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Bronchitis Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

Selma Hasic Midterm Dr.Banks

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, the airways that carry airflow from the trachea into the lungs. The thin mucus lining of these airways can become irritated and swollen; the cells that make up the lining may leak fluids in response to the inflammation. Bronchitis most often occurs during the cold and flu season usually coupled with an upper respiratory infection. Bronchitis can be divided into two categories: acute or chronic each of which has distinct etiologies, pathologies, and therapies. I chose this condition because it seemed like an interesting topic to research ...view middle of the document...

People at increased risk both of getting bronchitis and of having more severe symptoms include the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, smokers, and anyone with repeated exposure to lung irritants.
A cough is the main symptom of acute bronchitis. It may be dry at first, which does not produce mucus from the lungs. The mucus may be clear, yellow, or green. Sometimes small streaks of blood may be present. A mild fever less than 101F. a higher fever may indicate pneumonia. A general feeling of tiredness is another symptom as well as a sensation of tightness, burning, or dull pain in the chest under the breast bone that usually is worse when breathing deeply or coughing. Whistling noises (wheezing) while exercising is present along with hoarseness. Wheezing may occur because of the muscular tightness and inflammation of the airways. This may leave the infected individual short of breath.
Doctors diagnose bronchitis generally on the basis of symptoms and a physical examination. Usually no blood tests are necessary. If the doctor suspects the patient has pneumonia, a chest X-ray may be ordered. Doctors may measure the patient’s oxygen saturation (how well oxygen is reaching blood cells) using a sensor placed on a finger. This is referred to as pulse oximetry. Sometimes a doctor may order an examination and/or culture of a sample of sputum coughed up to look for bacteria.
The goal of traditional treatment for bronchitis is to releive symptoms and ease breathing. In most cases, acute bronchitis requires only self care treatments such as: getting more rest, taking over the counter pain medications, drinking fluids, breathing in warm, moist air. In some circumstances, your doctor may prescribe medications including antibiotics, cough medicines, and other medications.
Bronchitis usually results from a viral infection, so antibiotics aren’t effective but your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if he or she suspects that you have a bacterial infection. If there is a chronic lung disorder involved or if you smoke, our doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to reduce your risk of a serious secondary infection. Cough medic ine suppress a cough that brings up mucus because coughing helps remove irritants form your lungs and air passages. Over the counter medicine may help if your cough keeps you from sleeping. If you have COPD, your doctor may recommend an inhaler and other medications to reduce inflammation and open narrowed passages in your lungs. Some side affects of traditional treatment for bronchitis are: shortness of breath, rash, hives, itching, swelling of lips, face,...

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