Acute bronchitis is very common among people with respiratory conditions. This type of bronchitis can occur in anyone, at any age. Acute bronchitis usually accompanies flu or cold and in most cases it doesn’t need medical treatment. When acute bronchitis is caused by viruses, the illness can clear on itself within a few days. However, more serious forms of acute bronchitis may require specific medical treatment. If acute bronchitis is caused by infection with bacteria, an appropriate treatment with antibiotics is required for overcoming the illness.
Bronchitis causes inflammation, irritation and obstruction with mucus of the respiratory tract. The majority of patients who suffer from respiratory conditions are diagnosed with bronchitis. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis generates intense symptoms and evolves rapidly (has a short period of incubation), while chronic bronchitis generates moderate, time recidivating symptoms.
If acute bronchitis is caused by viruses, it doesn’t require medical treatment and usually ameliorates within a few days. Acute bronchitis generates symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest soreness when breathing. When patients with acute bronchitis also have moderate or high fever, it is a sign of bacterial infection and therefore medical treatment with antibiotics is required. The presence of yellowish mucus in cough or spit can also point to infection with bacteria. If patients are coughing blood, it is a sign of complication (pneumonia) and immediate medical treatment is required.
Acute bronchitis doesn’t last more than a few weeks. However, patients with acute bronchitis can sometimes experience an aggravation of their symptoms in time or they can develop chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a form of bronchitis that generates less intense symptoms, but the illness can lead to serious complications in time. Unlike acute bronchitis, which can clear on itself in a short period of time, chronic bronchitis persists in time and needs ongoing medical treatment.
Acute bronchitis can be very difficult to diagnose. The symptoms it generates are also characteristic to many other respiratory conditions (asthma, allergies, sinusitis). Acute bronchitis can be effectively diagnosed only through the means of elaborate physical examinations and laboratory analyses.
If you suffer from acute bronchitis, it is advised to keep away from external irritants (dust, smoke, pollutants, chemicals), as they can aggravate the illness. If you have difficulty breathing, drink plenty of fluids (still mineral water, warm tea) and avoid taking left-over medicines! Self-medication can cause a lot of harm. Antibiotics shouldn’t be administered without the doctor’s permission and children shouldn’t take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines when suffering from acute bronchitis. Use air humidifiers and maintain a warm temperature in your bedroom. If you are a smoker, stop! Smoking can cause serious damage to the respiratory system and smokers who suffer from acute bronchitis are also susceptible to developing chronic bronchitis.
If the illness doesn’t ameliorate within a few days, it is best to see a doctor and follow an appropriate treatment.