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 acute bronchitis home remedies?
The treatment of acute bronchitis is geared toward prevention, control, and relief of symptoms (supportive care). In some cases, the following is all that is needed:
- drink plenty of fluids to maintain proper hydration (avoiding dehydration and humidify air); and
- use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen to treat fever and decrease the inflammatory resposne.
The treatments section above covers those actions that can usually be done at home. However, people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure should be careful to choose those products approved for patients with high blood pressure because some cough/cold formulations may further increase a person's blood pressure to elevated or dangerous levels. People with diabetes should also choose cough and cold products that will not affect their blood glucose levels. If individuals are unsure which products are safe, they should contact their primary health care practitioner for advice.
For patients with underlying lung disease such as asthma or COPD, increased use of albuterol or similar inhaled medications may be indicated. However, the health care practitioner should be contacted when a patient considers altering their medication usage.
What are the complications of acute bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis usually resolves spontaneously (about 2-3 weeks) with supportive care. If wheezing and shortness of breath occurs the patient should seek medical care.
In patients who have underlying lung conditions, the inflammation can cause lung tissue to function improperly. Pneumonia or infection of the lung tissue itself may develop.
eMedicine.com; "Bronchitis, Acute and Chronic."
Reference: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Braumwald E, Fauci AS, et al. 17th Edition. 2007. McGraw Hill
Last Editorial Review: 12/31/2009
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