What is acute bronchitis? What causes acute bronchitis? How is acute bronchitis diagnosed and treated? What can I do to avoid and help myself from getting acute bronchitis? When should you see your doctor? What will the doctor do? What course does acute bronchitis take? Is acute bronchitis dangerous?
All of the questions above are good questions to ask yourself especially if you think you may have symptoms of acute bronchitis or someone has told you, you may have acute bronchitis.
What is acute bronchitis? Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The bronchial tubes are air passage from the windpipe to the lungs. These bronchial tubes when inflamed cause sticky mucus that clogs the airway resulting in breathlessness. When this mucus starts to fill the bronchial tubes the body will try to eliminate the mucus by coughing. This mucus when coughed up can be thick and grey or yellow phlegm. Acute bronchitis may also cause upper chest pain that could worsen with coughing.
What causes acute bronchitis? Acute bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause colds, and other upper respiratory infections. Most of the time acute bronchitis usually begins with a common cold that settles into the chest.
How is acute bronchitis diagnosed and treated? Acute bronchitis diagnosis is usually made on the basis of symptoms. Sometimes a sample of sputum is needed if a bacterial infection is suspected. Treatment for acute bronchitis is by using either by prescribed or non prescribed antibiotics.
What can I do myself? Stay indoors as much as possible, keep warm, drink plenty of fluids, take aspirin or acetaminophen for discomfort and fever, use a vaporizer, take hot steamy showers, use over the counter medicines for coughing and bringing up phlegm.
When should you go to the doctor? If you have a fever above 101 degrees or tried all the self care methods listed above and have no improvement in your condition you need to do to the doctor.
What will the doctor do? Your doctor will check your lungs for abnormal sounds, oxygen stats, breathing rate, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, check your weight. Your doctor will also listen to you tell him what symptoms you are having. Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to help you start feeling better quickly.
What course does acute bronchitis take? With the self care of acute bronchitis it can take seven to ten days to run its course.
Is acute bronchitis dangerous? Acute bronchitis is not usually dangerous but if you smoke or have asthma or any other lung problems you could develop chronic bronchitis which can be very serious.
How to avoid acute bronchitis? Say inside as much as possible when pollution levels are high. Wear a mask when you work with chemicals, dust, using aerosol spray. Don’t smoke and avoid contact with people who have bronchitis or colds.