How Allergies Affect Your Lungs
Spring is in the air and so are many of the allergens that cause the misery of seasonal allergies. Symptoms of seasonal allergies can cause itching and watering in your eyes, congestion and runniness in your nose, and itching in your throat. Allergies can affect your lungs to cause wheezing, coughing, and other uncomfortable signs and symptoms of seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies can also trigger asthma, allergic bronchitis, and other lung problems.
Pollen is one of the most common triggers of allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Plants release pollen each spring, summer, and early fall. This pollen fertilizes plants of the same species of trees, grasses, and weeds. Exposure to these pollens and other allergens causes allergic reactions that can affect your lungs.
Managing Symptoms At Home
If you have acute bronchitis:
- get plenty of rest
- drink lots of fluid this helps prevent dehydration;and thins the mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up
- treat headaches, a high temperature, and aches and pains with paracetamol or ibuprofen although ibuprofen is not recommended if you have asthma
What Are Allergic Bronchitis
Allergies are caused by the aggressive response of specialized immune cells to an allergen. When an allergen activates the immune system, it manufactures a protein that causes the immune cells to release histamine, a naturally occurring compound that has an inflammatory effect on the tissues it comes into contact with. When the histamine causes inflammation to the bronchial tubes, the swelling can make it difficult to breathe and causes wheezing and shortness of breath. It is also referred to as canine asthma and can be either chronic or acute.
Allergic bronchitis is the narrowing of the airways due to inflammation and swelling of the bronchi caused by exposure to an allergen. This disorder can be either chronic or acute.
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What Is Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD . COPD is a group of lung diseases that make it hard to breathe and get worse over time. The other main type of COPD is emphysema. Most people with COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but how severe each type is can be different from person to person.
Chronic bronchitis is inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tubes. These tubes are the airways that carry air to and from the air sacs in your lungs. The irritation of the tubes causes mucus to build up. This mucus and the swelling of the tubes make it harder for your lungs to move oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of your body.
How Can Allergies Affect My Voice
Youre doing everything right to keep your voice healthy. You dont overuse it. You keep any acid reflux under control. You do exercises to keep it strong. Despite all that, you still have hoarseness. Whats causing the problem? As it turns out, it might be allergies.
In the Charlotte area, springtime allergies are often caused by tree pollens, grass pollens, and molds. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and coughing.
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How To Avoid Getting Bronchitis
Its not always possible to prevent acute bronchitis, particularly cases that can follow a viral infection like a cold, but you can take steps to minimize your risk. Heres how:
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face to reduce your exposure to viruses and bacteria.; The germs that cause colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections are highly contagious. The best way to reduce your risk of getting bronchitis is to avoid getting sick in the first place. Of course, when you are sick, take care not to spread the illness to other people. Stay at home, wash your hands frequently, and always cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.
- Avoid standing near people who are coming down with an illness or are visibly fighting cold or flu symptoms.
- Avoid cigarette smoke. Stop smoking, and be sure you are not exposed to;secondhand;smoke.
How Do You Get Bronchitis And Is It Contagious
Acute Bronchitis can occur due to respiratory infection, flu, or cold. Acute bronchitis is a contagious health problem because it is caused by viruses and bacteria which are contagious in nature.
You can catch bronchitis from someone who has it. Acute Bronchitis can spread from person to person by touching their hand, nose, and sometimes while kissing bacteria can be transferred. ;It can be contagious for a week depending on the type of virus.
Chronic bronchitis occurs because of smoking and this is a serious type. ;It is not a contagious type of bronchitis.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat Chronic Bronchitis/copd
Drug classes that may be used to treat chronic bronchitis/COPD include:
- Antibiotics to treat worsening coughs, breathlessness, and mucus production caused by infections.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids , to reduce swelling and mucus output. Steroids can have many different types of side effects, including swelling in feet and hands, mood changes, increased appetite and weight gain, trouble sleeping, and more serious ones such as diabetes, higher risk of infections, osteoporosis, and cataracts.
- Bronchodilators to keep muscles around the airways relaxed so that airways stay open. There are long-acting and short-acting bronchodilators. Short-acting products are often called rescue drugs because they act quickly, but wear off in a couple of hours.
- Combination drugs that contain a mix of steroids and long- or short-acting bronchodilators
How To Protect Your Lungs From Seasonal Allergies
Check the outdoor air quality levels and pollution forecasts before you venture outside. If you do go outside, scope out the environment for obvious allergy triggers.
Do gardening and lawn maintenance in the early morning or in the evening, while pollen counts are at their lowest.
Stay away from citronella candles, bug sprays, strong-smelling candles, and other seasonal products that can irritate your lungs. Opt for mosquito repellants in lotion form rather than in sprays.
