Definition of Asthmatic Bronchitis
Asthmatic bronchitis (popularly known as bronchial asthma) is a respiratory condition wherein bronchial tubes become inflamed leading to tightening of muscle airways. As a result, minor amounts of air get into your lungs. Asthmatic bronchitis is an amalgam of two common respiratory conditions – asthma and bronchitis. Asthma is the tightening and the narrowing of the airway; whereas, Bronchitis is the inflammation of bronchial airways which comes as a result of a bacterial or viral infection.
Factors Affecting Asthmatic Bronchitis
Asthmatic bronchitis has a bit of genetic disposition since asthma is inherited; bronchitis is non-hereditary, though.
The following are factors that precipitate asthmatic bronchitis.
- Allergens such pollen and dust
- Food additives
- Weather changes
- Virus or bacteria. It is said that chronic bronchitis often results in asthmatic bronchitis.
- Low immunity
- Childhood infections
- Shortness of breath
Signs and Symptoms of Asthmatic Bronchitis
Signs and symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are combined with that of asthma and bronchitis. Symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis include coughing, chest rigidity, wheezes and excessive mucus production. The person may also experience sleeplessness and fatigue due to a severe cough. The phlegm from the cough can be greenish or yellow and with a fever that may lasts for days can be a sure sign of infection.
Is Asthmatic Bronchitis Contagious?
Asthmatic bronchitis can be contagious depending on the cause. If the disease is caused by viral or bacterial infection such as colds, asthmatic bronchitis can be contagious.
Other than an examination for the signs and symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis, there are several tests to confirm the diagnosis. A chest X-ray is a common diagnostic procedure for patients with suspected asthmatic bronchitis. However, doctors may recommend eupnic tests to rule out other respiratory problems this is because asthmatic bronchitis does have similar symptoms to that of other respiratory issues. An example of this test is spirometery and PEF or peak expiratory flow. Meanwhile, there is no blood test for asthmatic bronchitis.
Treatment for Asthmatic Bronchitis
First off, unfortunately there is no cure for asthma. The treatment for asthmatic bronchitis is a blend management of asthma and bronchitis. Basically, the treatment regimen for asthmatic bronchitis involves avoiding triggers and strict compliance of medications.
To avoid triggers, wash bed linen at least once a week; do not smoke; dust household items regularly; keep pets out and maintain proper nutrition. Administration of flu vaccines likewise helps lessen the chance of acquiring the disease. Few herbal remedies are said to relieve asthmatic bronchitis such as ginger juice, teas, garlic and lemon juice.
For medications, short-acting bronchodilators are used to open the bronchial airways to improve respiratory function. A popular example of this is albuterol. Long-acting inhalers, on the other hand, are used treat asthma with inflammation. Antibiotics are used if bacterial or viral infection is present. Permanent treatment for asthmatic bronchitis involves the use of oral corticosteroids and other drugs like Salbutamol.
Prognosis of Asthmatic Bronchitis
The prognosis for asthmatic bronchitis is fair. Whilst the disease is likely chronic in nature, it is not fatal if treated early and managed continuously.