Tracheobronchitis - symptoms and treatment, photos and videos

Inflammatory diseases of the trachea (tracheitis) and the bronchial tree (bronchitis) are often closely interrelated, uniting under the general concept of tracheobronchitis. This is a disease in which the inflammatory process affects the trachea and bronchi with their smallest branches (bronchioles). Tracheobronchitis usually develops from the upper respiratory tract, quickly spreading below, covering the organs of the mucous membrane and the bronchial system. This disease can occur in both acute and chronic forms.

Types of tracheobronchitis

Tracheobronchitis is the process of inflammation occurring in the bronchi, bronchioles or trachea. There are the following types of disease:

Acute tracheobronchitis

A condition of acute diffuse inflammation of the mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi, which can be caused by many reasons. As a rule, acute tracheobronchitis occurs due to:

  • viral or bacterial infection;
  • colds;
  • smoking;
  • exposure to external stimuli.

Acute tracheobronchitis manifests itself, like any acute disease, with characteristic symptoms. Increased body temperature, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, weakness and decreased performance accompany the acute course of the disease. The disease is also characterized by seasonal exacerbations in the autumn and winter. If acute tracheobronchitis is not treated properly, the disease becomes chronic. This makes treatment much more difficult.

Chronic tracheobronchitis

Heavy smokers often develop chronic tracheitis, which is characterized by a persistent cough with sputum, especially in the morning, shortness of breath, wheezing and weakness. In chronic bronchitis, the same symptoms are observed, but the inflammatory process in this case covers the bronchi, which aggravates the patient’s condition. With bronchitis and tracheitis, a cough of varying intensity and character is noted, the production of scanty or copious amounts of sputum, which can vary in color, smell and consistency.

Most often, chronic tracheobronchitis develops in people who work in dusty conditions, for example, miners. Chronic tracheobronchitis is characterized by paroxysmal cough, dry, or with little sputum production.

In chronic tracheitis and bronchitis, hypertrophic or atrophic changes in the mucous membrane are observed. Tracheitis is often accompanied by chronic inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract (sinusitis, sinusitis), congestion in the respiratory tract in some somatic diseases.

Allergic tracheobronchitis

This is the name for allergic changes that occur in the tracheobronchial tree. This condition may be accompanied by an increased degree of sensitivity of the human body. The occurrence of this type of pathology becomes possible as a result of the manifestation of various infections in the human body, in particular, this can be attributed to infections at the level of chronic tracheitis and laryngitis.

The inflammation process in allergic tracheobronchitis can be caused by exposure to pneumococci and staphylococci. In addition, allergic factors, which are of an immune nature and at the same time significantly reduce human immunity, are also of great importance.

Allergic tracheobronchitis can be identified by the following symptoms:

  • a burning sensation in the chest and pain arising in the chest area;
  • the appearance of a chest cough in a person, which at times may be accompanied by mucous sputum;
  • a gradual decrease in the general indicator of human immunity, a decrease in its sensitivity, apathy, laziness, lack of appetite;
  • intense increase in body temperature;
  • symptoms of the onset of development of focal type pneumonia.

Diagnosis of the disease

In pulmonological practice, several forms of tracheobronchitis are distinguished:

  • acute (lasts no more than 3 weeks);
  • protracted (no more than 1 month);
  • chronic (does not go away for more than 3 months).

Depending on the pathogenetic factors, the disease can be:

  • viral;
  • bacterial;
  • allergic or toxic-chemical.

Treating tracheobronchitis in children without finding out the reasons for its development is dangerous not only for the health, but also for the life of the child.