Use medications as prescribed and keep your allergy medications handy.
Consult with a medical professional. Doctors can diagnose seasonal allergies, prescribe medications, and recommend imaging tests to evaluate the health of your lungs.;For more information, make an appointment today with Virtual Imaging, Inc. at .
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What Is Asthmatic Bronchitis
Like bronchitis, asthma is a lung condition that can cause breathing difficulties. Asthma can also cause inflammation of the bronchi, but can also lead to narrowing of the muscles around the airways. When bronchitis and asthma co-occur and symptoms overlap, the condition is commonly known as asthmatic bronchitis. After exposure to certain substances such as pollen, pollution, and cigarette smoke, inflammation that triggers asthma bronchitis symptoms may occur in a person with underlying asthma. Some people also develop asthmatic bronchitis due to a change in the weather or exercise, their routine.
People with asthmatic bronchitis respond to these environmental triggers by releasing leukotrienes. These are inflammatory molecules. Leukotrienes cause a number of reactions, including narrowing of the airway.
Asthmatic bronchitis symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
How Is Bronchitis Treated
The treatment for bronchitis depends on what type you have. If you have acute bronchitis, you might not need any treatment. Or you might use over-the-counter drugs that break up mucus or that treat fever or pain. If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics.
If you have chronic bronchitis, treatment will be different. Chronic bronchitis, considered to be chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , is not curable. Symptoms can be treated using a variety of methods, including drugs, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, surgery, or a combination of these. Your doctor might prescribe a mucus clearing device, also called an airway clearance device, to help you bring up mucus easily.
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How Is Bronchitis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will do a physical examination and take a medical history. They may ask if you have had a cold recently, how long your cough has lasted, and if you produce mucus when you cough. In addition, they may order a chest X-ray, tests for viruses in your upper respiratory secretions or blood tests.
Diagnosis For Bronchitis And Covid
Only a licensed healthcare professional can diagnose whether you have COVID-19 or bronchitis.
To diagnose acute bronchitis, your doctor will listen to your symptoms and conduct a physical exam.;
There are no specific tests for bronchitis, but your doctor may do blood tests to eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms. Your doctor may also order a chest x-ray if you have a fever. This is to rule out pneumonia.
COVID-19 is diagnosed with a viral test.;
The COVID-19 test is completed with a swab that is placed deep inside your nose or throat. The swab is then tested to see if the virus that causes COVID-19 is present. ;
A viral test can’t tell you if you were previously infected. Even if you test negative, you can still get infected after the test.;
If you start to feel sick after you are tested, you may need to be tested again.;
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Can Allergies Cause A Cough
Yes, and you can blame it on your immune system. When your body mistakes a substance like pollen or mold as a harmful invader, it sets off an intense response to try and flush it out, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma &Immunology . During this process, your cells release histamine and other chemicals, which triggers an allergic reaction. Cue the cold-like symptoms, including a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and coughing.
Allergy coughs are typically caused by swelling or irritation of the airways, the AAAI says. And, if you develop post-nasal dripwhen the mucus hanging out in your sinuses trickles down the back of your throatthat can also cause a cough, Dr. Bassett says.
Can Allergies Cause Me To Lose My Voice
Allergies can affect your voice in several ways, and yes, they can even cause you to lose your voice. First, allergens themselves can irritate and enflame the vocal cords, which can cause hoarseness. Second, the congestion from a stuffed nose or postnasal drip can make it difficult to breathe easily. Finally, even your allergy medicines can affect your voice. Antihistamines dry up the mucus in your body. While this helps relieve congestion, it also dries up the layer of mucus that protects your vocal cords. If your vocal cords are dry they can stiffen or inflame, which can make your voice raspy.
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Breathing In Irritant Substances
Bronchitis can also be triggered by breathing in irritant substances, such as smog, chemicals in household products or tobacco smoke.
Smoking is the main cause of chronic bronchitis. It can affect people who inhale secondhand smoke, as well as those who smoke themselves.
People with chronic bronchitis often develop another smoking-related lung disease called emphysema, where the air sacs inside the lungs become damaged, causing shortness of breath.
If you smoke, try to stop straight away as smoking aggravates bronchitis and increases your risk of developing emphysema.;
Stopping smoking while you have bronchitis can also be the perfect opportunity to quit altogether.
What Causes Asthmatic Bronchitis
There are many triggers that may initiate the release of inflammatory substances. Common asthmatic bronchitis triggers include:
- Tobacco smoke
- Chest tightness
- Excess mucus production
You might wonder, is asthmatic bronchitis contagious? Bronchitis itself can be caused by a virus or bacteria, which are contagious. However, chronic asthmatic bronchitis typically is not contagious.
