Asthmatic bronchitis is bronchitis with dyspnea caused by spasm of muscle fibers in the wall of the airways. The word asthmatic implies the similarity of coughing and shortness of breath in this disease to signs of asthma. What kind of disease is this: asthma or bronchitis?
Is there a real disease with this name?
The term asthmatic bronchitis in medicine has long been out of use and is obsolete. This happened in connection with the distinction between the concepts of bronchitis and asthma, denoting various diseases in their nature. Inflammation in the wall of the bronchi in asthma and bronchitis has various causes and mechanisms of realization. Accordingly, the treatment of these two different diseases is carried out with different medicines. Therefore, scientists and doctors agreed to call asthma asthma, without hiding the allergic nature of the disease behind the vague sign asthmatic bronchitis.
Some health workers received vocational education more than 35 years ago. They remember this outdated term “asthmatic bronchitis” and out of habit call it chronic obstructive adult bronchitis or asthmatic (acute obstructive) bronchitis in children. Also, patients who were diagnosed with “chronic occupational bronchitis with an asthmatic component” many years ago, out of habit call their condition that way.
What is bronchial obstruction?
Bronchitis, accompanied by attacks of breathlessness or constant shortness of breath, is now called the term obstructive. Bronchial obstruction means limiting the speed of air movement through the bronchial tubes due to the narrowing of their lumen. The name asthmatic in the characteristics of diseases is replaced by obstructive, as a more accurate reflection of the mechanism of dyspnea. And the nature of lung diseases that occur with shortness of breath may be different, and asthma is not always the cause of obstruction.
Why divided bronchitis and asthma – does it matter?
Causes of bronchitis, which occurs with attacks of breathlessness or shortness of breath during exercise, need to be clarified. Identifying the true nature of inflammation will allow the doctor to choose the right treatment that will benefit the patient.
Currently, the diagnosis of obstructive bronchitis (with an asthmatic component according to the old terminology) for each patient should be clarified and assigned to one of the actually existing types of inflammation of the bronchi.
How to recognize asthma behind the screen of asthmatic bronchitis?
If asthmatic bronchitis has symptoms such as asthma attacks that occur at rest; cough with difficult discharge of viscous vitreous sputum; episodes of wheezing in the chest; frequent allergic reactions; manifestation of these symptoms in the early morning hours, then most likely a person suffers from asthma.
The essence of asthma is allergic inflammation in the wall of the bronchi. A person who has symptoms of allergies and bronchitis at the same time, you need to contact a pulmonologist. The doctor will conduct an examination and select the correct treatment for asthmatic bronchitis, which is the beginning of bronchial asthma.
Treatment of asthmatic bronchitis, as a precursor of asthma, is carried out with special medications: anti-inflammatory and bronchodilators. Antibiotics are not used to treat asthmatic coughing and choking, as they do not have an application point. It should also warn people who are prone to allergies, from self-treatment popular methods. Medicinal herbs can be beneficial if the patient is not allergic to pollen. Only after consulting with an allergist or pulmonologist can treatment be supplemented with traditional recipes.
What else can be hidden under the mask of asthmatic bronchitis?
If the symptoms of chronic “asthmatic” bronchitis manifest as persistent cough with purulent sputum, shortness of breath on exertion (walking uphill, up the stairs), no choking attacks at rest and at night, then a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is likely. The cause of COPD is the combined effect on light smoking and harmful production factors. In the early stages of the disease, dyspnea is mild, the predominant symptoms are coughing and sputum production.
If in such a patient to measure the speed of air movement through the bronchi during inhalation and exhalation, then there will be initial signs of difficulty breathing. This is a bronchial obstruction of mild severity. Such bronchitis is called chronic obstructive bronchitis.
Treatment of chronic obstructive bronchitis is unthinkable without parting with smoking. The cause of inflammation in the wall of the bronchi in this disease is the toxic effects of tobacco smoke, coupled with industrial aerosols. Currently, methods of treatment with effective drugs that inhibit the deterioration of the lungs in the early stages of COPD have been developed. But the treatment will be effective only when removing the cause of irritation of the bronchi.
Along with bronchodilator medications (spirit, onbrez), the treatment of chronic obstructive bronchitis is complemented with expectorant drugs that facilitate coughing. The most effective and safe drugs from this class are Ambroxol, N-acetylcysteine, carbocysteine. These funds liquefy phlegm, help self-cleaning of the bronchi, removing purulent mucus and freeing the lumen of the bronchi for air. Cough with purulent bronchitis with an obstructive component can and should be treated with traditional methods, if there is no allergy to herbs.
Why are children often diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis?
The area of medicine where one can still find the legitimate use of the phrase “asthmatic bronchitis” is pediatrics. Why is that?
In the children’s body there are features of the structure of the respiratory tract, which differ from those in adults. In children, the bronchi have a relatively narrow lumen, and the mucous membrane is loose and prone to edema. With a normal viral infection, massive edema of the inner lining of the bronchi can develop. The bronchial lumen narrows and the child suffocates. The air passes through the narrowed bronchi with a whistle that can be heard even from a distance.
This disease is now called acute obstructive bronchitis, and before it was called asthmatic bronchitis. Treatment of acute viral bronchitis with an obstructive component includes antiviral and bronchodilator drugs (salbutamol, berodual, atrovent). It is better to treat asphyxiation by inhaling the medication through a nebulizer-compressor inhaler.
In severe shortness of breath, the treatment of asthmatic bronchitis is complemented by the inhalation of hormones, which usually treat asthma. A short course of inhalation of budesonide will quickly reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes, eliminating life-threatening choking. After recovery, the patient should consult with an allergist or pulmonologist, so as not to miss the onset of asthma.
Prognosis and prevention
Usually, the prognosis for this disease is favorable, but in some patients it can turn into asthma.
To prevent the re-development of the disease, the allergen elimination is necessary, it is necessary to carry out non-specific and specific desensitization, and the rehabilitation of chronic foci of infection. In rehabilitation, in some cases, hardening, aeroprocedures, therapeutic breathing exercises, and water procedures are shown. Patients with these diseases are subject to observation by an allergist and pulmonologist.
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