Diseases affect the lives of people in an adverse way. Therefore, it is necessary to develop healthy habits in order to prevent the occurrence of these diseases. Diseases are caused by both virus and bacteria; however, in certain cases, environmental conditions also play a major role in causing certain ailments. For instance, bronchitis, an ailment of the respiratory system, is both viral and bacterial bronchitis. Not many people can tell the difference between viral and bacterial bronchitis. Only a medical practitioner will be able to point out the differences between viral and bacterial bronchitis after a careful examination of the patient and the results of laboratory tests.
Commonly, viruses cause bronchitis. People with viral bronchitis suffer from difficulties in breathing, headache, pain, wheezing, and other symptoms, such as low-grade fever. Patients will have a persistent, nonproductive cough and will not feel that ill. Bacterial bronchitis, on the other hand, is a more dangerous condition. You will suffer from a high fever and a persistent, productive cough with dark, discolored, and thick mucus.
If, along with bronchitis, you have disorders such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or COPD, home remedies will not suffice. Consult your doctor; he will draw up the perfect treatment plan for you. Doctors can do so by performing the required physical examination and studying your medical history. If your symptoms are mild, a stethoscope examination will suffice; however, if your symptoms are prolonged and severe, you need many more tests, such as chest x-rays.
Just as there is a difference between viral and bacterial bronchitis, there is also a difference between the treatment of these conditions. Viral bronchitis does not really require any treatment. Home remedies can successfully heal a person from this condition. However, it can not and should not be neglected.
Care should be taken during the healing process. You need to take a lot of rest and increase your fluid intake. Taking more liquids such as fruit juices, water, and soup helps liquefy the phlegm and makes it easier for the body to expel it. In case of muscle pains, take acetaminophen. If the symptoms cause a great deal of distress, take cough suppressants or expectorants in order to liquefy the mucus. Taking a warm shower or a hot bath also facilitates the expulsion of mucus.
In case of bacterial bronchitis, your doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics such as tetracycline, amoxicillin, and erythromycin. The antibiotic to be taken depends on the strain of the bacteria infecting your bronchial tubes. When you are on antibiotic therapy, you may have side effects characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Some bacteria are drug resistant, and recently, the FDA approved the use of a drug called gemiflaoxacin mesylate for such bacteria. It comes in the form of a oral tablet that has to be taken daily for five days. The side effects of this drug are diarrhea, skin rashes, and nausea.
It is not possible to treat a viral infection with antibiotics; attempts to do so will worsen your condition. Before using any drug, consult your doctor and find out if it is safe for you to use that drug. Cardio respiratory exercises help to regain normal lung function and to expel any excess mucus after the completion of the healing process.
Develop hygienic habits to keep viral and bacterial bronchitis at bay. Get yourself vaccinated for flu because it lessens the risk of contracting viral and bacterial bronchitis. Avoid cigarettes, chemical fumes, smoke, and other pollutants because these are also the major causes of bronchitis.
Normally, people fall sick once in a while. But if you live in polluted conditions and have unhealthy habits such as alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking, you will fall ill many times. Make a serious effort toward good health, and while you are healthy, keep some money aside so that you can handle medical costs easily in case you fall ill.