Acute bronchitis is a contagious viral infection that causes the bronchial passages of the human body to enlarge. These tubes serve as a conduit for air to enter your lungs. When mucus (thick fluid) accumulates inside the bronchial tubes, it narrows the airways, making breathing difficult. The viral infection lasts typically only a few days, but the cough can last for several weeks.
Viral bronchitis can also affect the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is the other kind of bronchitis. It is a recurrent type of bronchitis that lasts a long time. Chronic bronchitis develops as a result of persistent irritating causes (smoking).
Acute bronchitis is one of the most common illnesses worldwide. It is more prevalent among people who reside in highly industrialized and urbanized areas and among people who have low socioeconomic standing.
A doctor can diagnose acute bronchitis with a physical exam and analysis of symptoms, a chest X-ray, or a stethoscope examination. Some of the acute bronchitis symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Shortness of breath
- Cough containing clear green or yellow mucus
- Chest congestion and so on.
A persistent cough caused by acute bronchitis might result in pneumonia or asthma. Although the inflammation of the bronchial tubes is the most common cause of acute bronchitis, there are a few less-known causes as well, such as:
- Acute bronchitis can also occur when stomach acid enters the bronchial tubes, causing heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for this condition (GERD).
- Infections caused by bacteria or fungi.
- Irritating substances such as fumes, smoke, and dust can harm the respiratory system. These factors also play a role in developing acute bronchitis in humans.
Acute bronchitis can be avoided by adopting optimum hygiene measures into our daily routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A flu vaccination once a year and wearing a mask over the nose and mouth when working with lung irritants (paint remover or paint) can help prevent acute bronchitis.
A virus in the host body can also cause acute bronchitis. In certain circumstances, antibiotics can help treat this condition. It’s possible that the infection will go away on its own or that it will run its course. Let’s look at some acute bronchitis treatments that can aid a patient with a viral infection.
- Get ample rest.
- Use a humidifier at home or at work.
- Use an inhaled medicine to clear out the mucus present in the bronchial tubes as prescribed by a doctor.
- Stop smoking or consuming tobacco to hasten the repair of congested bronchial passages.
- Take pain medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to treat discomfort, fever, and inflammation.
- Never hold a cough that causes mucus to come up since this helps clear mucus from inflamed bronchial tubes.
- If the cause of acute bronchitis is bacteria rather than a virus, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.
- Drink plenty of water, but stay away from alcoholic and caffeine-containing beverages.
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