Are you continuously sniffling, coughing and feeling miserable? While the common chest cold can go away on its own with rest and fluids, symptoms overlap with more serious ailments like bronchitis. It is really very important to identify what is normal and to distinguish when something more serious is going on. Read further to learn more.
What is the difference between common chest cold and bronchitis?
A common chest cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, primarily the nose and throat. Symptoms of common chest cold might include runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, low-grade fever, cough without mucus, and fatigue. Bronchitis is usually a viral infection of the bronchial tubes, so you’ll experience it less in your nose and more in your lungs. Symptoms of bronchitis include low-grade fever, cough with or without mucus, fatigue, wheezing, trouble breathing, and chest pain.
Common bronchitis causes
Are you wondering how did you end up with bronchitis in the first place? Well, you should know that it can be caused due to a number of reasons.
- Viruses: Several viruses have been known to cause bronchitis and some of the common ones include Influenza A and B virus; these are also commonly referred to as the flu. They are generally responsible for acute bronchitis.
- Bacteria: Certain bacteria such as ‘Mycoplasma pneumoniae’ can also lead to bronchitis, especially of the acute form.
- Irritant Inhalation: Breathing in irritant vapors, chemical solvents, dust, etc., over a period of time can lead to chronic cases of bronchitis, though sudden exposure can also precipitate an acute attack.
- Low Immunity Level: If you are with a weakened immune system, then you are at an increased risk of developing bronchitis.
Common bronchitis symptoms
Acute bronchitis typically starts with an attack of the common cold – it is quite often caused by the same viruses that cause a cold. The attack typically gets over within a 6 weeks’ time. To start with, the most common bronchitis symptoms include the following.
- Sore throat
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Body pain
And later on, bronchitis might progress to the development of the following.
- Cough with clear mucus to start with
- You might develop yellow or green mucus during the further course
- Shortness of breath, wheezing
- Tightness in the chest or pain
- Excessive and forceful coughing may even lead to soreness of the abdominal muscles
- Low-grade fever
How long does bronchitis last?
Acute bronchitis quite often develops three to four days after a cold. It might start with a dry cough, then after a few days, the coughing spells might bring up mucus. Mostly, this is gotten over bronchitis in two to three weeks, although the cough can sometimes hang on for four weeks or more.
How to avoid getting bronchitis?
Listed below self-help tips can help you to avoid getting bronchitis.
- Avoid smoking
- Do not let anyone else smoke in your home
- Do not share food, cups, glasses or eating utensils
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reduce your time around or completely stay away from things that irritate your nose, throat, and lungs such as dust or pets
- Wash your hands often
When should you book an appointment with your homeopath?
Book an appointment with your homeopath when a chest cold advances to chronic bronchitis. The following might indicate chronic bronchitis and should consult a homeopath.
- It has been longer than a week: The severity and duration of symptoms can help you distinguish between a chest cold and chronic bronchitis. Chest colds improve in about 7 to 10 days. Chronic bronchitis is a persistent hacking cough lasting at least 3 months. Other symptoms include chest soreness or tightness.
- You have a fever: Sometimes, bronchitis causes a low-grade fever.
- Worsening of symptoms: You will also have worsening of chest cold symptoms with bronchitis. Coughing might keep you up at night, and you might have difficulty taking deep breaths. Mucus production can also worsen. Depending on the severity of bronchitis, you might have blood in your mucus.
If you have a weak immune system, a cough that does not improve or if you develop symptoms of bronchitis or pneumonia, visit your nearest homeopathy clinic. Difficulty breathing, especially at rest, or coughing up brown, bloody mucus can indicate a serious problem that requires bronchitis treatment.