Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi (large airways) in the lungs, occurring when an infection causes the thin mucous membrane linings of these airways to become irritated and inflamed. The result is the production of mucus in the lungs and a persistent cough that may last several days or weeks. Chronic bronchitis: This is not necessarily caused by infection and is most often part of more serious lung conditions. The most common chronic bronchitis symptoms are characterized by a persistent cough that produces phlegm for at least three months a year for two consecutive years.
Acute bronchitis is recognized as a cough and the production of phlegm which may be accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing, as well as a mild fever in some cases. Acute bronchitis commonly occurs after an upper respiratory infection such as a cold, influenza, or a sinus infection. For this reason, you may also experience other symptoms such as muscle aches, nasal congestion, and a sore throat in addition to bronchitis symptoms.
IIf symptoms persist it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.
Bronchitis is generally caused by a virus such as those that cause the common cold and influenza. It is therefore common to develop bronchitis as a secondary infection which follows flu-like symptoms, or is accompanied by them. There are, however, other causes of bronchitis including certain bacterial infections as well as environmental irritants such as cigarette smoke, pollution, dust and chemical fumes.
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 children in the western world, making it the most common chronic childhood disease to date. During an asthma attack, the lung’s airways (bronchioles) become inflamed, contract and become lined with excessive amounts of mucous—causing a restriction of airflow and making it very difficult to breathe.
These attacks are often triggered by pollution or some environmental irritant like cigarette smoke, household cleaning agents, or other toxins. Other common triggers include a change in air temperature or humidity; stress, allergies, and physical exertion.
Most cases of asthma are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Studies have revealed that asthma does run in families, making children of asthmatic parents especially vulnerable to the condition. In addition, children with an early history of infections and continuous exposure to second-hand smoke are far more likely to develop the condition than other children.
Asthma has a number of triggers which often include:
Allergies to pollen, grass, certain foods, house dust mites, pets or any other environmental allergens
Air pollution or irritants including car and factory emissions
A number of perfumed products including deodorants, chemical detergents, fabric softeners and incense
Upper respiratory infections colds, flu and sinusitis
Physical exertion or exercise
Certain medications such as aspirin and penicillin
Hormonal changes in women during menstruation pregnancy
Sudden changes in air temperature or humidity
Stress, anxiety and other strong emotions
In most cases, the use of conventional western medication and/or herbal and homeopathic remedies is recommended. Conventional Western medicine generally treats asthma with a combination of preventative and quick-relief medications. These may include the frequent use of inhalers, anti-inflammatory medication, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and anti-allergy medications. Many of them come with a number of potentially dangerous side effects as well as negative effects on immune system functioning. Prolonged use of these medications have the potential to lower immune system health, resulting in increased asthma attacks, reduced resistance to allergens, while also leaving the body more vulnerable to other illnesses.
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the term used to describe a lung condition that occurs as a result of damage to or obstruction of the airways of lungs. Conditions that may be classified as COPD include chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and while they may occur separately, they often occur together.
These conditions cause a narrowing of the airways which makes it difficult to breathe, and unlike conditions such as asthma, the damage caused is irreversible and generally progressive over time. Emphysema occurs when the walls of the alveoli or air sacs in the lungs lose their ability to stretch and constrict. This interferes with the normal breathing process and makes breathing difficult.
The most obvious symptoms of COPD are shortness of breath which is worse when exercising, and fatigue as not enough oxygen is getting to the body. Other symptoms will vary depending on the underlying condition and may include coughing, wheezing, excessive production of mucous, bluish lips, weight-loss and headaches. COPD is caused by damage to the lung tissue by external irritants. The first step in COPD treatment is to avoid lung irritants which can worsen the condition.
One of the common symptoms of COPD is the build up of excessive chest mucus and for this there are a number of homeopathic remedies that can help. Kali mur is one such ingredient and it is well known for its beneficial affects of the respiratory system and its ability to ease wet coughs.
Similarly, Kali sulph is excellent at naturally treating phlegm coughs and sinus congestions, as well as reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes. Kali bich also works on soothing irritated mucous membranes, especially in the lungs, and helps loosen thick chest mucus.