What is chronic bronchitis?
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs. Chronic bronchitis, as the name suggests, is defined as a persistent, long term case of bronchitis. The symptoms, namely coughing and mucus production may return each year, and can last for at least 3 months. It is a serious health problem and occurs most commonly in late adult life.
What can cause chronic bronchitis?
There are several causes of chronic bronchitis, including:
- Inhaled irritants (e.g. cigarette smoking, smog and industrial pollutants)
- Viral and bacterial infections that result in acute bronchitis may lead to chronic bronchitis if people have repeated bouts with infectious agents
- Underlying disease processes (e.g. asthma, immunodeficiency, cystic fibrosis, congestive heart failure, genetic factors)
Symptoms of chronic bronchitis
The major symptoms of chronic bronchitis are as follows:
- Recurrent episodes of productive coughing are the most common symptoms. The intensity of coughing and the amount and frequency of sputum production vary from patient to patient
- Shortness of breath (Dyspnea) gradually increases with the severity of the disease
- Wheezing (a coarse whistling sound produced when airways are partially obstructed) often occurs
These symptoms may be mild initially, provoked by irritants such as tobacco smoke or chemical gases. Exacerbation can be brought about by tiredness, sudden weather change or contracting flu. There is usually improvement when warmer weather returns. Severe chronic bronchitis sufferers may develop complications such as emphysema, bronchiectasis, or heart failure.
How TCM may help
Chinese medicine perceives chronic bronchitis as a lung Qi deficiency which may or may not have started as a viral attack, but which resulted in depleted lung energy (Qi). It is usually accompanied by phlegm. The origin of the phlegm is usually the digestive system (spleen) which results in the accumulation of water affecting the lungs.
It is reasonable to think that if one can increase his/her resistance against infection, recurrence of acute attacks will be minimized. The use of acupuncture and natural herbs in Chinese medicine aims not only to reduce symptoms during the acute phase of chronic bronchitis; it can also build up the body’s resistance and immunity, in order to treat the disease successfully.
How we can help
The practitioners at our clinic are very passionate about assisting patients who are suffering from chronic bronchitis, and understand that it can be an extremely difficult condition to live with. Treatment generally consists of a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, tailored to most effectively accommodate for individual requirements.
Book your appointment today
We are dedicated to helping you achieve the health and wellness that you desire. If you are interested, feel free to call us at our Frankston clinic on 9785 6688, or our Murrumbeena clinic on 9041 8879 to book an appointment today.