Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a problem of the air tubes leading to your lungs. Acute means the illness started quickly. In this condition, the lining of those tubes becomes puffy (swollen) and can leak fluid. This makes it harder for air to get in and out of your lungs. You may cough a lot. This is because the air tubes are narrow. A virus frequently causes bronchitis.

Smokers, people with chronic lung problems, and elderly patients, treatment with antibiotics for bacterial infection may be needed. Exposure to cigarette smoke or irritating chemicals will make bronchitis worse. Allergies and asthma can also make bronchitis worse.  Repeated episodes of bronchitis may cause long-standing lung problems.


·      Rest
·      Medicines for relief of fever or cough
·      Bronchodilator medicines, metered inhalers or a nebulizer (reduces shortness of breath, helps open small airways, helps control cough)
·      Antibiotics, if bacterial infections are present.
·      Cool air vaporizer to thin bronchial secretions and make it easier to clear your chest.
·      Increased fluids

*Avoid smoking, even second hand exposure.

Recovery from bronchitis is often slow, but you should start feeling better after 2-3 days. Cough from bronchitis frequently lasts for 3-4 weeks.


·      Increased fever, chills, or chest pain
·      Severe difficulty breathing or coughing up blood (bloody sputum)
·      Dehydration, fainting, repeated vomiting, severe headache.
·      No improvement after one week of proper treatment

This information is for educational purposes only.  Do not use as a  substitute for proper medical evaluation and treatment by your physician or nurse practitioner. 

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