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Acute Bronchitis

Overview

Acute bronchitis is a condition in which mucous membranes of bronchial tubes gets inflamed. Bronchial tubes are considered as the main windpipe and perform important function of carrying air or oxygen into the lungsDue to the infection in the tubes, swelling is caused and thick fluid (commonly referred as mucus) is formed inside them. It has been observed that person basically suffers from the condition during winter’s season or when air pollution is very high. Infants, elderly people and young children are mostly affected by the infection.


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Causes

Acute bronchitis is commonly caused by viral infections. Viral infection affects the bronchial tree which in turn causes the infection. Formation of mucus and swelling indicates that human body is fighting against these viruses. These viruses take significant time in order to become inactive (dead) and heal the damages that are caused to bronchial tubes. A virus that causes cold is also held responsible for causing bronchitis. Very rarely, infection is caused by fungus and bacterial infection.


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Signs & Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of acute bronchitis are described below:

  • Fever
  • Chest congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting with cough
  • Cough that brings green or yellow mucus
  • Running nose( experiences before starting of cough)

However, it is important to disclose that the symptoms may vary from an individual to individual. It is commonly observed that symptoms of the condition usually last for 7 to 14 days. However, in some cases it happens that symptoms persist for continuous 3 to 4 weeks

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Prevention

By following certain prevention measures, one can reduce the risk of getting infected from acute bronchitis. Measures like discontinuing smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, frequent hand wash and prefer staying inside during cold, avoid crowded and polluted areas are certain precautions that help in preventing its risk. 


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Treatments
Antibiotic therapy Modern Medicine

Health professionals recommend treatment of acute bronchitis only after analyzing the condition of the patient. Certain factors like patient’s age, medical history, severity of the infection, etc are critically evaluated before recommending any treatment to patients.  Normally, treatments are given with the sole aim of relieving its symptoms and discomfort that is caused by acute bronchitis. Treatment includes:

  • Analgesics( for getting respite from fever and discomfort)
  • cough suppressant
  • Increased intake of fluids like water.
  • Antibiotics, if caused by bacterial infection.

 

Sometimes, health professionals recommend cough expectorant, during daytime, which performs the function of thinning of mucus so that patients can cough easily. Some natural methods also aid in getting respite from the severe condition. Natural methods include

  • Taking proper rest for avoiding fatigue.
  • Frequent steam inhalations aids in softening the mucus in bronchi. Therefore, doctors recommend taking steam inhalations in a great number.
  • Bed rest in a warm and humid room is often suggested.

It is advised that without consulting with the professionals, do not take any antibiotic as antibiotics are only suggested when infection is caused due to attacks of bacteria.

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