A healthy man nowadays is a myth. Almost every person is suffering from one or another disease. Some are upset because their stomach is upset too. Some are admitted to hospitals because their heart functioning is getting poor. Some are unable to breathe properly because of lung diseases. After listing these diseases, let us start by discussing lung problems today. Do you know which disease that is affecting us the most? Bronchitis is the most common lung disease that catches the maximum population. How is it spreading so fast? Is bronchitis contagious? How can we treat it?
Want answers to all your questions? Stay with us till the end to learn about bronchitis.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the inner lining of the bronchial tubes. Now let us learn a little about the bronchial tubes. For those who are reading these words for the first time, let me inform you that bronchial tubes are the hollow pipe-like structure that carries the inhaled air into the alveoli (the air sac or small elastic bags). When these pipe-like structures suffer from inflammation, there is the secretion of mucous that starts to thicken the bronchial tubes. This narrows the tube, making it difficult for you to breathe.
Talking about the types of bronchitis, then in general, we have 2 types of bronchitis. One is acute bronchitis and the other one is chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is a short term disease and can be treated easily. It gets triggered by cold or normal viral attacks. Whereas chronic bronchitis is a severe form. The disease here stays for a long time and can get worse if the patient is suffering from a predisposing disease. If the acute bronchitis is left untreated, then there are high chances for the patient to get chronic bronchitis too.
Is Bronchitis Contagious?
If you are wondering is bronchitis contagious? Let me tell you that yes, bronchitis is contagious. This is the reason why the spread of this disease is fast enough. How do you get it?
- You catch bronchitis easily if the patient suffering from it coughs or sneezes in front of you.
- Since this disease is airborne, you must wear masks and keep a distance from such patients.
- If you are kissing or having intercourse with that person, you might catch it soon.
- Any sort of fluid exchange like blood donation or plasma, with the affected person, can cause bronchitis.
Every disease has a reason to occur. If it is not genetic, it might be due to genetic mutation or there can be a predisposing disease that can cause several further illnesses to you. Similarly, here are the causes that cause bronchitis in a person.
- Smoking: Smoking is the most important cause of bronchitis. It is a severe cause that inflames the bronchial tubes and due to which the alveoli start to lose their elasticity causing asthma sooner.
- Air pollution: Some people are allergic to dust or pollution around them. This can be the reason that can trigger the inflammatory condition of bronchial tubes and the patient starts coughing. The coughing can get so severe that the patient can get short of breathing.
- Bacterial Infection: Millions of bacteria are there in the air. You never know when you will catch one. Once the bacterial colony accumulates in the throat, it can cause a bad throat that will sink to the bronchial tubes causing inflammatory reactions.
- Viral Infection: A long-lasting viral infection like cough and cold can make an easy way for bronchitis to reach you. So if you are having a cold and cough problem, treat yourself to avoid bronchitis.
- Predisposing disease: If the person is already suffering from a disease like asthma, pneumonia or stomach diseases kike GERD (gastro-oesophagal reflux disease), it gets easier for the patient to catch bronchitis in such conditions.
- Weak Immune System: Any individual with a weak immune system is always on the hit list of not only bronchitis but all other diseases. Eat a healthy diet and follow healthily exercises to avoid getting sick.
Many symptoms trouble the patients suffering from bronchitis. But here are some most common ones with the help of which you can self diagnose the disease.
- Cough is the most common symptom. Whenever something tries to block the windpipe in the human body, in defence, there is a violent response of the tracheobronchial tract to clear itself leading the patient to cough. It can be acute as well as severe. This gives a response to your question, is bronchitis contagious.
- The nature of the cough might be dry or in chronic cases, there can be loud sounds called stridor.
- The patient suffers from a runny nose. In chronic cases, there is post nasal dripping recorded.
- Due to chronic bronchitis, there can be severe chest pain. If GERD is the reason for bronchitis, then also, chest pain is commonly observed in such patients.
- There is a severe headache in the patient due to a continuous cough.
- There is shortness of breath. As told earlier, there is a narrowing of the bronchial tube. This results in a decreased respiratory rate.
- There is a sore throat which results in difficulty in swallowing the food.
- The patient complains of mucous discharge that can be clear or white. The colour of the mucous might vary from grey to yellow and can be green sometimes.
- In chronic cases, the sputum comes with a streak of blood in it.
- There is difficulty in sleep as the cough aggravates at night.
Diagnosis or investigations are done to confirm the suspected disease that the doctor has written on your prescription. To confirm bronchitis, these tests are performed.
- Chest X-rays are done to record the radio-Opacity or radio-lucency of the bronchial tree as well as the lungs. This confirms the accumulation of mucus.
- Microbial Examinations are done. This includes sputum tests that confirm the presence of bacteria.
- CT scans and MRIs are also performed to check the structures thoroughly.
Invasive tests include tests like bronchoscopy, bronchography, pulmonary angiography and laryngoscopy. These are the confirmation tests that should be performed before claiming that the patient is suffering from any lung disease.
Medical science has treatments for almost every disease that the patient suffers from. The treatment therapy for bronchitis involves
- Selfcare: Taking care of yourself if you are the patient is a must. Try avoiding things that might cause you trouble. If you are allergic to dust and pollution, avoid it.
- Medication: Medication includes tablets containing drugs. The drugs that are given include NSAIDs, analgesics and narcotics. All of them decrease the pain sensation and are anti-inflammatory.
- Humidifiers are given to eliminate the dry cough from the list of symptoms.
- Antibiotics are given to the patient to treat a sore throat or bacterial-induced bronchitis.
Since the answer for ‘is bronchitis contagious’ is yes, the treatment above is always there to prevent you but prevention is completely in your hands. Try to take up preventive measures like wearing masks, and keeping your distance because bronchitis can worsen covid too.