Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the part of the respiratory system that leads into the lungs. There are two types of bronchitis — acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis usually appears after a respiratory infection, such as a cold, and can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. Chronic bronchitis does not have a sudden onset and is most frequently caused by long term irritation of the bronchial tubes. A case if bronchitis is considered “chronic” if symptoms continue for three months or longer. (Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD.) Bronchitis caused by allergies can also be classified as chronic bronchitis.
Symptoms and signs of acute bronchitis
Symptoms usually commence during epidemics of colds or influenza. They are frequently first noticed in the upper airways and are characterised by mucus drainage from sinuses, a burning throat and a general feeling of ill health. There may also be a raised temperature. A dry cough may herald the onset of bronchitis and this may be followed within hours to days by the production of small amounts of white and eventually yellow sputum. You may experience discomfort over the main airways (trachea or large bronchi), which will be accentuated by coughing or wheezing.
Symptoms of chronic bronchitis
Symptoms may not be immediately obvious for chronic bronchitis. They include:
Chronic productive cough (a cough that produces mucus) that increases in strength and frequency
Shortness of breath or wheezing, especially during exercise
In conventional medicine the treatment of acute bronchitis usually involves use of antibiotics. In chronic bronchitis cough suppressants, expectorants, bronchodialators, antihistamines and steroids are often used.
Bronchitis – Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies
The sphere of Aconite in bronchitis is limited to the onset of the affection, and here it must be distinguished carefully from other remedies also suitable to this stage. When, as a result of checked perspiration, exposure to cold, drafts or dry, cold winds,a cold is taken starting in with a coryza, frequent sneezing, chilliness,restless sleep,full,hard pulse, and the characteristic mental condition, Aconite will come in,though its stage is a brief one is usually over before the physician sees the case. It is of use, therefore,only before the inflammation is localized. Dr. Pope says that Aconite will often prevent the development of a thorough bronchitis. If the cases are characterized by lassitude and physical weakness and indisposition with a full flowing pulse and moderate congestion, then Aconite is supplanted by Gelsemium. Often times it is difficult to determine which of these remedies is indicated, when Ferrum phosphoricum must be considered, and more especially so in the bronchitis of children,where it will often check the trouble. It stands therefore,midway between Aconite and Gelsemium, with less restlessness and bounding pulse than the former and less flowing pulse and drowsiness than the latter remedy. It corresponds to cases where every little cold adds to trouble, the cough is short and dry, the lungs are sore, and the breathing is somewhat oppressed. Veratrum viride suits violent cases from the first where there is high temperature, full,hard rapid pulse, and great heat of the body. It differs from Aconite in having no anxiety and no restlessness. When the arterial turgescence is over its period of usefulness is past.
Belladonna suits cases of bronchitis with a violent fever, short,dry, continual,distressing cough,worse at night and on lying down,where the breathing is irregular and hurried, no expectoration, or,if present,it is apt to be bloodstreaked, fulness in chest without any pain,though children will cry when coughing,the skin is hot and inclined to moisture,not dry like Aconite or Veratrum viride. There is a tendency to drowsiness, the patient does not sleep, but dozes in semiconscious manner and starts frequently. Do not be too great hurry a change to another remedy when the cough is spasmodic and the child cries after each paroxysm. Belladonna is still the remedy.
Probably this remedy is seldom indicated in pure bronchitis,though very frequently given. It is of especial good service when the cough is very severe, hurting the head and distant parts of the body. The patient presses the hands on the sides of the chest while coughing to relieve the pain. There is great pressure over the sternum,dyspnoea, and a dry cough,which seems to start from the stomach. It is worse after a meal and there is but little expectoration. The cough is more the result of an irritation in the larger bronchi than in the finger tubes, and the hacking produces sore spots in the trachea and chest. Stitching pains in the sides, of course, further indicate Bryonia. The cough is aggravated by coming into a warm room from the cold air. Hughes says that it is the best remedy after Aconite for what is known as a cold on the chest. If the expectoration becomes copious,loose,thick and muco-purulent, Pulsatilla may be indicated; if accompanied by nausea and vomiting of mucus, then give Ipecacuanha, especially bronchitis following measles and whooping cough, Chelidonium is an excellent medicine.