Acute bronchitis or chest cold is a contagious disease, which affects respiratory tracts in the lower part of lungs. It causes mainly due to viral infections like influenza and it leads to inflammation of bronchioles, bronchi and small passageways in lungs.
Chest Colds – Causes of the Disease
The major cause of chest colds is viral infection. However, it can also be caused by pollutions in air and bacterial infection. Contaminated droplets spread in the air through coughing sneezing and talking of affected people. The virus spreads to others through breathing of these contaminated droplets. Though the disease can be affected by all, infants and older people are more prone to it. The risk of chest colds is very high in people with chronic lung or heart disease such as lung cancer, asthma, heart diseases, etc. Other causes of this disease are smoking, exposure to lung irritants or air pollution. You should avoid contact with infected people in order to reduce the risk of spreading or catching acute bronchitis.
Chest Cold Symptoms – Major Signs
Depends on general health, age and medical history, severity of chest cold symptoms varies. Therefore, the symptoms of this disease are relatively mild in a healthy adult. But it will be severe in people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, lung diseases, COPD, etc. Wet cough, fever, fatigue, chills, chest tightness and pain, chest congestion, etc., are the major symptoms of this disease. Breathing with whistling sound, rapid pulse, laboured breathing, lethargy, high fever, disorientation or confusion, etc., are severe chest cold symptoms. If the inflammation is severe, it may lead to bleeding. Changing level of consciousness also shows severity of disease. Patient may also feel malaise, soreness or aches. Acute bronchitis may lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, dehydration, shock, sepsis, respiratory arrest and respiratory failure, pleural effusion, lung abscess, hyposia, empyema, etc.
Chest Cold Remedies – Treatment
In order to prevent dehydration, you should drink lots of fluids. You can use albuterol inhalation for reducing inflammation. It can also be minimised by adopting steroid therapy. Chest cold remedies also include the use of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. You can suppress cough by using cough syrups, which contain dextromethorphan. Inhaling steam, saltwater gargle, increasing the intake of fluid, using thyme, etc are also effective. Saline nasal sprays help to reduce congestion and stiffness. Flu and cold symptoms can be reduced by having chicken soup. Use of heat humidifier is also very effective. Intake of orange juice helps you to increase your immunity. It is also essential to take adequate rest.