Acute Bronchitis Symptoms and Treatment

Acute BronchitisInflammation of the main airways lung is called bronchitis. Anyone with an infection of the airways can become ill from acute bronchitis because the viruses that cause colds and pharyngitis, may extend into the airways of the lungs (bronchi and bronchioles). The inflammation may disappear after a few days; this is the basic difference between acute and chronic bronchitis, in which the long and frequent seizures of infections cause gradual damage to the lungs.

Symptoms

The main symptom is a cough with greyish or yellowish sputum (phlegm). Other symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and fever. Often the upper chest that are painfully exacerbated by coughing.

Frequency

Almost everyone sooner or later falls ill with acute bronchitis. If you do not smoke cigarettes and you do not have a chronic lung or heart disease, you will probably acute bronchitis only once in several years. Smokers, asthmatics and residents of areas with high air pollution more often suffer from this disease, as well as people whose lungs are full of water due to cardiac decompensation.

Dangers

The risk is small if a healthy non-smoker receives a single attack of acute bronchitis. However, anyone with a tendency to bronchitis, increased due to smoking, asthma or pulmonary diseases such as bronchiectasis, will likely have frequent seizures. Eventually, the seizures will damage the lining of the bronchi, and weaken the normal process of cleansing mucus from the airways. This will increase the sensitivity and lead to chronic bronchitis.

What to take?

Do not ignore the frequent attacks of acute bronchitis. Consult your doctor to find an explanation. If this is the first seizure, or the first in several years, use the self-help tips that we recommend.

Treatment

Self-help: If you have a fever, take two aspirin three or four times a day to lower it. Almost every cough medicine, which you can get without a prescription, should help to calm cough by following instructions included in the package. Stay at home, not necessarily in bed, or in warm (but not overheated) room. Airways in the nose and bronchi are easier to purify if the room air is humid, you can achieve with a steam of boiling water. With these simple procedures you have done everything that needs to be done; however, contact your doctor if you have shortness of breath, if you are coughing up blood, if the temperature rises above 38.5 °C or if the condition is not getting any better 48 hours after the onset of symptoms.Remember that living or working in a cold and humid environment is harmful to anyone who is prone to the disease; therefore, consider replacing the flat or workplace if you have several attacks of acute bronchitis.

Professional help: Since the acute bronchitis is usually a viral infection, specific treatment is not possible nor advisable. If you have problems with breathing, your doctor may recommend a bronchodilator for inhalation. He may give you a cough medicine if your chests hurt from frequent coughing or if the cough is dry. If your sputum is greenish-yellow, which indicates the probability of secondary bacterial infection, the doctor will give you an antibiotic. Some doctors prescribe antibiotics as a precaution in case of secondary bacterial infections.