  • acute tracheobronchitis. This form of the disease lasts for 10 days. During this entire period, the patient is contagious to others, so he must be isolated. Acute tracheobronchitis is characterized by extensive inflammation of the mucous membrane of the trachea and throat;
  • protracted form of tracheobronchitis. The development of this pathology is indicated if the symptoms of the disease do not disappear within a month;
  • chronic tracheobronchitis. The duration of the illness is more than 3 months. Often this pathology is diagnosed in people who are too fond of smoking. Together with chronic tracheobronchitis, other respiratory tract pathologies can develop;
  • allergic tracheobronchitis. This form progresses due to the penetration of various allergens into the human body. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the patient’s condition does not worsen, but there is a rapid manifestation of symptoms: hoarse voice, severe itching, cough. Allergic tracheobronchitis is more susceptible to people who live in unfavorable areas where there are many toxic substances in the atmosphere;
  • infectious-allergic tracheobronchitis. In this case, the allergic form of the pathology begins to progress against the background of the infectious one.

Before treating tracheobronchitis in adults and children, you must consult a doctor and take tests. At the initial appointment with the therapist, a general clinical picture is drawn up based on the patient’s data: current health, time of first symptoms, presence of chronic diseases. The doctor also needs to know whether the patient has allergies and whether he is taking medications. If a pregnant woman is being examined, it is necessary to tell the doctor about her situation.

Further, for tracheobronchitis, the following tests and procedures are prescribed:

  1. Blood analysis. This method allows us to identify the inflammatory process and general changes in the chemical composition due to the disease.
  2. Bacteriological culture of sputum. Diagnostics consists of determining an effective antibiotic, antiviral or antifungal agent.
  3. Radiography. The study shows the localization of the inflammatory process in the human respiratory system and the severity of the disease.
  4. Allergotest. It is prescribed for suspected allergic tracheobronchitis.

If the doctor finds it difficult to make a diagnosis, the patient is referred to CT and MRI. These high-precision techniques show not only the location of inflammation, but also the spread of the disease “in layers.”

  • Acute tracheobronchitis is a form of pathology that lasts less than 10 days and is characterized by diffuse inflammation of the mucous membrane of the throat and trachea. The acute form does not develop as an independent disease, but often occurs as a result of acute respiratory infections or becomes a symptom of pneumonia, whooping cough, measles, and typhoid fever.
  • The protracted form lasts a little longer than a month.
  • The duration of the chronic form is more than three months. It develops in heavy smokers or people working in conditions of increased dust or gas pollution. Chronic tracheobronchitis often accompanies other chronic pathologies of the respiratory system and ENT organs.
  • Allergic tracheobronchitis develops as a result of the penetration of allergens into the respiratory system. The peculiarity of this form is the relatively normal condition of the patient in the presence of a stormy clinic: severe itching, coughing and hoarse voice. Typically, this form of the disease affects people living in disadvantaged areas due to the presence of toxic substances in the atmosphere.
  • Infectious-allergic tracheobronchitis is the development of an allergic form of the disease against the background of an infectious one. An allergic reaction is formed in response to the appearance of microbial antigens in the body.

Causes of tracheobronchitis

There can be many reasons for the occurrence of tracheobronchitis, and depending on each specific case, the one that is currently occurring is determined. Among the most commonly observed causes of this painful condition, doctors highlight the following:

  • avitaminosis;
  • excessively strong effects of cold on the body,
  • drinking significant amounts of alcohol,
  • frequent smoking,
  • received injuries to the organs of the thoracic region and nasal region of a person,
  • effects on the body of various bacteria and viruses.

Acute tracheobronchitis, as a rule, becomes a continuation of MS infection, adenovirus infection, influenza and parainfluenza, measles. Less commonly, the disease develops against the background of whooping cough, parawhooping cough, respiratory mycoplasma or chlamydial infection. One of the causes of purulent tracheobronchitis can be prolonged artificial ventilation. So-called “intubation” tracheobronchitis develops in 35-40% of patients. Such a high incidence of pathology is due to impaired evacuation of secretions from the trachea and bronchi, often due to aspiration of gastric contents and blood into the respiratory tract. This is a trigger for the proliferation of bacterial flora and the development of the inflammatory process.

The development of the disease is provoked by the following microorganisms:

  • streptococci;
  • adenoviruses;
  • pseudomonas;
  • staphylococci;
  • mycoplasma;
  • rhinoviruses.

