Bronchitis

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What You Need to Know

What is Acute bronchitis?  It is a lower respiratory tract infection involving the large airways (bronchi). These bronchi become inflamed, causing a cough. Bronchitis can occur when one is sick with the common cold or flu.

Bronchitis Symptoms:  The most common symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

  • Persistent cough; this may last 10 to 20 days

  • Some people cough up mucus, which may be clear, yellow, or green in color (in this case, coughing is a good response to help clear the bronchi of the mucus).
  • Fever is not common in people with acute bronchitis; however, having a fever can be a sign of another condition, such as the flu or pneumonia.


How Long Does Bronchitis Last?  It is not uncommon for the cough in Acute Bronchitis to last 3 weeks, sometimes even longer. If your cough lasts longer than 3 weeks, you should follow-up with your medical provider. Bronchitis is usually always caused by a viral infection, where an antibiotic will not help.
 
When is Acute Bronchitis treated with an Antibiotic? Sometimes Bronchitis can occur from a bacterial infection called Pertussis (Whooping Cough). In this case, an antibiotic can help.  Your medical provider will be able to examine you and tell if you have Pertussis.
 
When should One See Their Medical Provider for Bronchitis?

  • If you have a fever.
  • If you have shortness of breath (always seek ER if having severe shortness of breath).
  • If your cough starts out mild during the 1st week of your symptoms but then become severe coughing fits the second week.
  • If you are wheezing.
  • You have a barking cough that makes it hard to talk.
  • Your cough lasts longer than 3 weeks.

 
How Can Acute Viral Bronchitis Be Treated?

  • Plenty of rest and fluids
  • Humidifier (use cool mist humidifier for children to prevent risk of thermal burns)
  • Cough drops ( Do not give to young children due to risk for choking)
  • Warm tea and honey may help cough temporarily
  • Dark honey may help a cough ( Do not give honey to children under age 1 year). Of course, do not take honey if you are allergic to it.
  • Over the counter cough medicine that contain Dextromethorphan such as in Delsym Cough may help cough symptoms. (It is not recommended to give cough medicine to children under age 6 years).

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatments.  Always seek the advice of your qualified health care provider.

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5781 Lee Blvd Unit 105, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971
239-265-9760
239-491-9128

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