By Wyatt McKinney
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is defined as an inflammation of the bronchi. Bronchi are airways in the respiratory tract that bring air into the lungs. This inflammation is typically caused by viruses or bacteria, but it may also be caused by inhaled irritants, such as cigarette smoke or harmful chemicals.
Most cases of bronchitis cases involve a viral pathogen. The inflammation is usually the result of the mucus lining of the airways becoming swollen due to irritation. Anyone may contract bronchitis, but people with weak immune systems, such as children and the elderly, are particularly vulnerable.
What are the Symptoms?
Coughing up phlegm or spit, difficulty breathing, and wheezing are all common bronchitis symptoms. Patients typically seek treatment for bronchitis once the coughing becomes uncomfortable or painful. If the inflammation is particularly severe, fatigue, fever, or chest pains may arise. In rare cases, gastrointestinal bronchitis symptoms may arise.
How can you Prevent Bronchitis?
A vaccine for a Haemophilus influenza, which commonly causes bronchitis, was developed in 1985. However, since the vaccine only boosts immunity for six months, it is typically only administered to those most at risk.
Anyone who wants to limit their risk of bronchitis should stop or not start smoking. Even secondhand smoke may lead to bronchitis. Workers who are often exposed to dust or irritating chemicals should wear a dusk mask to prevent inhalation. Everyone who wants to decrease their risk should also limit their exposure to air and traffic pollution.
How is Bronchitis Treated?
There is no medical cure for bronchitis. Typically doctors will treat the symptoms to alleviate the pain and discomfort, and wait from the body to naturally correct the inflammation. Far too often, doctors will prescribe antibiotics. However, for the large majority of cases of bronchitis, this is inadvisable.
Most bronchitis cases are the result of a virus, and antibiotics are only designed to treat bacterial infections. Many doctors are aware that antibiotics are ineffective for bronchitis, but prescribe them anyway because they feel pressured by the patient to treat something besides the symptoms.
A study from 2002 titled Azithromycin for acute bronchitis published in the medical journal The Lancet referred to this pressure from patients, concluding that Many patients with acute bronchitis require their physicians to 'do something.' And that it should not include the defensive use of ineffective antibiotics."
Immunologists have long warned that over prescription of antibiotics will only lead to stronger and more resistant bacterial strains. Unnecessary prescription of any medicine can be harmful, and patients who take antibiotics may suffer side effects such as vomiting, headache, and rash.
Since the immune system is the best (and in most cases, the only) way to fight the infection that causes bronchitis, patients might benefit from taking supplements that support and boost the immune system.
Many have claimed good results with taking colloidal silver for bronchitis. Colloidal silver can be taken orally or through a nebulizer.
If you would like to take colloidal silver for the treatment of bronchitis, it may be interesting to note that some patients have reported the best results with true colloidal silver versus inferior products that are mostly ionic solutions.