Bacterial tracheobronchitis, as a rule, is not a primary disease. Usually it begins to progress against the background of a viral pathology already existing in the body. The main route of infection for tracheobronchitis is bronchogenic, aerogenic. This, in turn, suggests that the patient is contagious to the people around him.

Heavy smokers most often become “victims” of chronic tracheobronchitis; persons who have been exposed to dust, gas and smoke for a long time, or air pollution from chemical agents. In addition, patients who neglect treatment or self-medicate acute tracheobronchitis are susceptible to chronicity of the process. The incidence of chronic tracheobronchitis is higher in people suffering from chronic infections of the nasopharynx (caries, tonsillitis, sinusitis).

Allergic tracheobronchitis is closely related to respiratory allergies that occur in contact with a variety of agents (dust, pollen, animal hair, mold, perfumes, etc.). The toxic-chemical form of tracheobronchitis can be caused by damage to the respiratory tract from combat or industrial poisonous gases, drugs (for example, iodide or potassium bromide).

How does chronic tracheobronchitis occur?

In a relatively healthy person in the absence of a hereditary predisposition to diseases of the respiratory system, bronchotracheitis rarely becomes chronic. This occurs more often in individuals with concomitant diseases or in the presence of immunodeficiency. Acute tracheobronchitis cannot be completely cured; cough persists for a long time, more than 3 months a year. With any provoking factor, especially cold, the disease worsens, and the symptoms appear with renewed vigor. The main manifestations of chronic tracheobronchitis are as follows:

  • constant cough, during periods of exacerbation with sputum, often purulent;
  • shortness of breath during physical exertion, when moving from a warm room to a cold one;
  • temperature reaches a maximum of low-grade levels during an exacerbation;
  • attacks of suffocation;
  • decreased performance.

The main problem for chronic patients is not even a cough, but shortness of breath, which inevitably increases due to the progression of the disease. This process cannot be completely cured, but damage to the bronchi can be limited, which will lead to relief of the symptoms of the pathology. Chronic tracheobronchitis leads to a serious decrease in immune defense in the bronchi and lungs. This is an incentive for the spread of infection and the occurrence of complications. The most common is pneumonia, which sharply worsens the stable course of the disease, leading to life-threatening symptoms.

A sudden increase in shortness of breath against the background of a high rise in temperature may indicate the development of inflammation not only in the trachea and bronchi, but also in the lung tissue - this is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent therapeutic measures!

Acute complications of the disease can be completely cured, but the signs of chronic inflammation in the bronchi will still only subside until the next exacerbation caused by the adverse effects of the external environment. With the allergic nature of bronchial obstruction against the background of tracheobronchitis, bronchial asthma can form. This will lead to a change in the signs of the disease, as more frequent attacks of suffocation will appear, including at night. Treatment of such a complication requires the use of specific drugs prescribed by a pulmonologist.

Symptoms of tracheobronchitis

The main symptom of tracheobronchitis is considered to be a cough, which, when it first appears, can be raw, dry and quite unpleasant and painful for the patient. In addition, pain symptoms in the diaphragm may also be noted, which are the consequences of excessive coughing effort. Another quite important symptom is an increase in body temperature, reaching a level of 37.5 - 38 degrees Celsius, and sometimes significantly higher.

With various forms of bronchitis and even tracheitis, there is a feeling of some weakness, sweating, and some shortness of breath. The patient is characterized by a desire to take a vertical position; he sometimes needs this frequency in order to be able to somehow ease his breathing, to be able to exhale and inhale normally. This situation is more likely to be typical for allergic types of bronchitis.

Symptoms of the acute form:

  • tracheal swelling;
  • fever;
  • accumulation of sputum;
  • pain in the larynx, in the diaphragm after coughing;
  • the appearance of a dry cough when trying to take a deep breath, which is accompanied by prolonged attacks (especially at night and after waking up);
  • increased sweating;
  • rapid breathing;
  • general malaise;
  • bronchial swelling;
  • hoarse, hoarse voice, which is a symptom of inflammation of the larynx (laryngitis);
  • bluish lips;
  • secretion of viscous mucus.

