Bronchitis refers to inflammation of the air passages within the lungs. It occurs when the trachea, or windpipe, and the large and small bronchi, or airways within the lungs get infected. This makes it hard for you to breathe.
Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis occurs after a bout of common cold or sinus infection. It may be accompanied by fever with chills, muscle pain, nasal congestion, chest congestion, shortness of breath and sore throat. Cough is a major symptom of acute bronchitis. This may last for a week or two. It may be dry or produce phlegm (mucous). Excess phlegm production may suggest an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) or Pneumonia. Your cough can last for several weeks or months. This happens because the bronchial tree takes some time to heal.
Causes of Bronchitis:
How is acute bronchitis diagnosed?
Your treating doctor can rule out acute bronchitis by the symptoms you narrate. They can advise you to do a Chest X-ray to rule out Pneumonia.
Can acute bronchitis be prevented or avoided?
If you are habituated to smoking, the best defense against acute bronchitis is to quit smoking. Smoking damages your bronchial tree and puts you at risk for infection. Smoking also slows down the healing process. You can help to prevent acute bronchitis by staying healthy and avoiding germs. Wash your hands often to kill any viruses.
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