Acute bronchitis can be defined as the inflammation of the bronchial tree. It consists of some tubes that lead all the way to the lungs while carrying air in it. Upon infection, these tubes swell with the formation of mucus inside them. This makes breathing a struggle for the patient. Acute bronchitis generally lasts for a few weeks or even less. However, the chronic version of bronchitis is usually long lasting with chances of reoccurrence. The usual cause of this disease is constant irritation due to things such as smoking.
Now that you know about the Acute Bronchitis meaning, let us tell you about its causes.
What Are the Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis?
Viruses are the most prevalent cause of acute bronchitis. They mostly attack the bronchial tree lining which leads to inflammation. It is the very same virus that causes a cough and cold. It is a communicable disease that can transmit via skin contact or even simple breathing. While your body fights off these viruses, the resultant of the fight is the production of mucus along with swelling. It requires a good amount of time to heal from the damage and kill all the viruses present in the respiratory system.
Bacterial or fungal infections can also be the causal factor behind acute bronchitis. The risk increases if you have a pre-damaged bronchial tree. Heartburn can also make your bronchial tree vulnerable to acute bronchitis.
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Diagnosis of Acute Bronchitis
Generally, acute bronchitis can be confirmed by physical examination along with symptoms review. However, there might be a need for the x-ray to confirm that it isn’t pneumonia and they show similar symptoms.
Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is much similar to a normal cough and cold; however, you can easily confirm the presence of acute bronchitis by observing the following symptoms:
- A sore Throat
- A cough paired with the release of yellow, green, or clear mucus
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest congestion
- Body aches
You might cough a lot when suffering from acute bronchitis which could last for months. This is because bronchial tree tends to heal slowly and takes time. A cough that lasts too long might be an indicator of pneumonia or asthma.
Treatment for Acute Bronchitis
Most patients suffering from acute bronchitis do not need a lot of medical attention and can be treated easily at home. This is not to say that one should refrain from visiting a doctor. Apart from following the doctor’s prescription, opting to follow these methods can help accelerate the healing process and provide some relief.
- Consume a lot of fluids but avoid alcohol or caffeine as they drain out your body of water and lead to dryness in the throat
- Take a lot of rest to ensure that your body gets time to heal
- Ask for OTC pain relievers that help reduce the inflammation and ease the pain. If you have the fever, Tylenol or Acetaminophen can help bring down the temperature and ease the pain
- For children who are more than 6 years of age, cough medicine can be used
- Use a good humidifier to increase humidity inside your home
Make sure you do not keep a cough or swallow a cough inside. Throw it out to clear the lungs.