Signs of chronic tracheobronchitis:

  • prolonged course of the disease;
  • discomfort when coughing in the chest;
  • dyspnea;
  • periodic attacks of painful debilitating cough;
  • secretion of sputum (mucous, purulent).

The allergic form has the following symptoms:

  • sudden attacks of coughing with a prolonged course, often provoking vomiting at its peak;
  • rhinitis;
  • pain behind the sternum, in the throat;
  • keratitis;
  • general health does not suffer;
  • conjunctivitis;
  • no increase in body temperature is observed.

After a certain time has passed after the onset of a dry cough with tracheobronchitis, its transformation into a wet cough is observed, and sputum appears. In the future, it is very important to prescribe timely and competent treatment, since it is this factor that becomes fundamental in ensuring the timely and complete recovery of the patient.

Diagnosis of tracheobronchitis

When making a diagnosis of tracheobronchitis, anamnesis data are taken into account (the relationship of the disease with acute respiratory viral infections, allergies, substances that irritate the bronchi), the clinical and auscultatory picture, and the results of objective studies. The patient is referred for consultation to a pulmonologist and allergist.

Methods for diagnosing tracheobronchitis include:

  • Examination of the patient using auscultation and percussion methods (listening and tapping);
  • X-ray of the lungs;
  • Sputum analysis (to exclude dangerous and severe respiratory diseases);

In acute tracheobronchitis, radiography of the lungs is uninformative, but the chronic course of the disease leaves its mark on the pulmonary pattern, often deforming it. In addition, X-ray examination excludes the presence of infiltrative changes in the lungs. The most informative study confirming the inflammatory process in the lower respiratory tract is tracheobronchoscopy. Endoscopic visualization may reveal swelling and hyperemia of the mucous membrane, fibrinous deposits, purulent secretion, and ulceration of the mucous membrane.

Microscopic examination of sputum (with determination of BK and atypical cells) allows us to exclude such diseases as lung cancer, tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, etc. To determine the bacterial pathogen, sputum culture is performed. The allergic genesis of tracheobronchitis is confirmed by the results of skin allergy tests.

Treatment of tracheobronchitis

Treatment of bronchitis and tracheitis must be comprehensive. If tracheobronchitis is caused by viruses or a bacterial infection, then it must be prescribed.

Antiviral or antibacterial therapy. The following drugs are widely used in the treatment of tracheobronchitis:

  • Aflubin;
  • Anaferon;
  • Arbidol;
  • Umkalor.

Expectorants and antitussives (mucolytics) that facilitate the removal of sputum:

  • Lazolvan;
  • Bronholitin;
  • Bromhexine;
  • Gedelix;
  • Pectolvan;
  • Ambroxol.

Medicines Doctor MOM, Eucabal are widely used in the form of syrups and ointments.

With timely treatment, the disease resolves within a few weeks with complete recovery of the affected areas. If complications occur, treatment with antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is prescribed. The most commonly used are Doxycycline, Methicillin, Oxacillin and Penicillin. These drugs evenly cover the surface of the bronchi with their action.

The use of herbal medicine in the treatment of tracheobronchitis

Medicinal herbs have a good expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect:

  • Thyme, coltsfoot, oregano;
  • Linden, licorice root, marshmallow;
  • St. John's wort, elecampane, wild rosemary, yarrow.

Inhalations are excellent in treating tracheobronchitis. To do this, you can use ready-made inhalers, which are sold in pharmacies, as well as nebulizer devices, which are more effective due to the spraying of tiny medicinal particles that penetrate deeply directly into the lower sections of the bronchi.

You can also use a home remedy for inhalation - breathe in the steam of medicinal herbs, potato broth with the addition of garlic, ginger or pine extract, over a saucepan, covered with a towel over your head. But these actions should only be done if your doctor tells you to do so.

The use of mustard plasters can have an additional therapeutic effect. Tracheitis and bronchitis can be treated faster if you also use special exercises for better sputum discharge. So, in the morning, without getting out of bed, tilt the upper half of the body down, as if hanging from the bed, and cough in this position. It is good to accompany such actions with percussion massage.

