Acute bronchitis

What is Acute bronchitis?

Bronchitis is the swelling and irritation in the small air passages in the lungs. In acute bronchitis there is a cough that produces phlegm, and pain behind the breastbone when you breathe deeply or cough.

What are the causes of Acute bronchitis?

Bronchitis is commonly associated with viral infections of the respiratory tract, such as colds and flu. Bacterial infections may also cause acute bronchitis. It may also occur with childhood illnesses, such as measles and whooping cough. Infants, young children and the elderly are most likely to get acute bronchitis. Attacks are most frequent during the winter and when air pollution is high.

What are the symptoms of Acute bronchitis?

There is cough with yellowish or greenish phlegm. Pain occurs behind the breastbone or in the chest on breathing deeply or coughing. Wheezing or breathlessness may be present. Fever with chills along with a headache or sore muscles may occur.

How to diagnose Acute bronchitis

The doctor will ask about the symptoms and examine the patient’s chest with a stethoscope. Some tests may also be done, such as, sputum analysis (if it is yellowish, greenish or blood-tinged), chest X-ray and some blood tests.

Seek professional help?

The doctor must be consulted if the patient doesn't feel better in a couple of days, has breathing trouble, a fever over 100.5 degrees F (38 degrees C) or blood on coughing.

What is the treatment of Acute bronchitis?

Treatment includes taking medicines to relieve the symptoms. Antibiotics are required in bacterial infections. The doctor should be informed about any allergy to antibiotics. Steam inhalation or using a vaporizer helps in recovery. Cough syrups that help liquefy the phlegm may be used. If wheezing is present, bronchodilators may be needed.

What are the prevention?

Reduce the risk of getting a respiratory infection: Do not smoke Exercise regularly Frequently wash hands Eat healthy foods Avoid damp, cold and polluted areas

DoctorNDTV Team

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