A bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to view all aspects of the upper respiratory tract. A thin bronchoscope is inserted into the patient's airway and allowed to travel through the nasal passages, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchial tubes, and down into the lung. The doctor can view the tissues and also take small samples of tissue so tests can be performed. The ability to perform these types of biopsies allows the doctor to target exact areas for tissue removal and provides information that can be used to make an accurate diagnosis. Doctors who use this type of technology can offer more detailed results and a more efficient treatment plan.
When a person has been diagnosed with bronchitis, it is important that they avoid airborne irritants and contaminants. These include tobacco smoke, strong perfumes, caustic chemicals, and allergens. Doctors recommend their patients get plenty of rest, drink ample amounts of fluid, and eat as healthy a diet as possible. A cough syrup may be prescribed in addition to a bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling in and around the throat and airways. In some cases, taking a supplement that adds zinc and Vitamins B, C, and E is also beneficial.
The main difference between bronchitis and pneumonia has to do with fluid and how it is retained. With pneumonia, the lungs fill with fluid and, subsequently, infection. If a patient is diagnosed with bronchitis, the airways, and surrounding tissues become inflamed. In this case, the fluid is held in the tissues outside of the lung, while if pneumonia is present the fluid builds up inside the lungs. Both conditions can be extremely serious and should be treated by a doctor who specializes in pulmonary health.
Individuals who suffer from repeated cases of bronchitis can develop a chronic cough that will continue to worsen each time the person is diagnosed with bronchitis.
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