Folk recipes

Traditional medicine is excellent in treating tracheobronchitis. There are many wonderful recipes you can make at home. Symptoms of tracheitis and bronchitis are effectively eliminated using the following methods:

  • Warm honey and milk relieve inflammation well, providing a mild anti-inflammatory and enveloping effect. You can add melted butter.
  • Aloe leaf juice with honey in a 1:1 ratio cleanses the bronchi well.
  • Ginger has natural antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant effects. It treats bronchitis well. Helps eliminate the first symptoms of a cold and is widely used in the treatment of respiratory and digestive diseases. You can use ginger as decoctions, medicinal tea, add honey, lemon, and herbs to it.
  • Black radish juice is very effective in treating tracheobronchitis if you mix it with buckwheat honey and take a tablespoon 2 times a day.
  • You can make onion cakes. Grate the onion, mix with honey in equal proportions and apply to the chest as a warming compress. You can also apply this onion mass in a thin layer on a cabbage leaf, then apply it to your chest. Be sure to cover the top with a warm towel and a blanket to warm the bronchi.
  • Vegetable and animal fats are also used in the treatment of tracheobronchitis. They are used as medicinal ointments and rubs (badger fat, lard with honey). When treating bronchitis in young children, warming wraps have a good effect. To do this, you need to bring olive or sunflower oil to a boil, soak a towel or diaper in it, after cooling slightly (so that it is warm) to prevent burns to the baby’s delicate skin, and wrap the baby in it. You can wrap another large towel on top. It is better to do this procedure while the child is sleeping.
  • We must not forget about gargling for tracheitis. They can be made using herbal infusions, soda solution, and ginger infusion.

It is imperative to monitor the temperature of the room and the level of humidity in the room where the patient is. The air in the room should always be cool, clean and humid. Temperature – no higher than 22 degrees, humidity – no less than 40 percent. Regular wet cleaning of the premises must be carried out.

How to deal with inflammation in the bronchi

Most often, tracheobronchitis is caused by mixed flora, so antibiotics cannot be avoided. They are also prescribed for suspected pneumonia. The following extended-spectrum antibiotics are commonly used:

  • protected penicillins (amoxiclav);
  • macrolides (azithromycin);
  • respiratory fluoroquinolones (levofloxacin);
  • cephalosporins (cefaclor, ceftriaxone).

Antibiotics are prescribed at home orally for the shortest possible course, or in a hospital parenterally.

If symptoms of obstruction are present, bronchodilators are used orally or in the form of inhalation through a nebulizer. This is a simple device that makes it easier to deliver medicine directly to the inflamed bronchi and lungs. To relieve bronchospasm, inhalations with fenoterol or salbutamol are prescribed. Additionally, mucolytics, for example, lazolvan, can be added to the nebulizer, which will help facilitate the discharge of sputum in the chronic nature of the disease. Antibiotics are usually not prescribed by inhalation, only for certain indications determined by the doctor.

The main sign of recovery is the absence of disease progression. The temperature drops quickly, the cough becomes moist, shortness of breath does not appear, and the general condition gradually improves. The prognosis for acute tracheitis and bronchitis is very favorable; when lung damage occurs, it becomes serious. With the chronic nature of tracheobronchitis, it is important to avoid frequent exacerbations and combat signs of obstruction. Inhalation agents often have to be used constantly. But the prognosis for chronic tracheobronchitis is also relatively favorable, the disease can be controlled throughout life.

Prevention of tracheobronchitis

The leading method of preventing acute tracheobronchitis is timely and rational treatment of ARVI, avoiding contact with patients with viral infections. Reduces the risk of tracheobronchitis by quitting smoking, eliminating occupational hazards, and sanitizing chronic lesions in the nasopharynx. In cases of allergic alertness, avoiding contact with the allergen is of paramount importance. In order to prevent the occurrence of tracheobronchitis, active stay in the fresh air, hardening of the body, a balanced diet rich in vitamins, and regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended.

( 2 ratings, average 4 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]