Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brobchitis

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages that extend from windpipe into the lungs. This may be caused by a virus, bacteria, smoking or the inhalation of chemical pollutants or dust. When the cells of the bronchial-lining tissue are irritated beyond a certain point, the tiny hairs (cilia) within them, which normally trap and eliminate pollutants stop functioning. As a result, they become clogged by debris and the irritation increases. In response, secretion of mucus is increased resulting in cough and if severe enough shortness of breath.

Bronchitis comes in two forms: acute (less than 6 weeks) or chronic (recurring frequently for more than two years):

Acute Bronchitis:

This is responsible for the hacking cough and phlegm production that accompany an upper respiratory tract infection. In most cases, it is viral in origin, sometimes it is caused by bacteria. The mucosal area will return to normal after several days unless there is an underlying lung problem. The presence of fever, chills, muscle ache and chest pain suggest a more serious infection like pneumonia. Chest x-ray should be ordered.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is defined as excessive mucus secretion in the bronchi presenting with a chronic or recurrent mucus-producing cough that lasts three or more months and recurs year after year. Chronic bronchitis may result from a series of attacks of acute bronchitis, or it may evolve gradually because of heavy smoking or inhalation of polluted air. When the mucus producing layer of the bronchial lining has thickened, narrowing the airways to the point where breathing becomes increasingly more difficult. When the cilia cannot sweep the air clean of foreign irritants, the air passages become more vulnerable to infection. This results in further tissue damage. Unlike acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis is an ongoing, serious disease.

Symptoms

* Persistent cough
* Productive cough
* Shortness of breath
* Wheezing
* Fever

Investigations

* Chest x-ray
* Blood test example blood count
* Sputum test
* Lung Function test

The doctor will decide on above tests if indicated and necessary.
Treatment

* Plenty of rest
* Adequate fluid intake
* Avoid smoke and fumes
* Stop smoking in chronic bronchitis
* Cough syrup
* Bronchodilator
* Inhaled or oral steroid if severe
* Oxygen therapy if severe
* Antibiotic if indicated

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

old folks sayings: never say your little one is healthy

This has been a really long, tiring and exhausting week.

After blogging that my son is healthy in the previous post, my son started to fall sick. cough, flu, fever... before he fully recover, another phase begin.

He was down with cough that morning, and we continue to send him to childcare thinking that it was tail cough, which the doctor has mentioned. When we picked him up in the evening, he was coughing very badly and we brought him to a doctor. His favorite doctor is off duty and consulted a locum. The locum doctor acts like a robot. no smile, not much of a word, just checked on him and out we are. Saying that it is cough and bit of flu... Once we reached home, my son's temperature keep escalating. Paracetamol has little effect on him. It didn't bring down him temperature after an hour. I gave him brufen and managed to bring his temperature down. Next 3 days, 24 hours per day repeats itself. sleepless nights, cranky son. Previously, his fever only come back at night. But this time, it's all day. On 4th day,still having fever, we bring him back to doctor as normal viral fever should subside in 3-4 days time.

He was given antibiotics and his temperature is back to normal. Thank Goodness. However, he started coughing badly, vomiting, choking by his phlegm Then refuse to drink water, no appetite in food... And the fever came back. We sent him to hospital for a thorough check up and he is diagnosed to be minor lung infection. Now, he is recovering.

Is this a reflection of the old folks saying? if you say that your little one is healthy, he/she will fall sick. Or is it a coincidence?