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Bronchitis (Acute)

Acute bronchitis definition and facts

  • Bronchitis is an inflammation of your bronchial tubes (the tubes that carry air to your lungs).
  • There are two types of bronchitis; 1) acute bronchitis, and 2) chronic bronchitis.
  • The definition of acute bronchitis is a cough lasting 5 or more days suggests acute bronchitis as a cause. Sometimes people with recurrent acute bronchitis develop chronic bronchitis.
  • Chronic bronchitis is defined as a cough that occurs every day with sputum production that lasts for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row.
  • The most common way most people become infected with or “get” acute bronchitis is via a viral or bacterial infection; however, other causes may include irritants like tobacco smoke, air pollution, or chemicals.
  • The primary symptom of acute bronchitis is a cough. Other symptoms may include:
  • Children with acute bronchitis may have symptoms of:
    • A runny nose
    • Mild fever
    • Cough up sputum or vomit mucus
  • Acute bronchitis can be contagious, however, acute bronchitis caused by exposure to pollutants, tobacco smoke and other chemicals is not contagious
  • Acute bronchitis is diagnosed by the patient's history, physical exam, and possibly procedures or tests.
  • Some home remedies may relieve and soothe bronchitis symptoms.
  • Some medications may relieve bronchitis symptoms, for example, cough suppressants, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and antibiotics (for bacterial infections only). In children under age 2, a pediatrician should be consulted before OCT medicines are used.
Reviewed on 10/20/2016

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