Understanding Bronchitis better - a first step toward managing this disease
The world is slowly beginning to understand, accept and address the dangers of air pollution. However, as populations continue to rise in developing countries and their cities become increasingly crowded and polluted, it becomes difficult for highly populous nations such as India to effectively counter this rapidly increasing threat to the environment and our health.
Air pollution is common in large cities, with some reporting AQI or Air Quality Index numbers way beyond permissible limits. This leads to many human diseases, including lung cancer, Asthma, Bronchitis, and emphysema.
Our last blog focused on living with Asthma and showcased a first-hand account of how Asthma affects our daily lives. The current blog will focus on Bronchitis—a major chronic respiratory disorder affecting over 390 million individuals worldwide. Chronic Bronchitis and COPD are responsible for nearly 1 million or 13% of all deaths in India.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder that restricts air movement between the mouth, nose, and lungs. This restriction is caused by the inflammation of bronchial tubes, resulting in the generation of mucus that causes coughing and difficulty breathing.
Bronchitis can be classified as chronic or acute depending on the disease's severity and duration. Chronic Bronchitis is the long-term variant of this disease that can rapidly decrease lung capacity over time and transform into COPD—or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
What are the symptoms of Bronchitis?
Both acute and chronic Bronchitis share many common symptoms, although these may vary across individuals. These symptoms include:
Cough with mucus or phlegm
Shortness of breath
Whistling or wheezing sound while breathing
Blocked or runny nose
Chills and fever
Headache, Body pain and fatigue
How is Bronchitis diagnosed?
Healthcare professionals can use many methods to quickly diagnose and begin treatment of respiratory diseases such as Bronchitis. Some standard diagnostic methods for Bronchitis include:
Chest X-rays and CT scans
Pulmonary function tests
AI-driven diagnostic aids such as ResApp
What causes Bronchitis?
Acute Bronchitis can be caused by viruses and bacteria such as those that cause the common cold and influenza.
Chronic Bronchitis is commonly caused by smoking, indoor and outdoor air pollution, dust and toxic gases in the environment.
Using traditional cooking methods such as burning coal, wood and cow dung is a major causal factor for Bronchitis. Additionally, conventional farming methods and stubble burning also contribute to the exacerbation and propagation of this disease.
Bronchitis and COPD are highly prevalent in northern India due to the traditional (and cultural) use of biomass fuel for cooking and smoking. A 2017 study published in the Lancet found that nearly 77% of India’s population was exposed to higher-than-normal levels of ambient particulate matter (air pollution). Over 55% of households suffered from air pollution from solid fuels.
How can you prevent Bronchitis?
Chronic Bronchitis is mainly caused by environmental factors. Although avoiding such factors and irritants completely is impossible, you can reduce their impact by taking some precautions. Here are some ways to prevent flare-ups of Chronic Bronchitis:
Quit smoking or stay away from those who smoke
Avoid places where lung irritants are common such as busy roads or marketplaces
Wearing facial masks where you can get exposed to dust, fumes or other irritants
Using air filters or air cleaners in the home
Maintain high levels of body and local hygiene
How can Sanrai help?
For a majority of India’s population, visiting a qualified doctor or getting quality diagnostics is a distant dream. Hospitals are scarce, and with just 1.34 doctors per 1,000 patients, it is difficult for most individuals to access quality healthcare.
Sanrai’s world-class products and AI-driven diagnostic aids help patients, caregivers, and doctors to provide better healthcare to India’s population. Sanrai’s 5-point solution helps bring healthcare and diagnostic equity to patients by providing:
Timely screening ensuring that the highest number of patients get screened in time.
Accurate diagnostics, helping patients access gold-standard diagnostics resulting in better disease outcomes.
Best-in-class device-based therapy, providing patients with the solutions they need to lead healthier lives.
Customised treatment for each patient, resulting in better outcome management.
Supporting patients with excellent after-sales service—ensuring that the diagnostic aids and therapy devices work flawlessly.
Chronic Bronchitis and COPD are the leading causes of death in India and the world that can only be addressed through timely screening and accurate diagnostics. Using AI-driven diagnostic aids such as ResApp can help thousands of patients get a near-immediate diagnosis of their respiratory condition without expensive tests—giving them a chance to lead a healthier life.