mucus. Antibiotics treat the bacterial origin of asthmatic bronchitis while bronchodilators and steroids open up the airway passages. If the problem is not treated at once, the condition may lead to serious complications like pneumonia and worst is death.
The best way to deal with asthmatic bronchitis is to know its preventive measures. Once you know the common stimuli that trigger the condition, you have to stay away from them. If you are a smoker, you better stop smoking to prevent frequent attacks of the problem. Avoid crowded areas and stay indoors to avoid inhaling polluted outdoor air and dust. If possible, use HEPA filter to clean your indoor air. Keep pets out of your house especially if you have known allergies with them.
Contrary to what most people believe, asthmatic bronchitis is not contagious. Bronchitis, which is caused by a virus or bacteria, is the condition considered as easily transmissible. Asthma on the other hand refers to the constriction of the respiratory passageway. Both illnesses increase your risk for pneumonia. Health experts noted the frequency of asthmatic pneumonia among patients with asthma. The pneumonia may be due to the complications of the medications. The connection is very frequent among young children and elderly. The weakened and underdeveloped immune system of these two populations makes them more vulnerable to it.
With these facts, you can better understand your health status. If you are still unsure of your condition, never do self-medication. It can only risk your health. See your doctor and get the correct diagnosis and treatment. The earlier you get the consult from your health provider; the better will be your chances of recovery.