Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Acute bronchitis facts
- What is acute bronchitis?
- What causes acute bronchitis?
- What are the risk factors for acute bronchitis?
- What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?
- When does a cold become acute bronchitis?
- How is acute bronchitis diagnosed?
- When should I call my doctor about my cough?
- What are the treatments for acute bronchitis?
- What are acute bronchitis home remedies?
- What are the complications of acute bronchitis?
- Bronchitis - Slideshow
- Finding Relief for Your Cough Slideshow
- Take the Bronchitis Quiz
- Bronchitis FAQs
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
What are the risk factors for acute bronchitis?
Bronchitis describes inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Smoking is a key risk factor for developing acute bronchitis. Any other illnesses that predispose to similar inflammation also increase that risk (for example, asthma patients and patients allergic to airborne chemicals).
What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?
Inflammation of the bronchial tubes narrows the inside opening of the bronchial tubes. Narrowing of the bronchial tubes result in increased resistance, this increase makes it more difficult for air to move to and from the lungs. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. The cough may consist of sputum due to the secretions from the inflamed cells that line the bronchi. By coughing, the body attempts to expel secretions that clog the bronchial tubes. If these secretions contain certain inflammatory cells, discoloration of the mucus may result often in a green or yellow color. Sometimes the severity of the inflammation may result in some bleeding.
As with any other infection, there may be associated fever, chills, aches, soreness and the general sensation of feeling poorly or malaise.
When does a cold become acute bronchitis?
Anatomically, the larynx divides the upper and lower airways. Colds tend to affect the mouth, throat, and nasal passages while bronchitis describes specific inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The two illnesses can exist at the same time and may be caused by the same virus infection. A cold does not necessarily lead to bronchitis.
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