If you are suffering from bronchitis, it is important for you to recognize whether your condition is acute or chronic in nature. Bronchitis is a condition that involves the inflammation of the airways between your lungs and the windpipe. The lining of these tubes produces mucus in large amounts that trigger a lingering cough.
Acute bronchitis is the form of bronchitis that onsets rapidly after a virus infection in your upper respiratory tract. The viruses that cause common cold or influenza, are also responsible for acute bronchitis. Moreover, the germs that are responsible for measles and whooping cough may lead to acute bronchitis. In such cases, the condition is referred to as acute infectious bronchitis. In case of dust, smoke, or fumes causing bronchitis, it is referred to as acute irritative bronchitis.
- For the diagnosis of acute bronchitis, you will be inquired about the symptoms you are experiencing.
- After that, an overall and detailed physical examination is carried out, which confirms acute bronchitis.
- In some cases, the patient might have to get an X-Ray done for ruling out other conditions such as pneumonia.
Generally, in about two weeks, acute bronchitis resolves on its own without any medical treatment.
Medications: Several medications may be prescribed for the treatment of acute bronchitis.
- Antibiotics: These are usually not used for treating bronchitis, as the condition occurs from a viral infection. However, when you have a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be useful for treating it.
- Cough medicine: It is recommended for you not to suppress cough bringing up mucus, as the coughing helps in removing irritants from the lungs and air passages. In case of cough that hampers your activities, you may take cough suppressants before going to sleep at night.
- Other medications: In case you have allergies, or suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inhaler along with other medications may be recommended for the reduction of inflammation, and for opening the narrowed passages within your lungs.
- Quit smoking immediately and try to keep away from secondhand smoke.
- Keep yourself clean and hygienic during the flu season.
- Try to avoid direct contact with people who are sick or infected.
- Get a flu vaccine on a regular, yearly basis.
- Drink a lot of fluids throughout the year.
- Consider using a warm or cool, moist air humidifier for helping to thin the mucus layers blocking your air passages.
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