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Symptoms Of Allergic Bronchitis
The most indicative sign of allergic bronchitis is an attack of persistent cough, pestering the person mostly at night. The body temperature does not rise, and if it rises, it does not significantly. But the general condition is painful, and may worsen with the next contact with the allergen.
At the very beginning of the disease, the cough is dry, over time it becomes wet, breathing becomes difficult, shortness of breath appears. When listening to the bronchus, doctors clearly hear wheezing – dry, wet or whistling. But if during bronchial asthma they are heard during expiration, then allergic bronchitis gives such a picture on inspiration. In addition, the inflammatory process of allergic origin occurs only in large and medium bronchi, so asthma attacks do not occur.
However, against the background of the main symptoms of allergic bronchitis, sometimes signs of vasomotor rhinosinusopathy may appear – nasal discharge due to changes in the mucous membrane of the paranasal sinuses caused by allergens. Tracheal inflammation or inflammation of the mucous membranes of the larynx is also possible.
Allergic bronchitis in children can occur at any age – even in infants – and manifests itself in almost the same way as in adults: bouts of continuous cough at night at normal or low-grade fever, repeated several times a month. Often with this disease the child becomes capricious, lethargic, often sweats. Acute allergic bronchitis in children can last for two to three weeks.
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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Getting Bronchitis
- Don’t smoke.
- Insist that others do not smoke in your home.
- Stay away from or try to reduce your time around things that irritate your airway . Irritants can include dust, mold, pet dander, air pollution, smoke, and cleaners.
- If you catch a cold, get plenty of rest.
- Take your medicine exactly the way your doctor tells you.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water. If you are not able to use soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol.
- Make sure you are up-to-date on the flu and pneumonia vaccines.
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What Causes Chronic Bronchitis
The cause of chronic bronchitis is usually long-term exposure to irritants that damage your lungs and airways. In the United States, cigarette smoke is the main cause. Pipe, cigar, and other types of tobacco smoke can also cause chronic bronchitis, especially if you inhale them.
Rarely, a genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can play a role in causing chronic bronchitis.
Cold Vs Sinusitis: Watch Out Forpersistent Fever And Pain
Allergiesoften cause sinus symptoms, but bacterial infections and viruses can complicatethings. The main difference between the common cold and a sinus infection isagain how long they typically last. Unlike a simple cold, sinusitis can lastfor four weeks up to over three months while it is often recurring or becomeschronic.
Bothconditions present with similar symptoms: a stuffed, runny nose , sneezing, cough, and low fever. Beware of a slightfever that continues after 10-14 days, pain in the face, headache, swellingaround the eyes, and bad breath. These are indications that your child couldhave a sinus infection, and you should see a pediatrician for a diagnosis andtreatment.
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Bronchitis Symptoms With Allergies
Bronchitis symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing associated with allergies are the result of allergy-induced asthma 3. Allergy induced asthma is the most common type of asthma in the United States, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America 1. Allergy-induced asthma is asthma that is triggered by certain allergens that cause an immune system reaction. Allergy-induced asthma causes the release of histamine in the body, resulting in inflammation and swelling in the airways. Some of the most common allergens that cause bronchitis symptoms with allergies are pet dander, mold, pollen and dust, according to National Jewish Health 2.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Beware Of Cough Medicines
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has recommended that over-the-counter cough medicines should not be given to children under the age of 6.
Children aged 6 to 12 should only use them on the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
As an alternative to an over-the-counter cough medicine, try making your own mixture of honey and lemon, which can help soothe a sore throat and ease your cough.
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Allergy & Immunology Located In South Bay Manhattan Beach Ca
Bronchitis is a very common condition for which patients seek medical care. Many times its difficult to distinguish the difference between acute viral bronchitis, asthma, post-nasal drip syndrome, nasal allergies, gastroesophageal reflux , pneumonia, or other more severe conditions. Dr. Charles Song and Dr. Andrew Wong at the Song Institute of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology can properly diagnose bronchitis or other cough-related disease and provide you with an optimal treatment plan. If you have any questions about bronchitis, please call the office in Manhattan Beach, California, or book an appointment online.
How Is Acute Bronchitis Treated
Acute bronchitis is usually mild and does not cause complications. The symptoms often resolve on their own and lung function goes back to normal.
In most cases, antibiotics are not needed to treat acute bronchitis. Thats because most of the infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. If it has progressed to pneumonia, then antibiotics may be necessary.
Treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms, and may include:
- Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke
- Cough medicine
- Pain relievers and fever reducers, such as acetaminophen
- Quitting smoking
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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