Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of air tubes (bronchial tubes) that bring oxygen into the lungs. It is a form of lower respiratory tract infection that can be caused by bacteria, virus, or airborne irritants. If you have chronic upper respiratory health conditions like asthma, you may be more susceptible to acute bronchitis.
Mostly, acute bronchitis develops suddenly and typically clears up in 3 to 10 days. Since it is a temporary condition and generally does not lead to any permanent breathing difficulties, acute bronchitis treatment is neither prolonged nor complicated.
Read on to get more information about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of acute bronchitis.
What are the Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis?
Each person is different, and symptoms will vary depending on the cause of inflammation. The symptoms associated with acute bronchitis are similar to those of the cold and flu and you may experience the following:
- Chest congestion
- A runny nose
- A sore throat
- Fever & chills
- Breathing difficulties
- Extreme fatigue
If you are undergoing severe shortness of breath, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
How is Acute Bronchitis Diagnosed?
Acute bronchitis usually develops suddenly and can persist for 3 to 10 days. For many people, bronchitis will disappear without any treatment at all. If you visit the doctor, your diagnosis will include:
Lung examination, possibly through an X-ray if they sound congested.
Questions about any recent illnesses, shortness of breath, or other breathing difficulties.
Throat cultures and blood tests may be used to rule out other health conditions.
Treatment and Cure for Acute Bronchitis
There is no single acute bronchitis treatment. In most cases, your doctor will allow the condition to run its course naturally. You will be advised to do the following:
Drink plenty of fluids and run a humidifier.
Consume warm tea or chicken broth to soothe your sore throat and loosen the mucus.
Take over the counter medications for relieving your symptoms.
Preventing Acute Bronchitis
To avoid acute bronchitis, you need to take care of your lungs. You should remember to follow these guidelines to prevent the onset of acute bronchitis:
If you are recovering from the cold or the flu, follow your doctor's orders and get plenty of rest.
Don't expose yourself to lung irritants like tobacco smoke and people who have colds or other contagious illnesses.
Make sure to eat a healthy diet and take a supplement if you start to feel under the weather.
Acute bronchitis cases normally cure on their own and don’t involve doctor's treatment. However, if you observe unusual symptoms, or if persistent coughing always accompany your cold infection, you should get medical care right away to rule out any underlying health problems.