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Acute bronchitis describes the inflammation of the bronchi usually caused by a viral infection, (although bacteria and chemicals also may cause acute bronchitis). There can be many causes of chronic bronchitis, but the main cause is tobacco use, specifically, cigarette smoke.
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a daily cough with sputum production for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row. When a person catches a cold, it often turns into bronchitis, which is sometimes referred to as a chest cold.
Once diagnosed with bronchitis, people usually expect their doctors to prescribe antibiotics as a course of treatment. If a health care professional diagnoses another type of respiratory infection such as pneumonia or whooping cough (pertussis), antibiotics will most likely be prescribed. Bronchitis means that the tubes that carry air to the lungs camera (the bronchial tubes) are inflamed and irritated. Chronic bronchitis keeps coming back and can last a long time, especially in people who smoke. Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, the hollow air passages that connect the lungs to the windpipe (trachea).
Acute bronchitis caused by an infection usually starts with an upper respiratory illness, such as the common cold or flu (influenza), that spreads from your nose and throat down into the airways. Most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viruses, although the condition also can be caused by bacteria.
Acute bronchitis also can be caused by breathing in things that irritate the bronchial tubes, such as tobacco smoke, chemicals and air pollution.
The majority of people with acute bronchitis are contagious if the cause is an infectious agent such as a virus or bacterium. In some cases, the doctor may take a chest X-ray to make sure that you don't have pneumonia or another lung problem.
If you have a fever, most physicians will recommend taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce fever.
People who smoke should avoid smoking during the illness to reduce irritation to the airways. If bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection and doesn't get better on its own, an antibiotic may be prescribed. In some cases, doctors may prescribe a bronchodilator, an inhaled medication that helps the airways to open.
In addition, avoiding air pollution by staying indoors, by avoiding tobacco smoke and other environmental bronchial irritants may reduce symptoms. Join tens of thousands of doctors, health professionals and patients who receive our newsletters.
Bronchitis is an inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tubes (bronchi), the air passages between the nose and the lungs. More specifically, bronchitis describes a condition where the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed or infected.
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Bronchitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria and other particles that irritate the bronchial tubes. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term illness and can be the result of environmental factors or extended illness. Occupational exposure to pesticides is associated with an increased risk of chronic bronchitis.


Bronchitis shares many symptoms with the common cold, such as coughing, mucus production and blocked or runny nose.
Symptoms can be managed at home by resting, drinking fluids and treating pains with acetaminophen and ibuprofen (although ibuprofen should not be used if you are asthmatic). There is no cure for chronic bronchitis but there are medications that can relieve the symptoms. Acute bronchitis is a shorter illness that commonly follows a cold or viral infection, such as the flu.
Chronic bronchitis is a serious, ongoing illness characterized by a persistent, mucus-producing cough that lasts longer than three months.
Bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, by viruses, bacteria and other irritant particles.
Acute bronchitis is normally caused by viruses, typically those that also cause colds and flu. It can also be caused by bacterial infection and exposure to substances that irritate the lungs, such as tobacco smoke, dust, fumes, vapors and air pollution. Chronic bronchitis is caused by repeated irritation and damage of the lung and airway tissue. A study by researchers in South Korea found that snoring influenced the development of chronic bronchitis, but how and why remained somewhat of a mystery. A new study published in the journal Thorax reports that respiratory disease during early childhood - such as bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma - increases the risk of illness and premature death in adulthood. Adverse effects of outdoor pollution in the elderly, Simoni M et al., Journal of Thoracic Disease, January 2015, abstract. Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:MLAMcIntosh, James. For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page. Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. Learn all about pneumonia - an infection of the lungs that is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. It occurs when the trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi (airways) within the lungs become inflamed because of infection or irritation from other causes.
It occurs if the lining of the bronchial tubes is constantly irritated and inflamed, causing a long-term cough with mucus. In terms of viral infection, the common cold (also referred to as an upper respiratory infection) is usually the cause for acute bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a diagnosis usually made based on clinical findings of a long-term persistent cough usually associated with tobacco abuse.
This is because most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viruses, and antibiotics are not necessary to resolve the viral infection. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. Chronic bronchitis means you have a cough with mucus most days of the month for 3 months of the year for at least 2 years in a row. The inflammation can be caused by an infection or by other factors that irritate the airways, such as cigarette smoking, allergies and exposure to fumes from some chemicals.
Often a person gets acute bronchitis after having an upper respiratory tract infection such as a common cold or the flu. They mimic symptoms of other conditions such as chronic cough, chronic bronchitis, postnasal drip, and pneumonia.


People diagnosed with acute bronchitis will be told to rest and drink plenty of fluids to keep the mucus thin, watery and easy to cough up.
You can catch more of the steam by tenting a towel over your head while bending over the water.
However, aspirin should not be given to children under age 19 to avoid the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious, potentially fatal illness that can occur when a child with a fever takes aspirin.
Antibiotics will be given only when there is a strong suspicion that the bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
These are the same medications used by some people with asthma to ease breathing during an asthma attack. However, the risk of bronchitis and complications can be reduced by not smoking and by getting flu shots to reduce the risk of getting the flu, which can lead to acute bronchitis.
For example, staying well hydrated by drinking fluids, breathing humidified air, and avoiding dairy products as well as may keep secretions thin and more easily removed.
People with bronchitis have a reduced ability to breathe in air and oxygen into their lungs; they also have heavy mucus or phlegm forming in their airways.
It consists of a cough with mucus, chest discomfort or soreness, fever and sometimes shortness of breath. People with chronic bronchitis have varying degrees of breathing difficulties and symptoms may get better and worse during different parts of the year. Smoking is the most common causes of chronic bronchitis, with other causes including long-term exposure to air pollution, dust and fumes from the environment, and repeated episodes of acute bronchitis.
On the final page we discuss the available treatments for bronchitis and the measures you can take to reduce your risk of getting bronchitis. Bronchitis also may cause wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe), chest pain or discomfort, a low fever, and shortness of breath. Since acute bronchitis almost always resolves on its own, only take antibiotics for acute bronchitis if they are prescribed by a health care professional.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. However, acute bronchitis that is caused by exposure to pollutants, tobacco smoke, or other environmental agents is not contagious.
That's because of rising concerns about antibiotic resistance, in which bacteria evolve in ways that allow them to survive antibiotics. Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided as they can interact with some of the ingredients of OTC cold preparations. For children under age 2 (and some doctors recommend under age 6), the doctor should be consulted before OTC medicines are used. If chronic bronchitis occurs with emphysema, it may become chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the MedicineNet Site. This problem is increasing and is caused, in part, by antibiotics being used incorrectly and when they are not needed.
However, before trying these at home, read the labels to be sure they are safe for you to use.




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