Healthy Living

Everything You Need to Know About Bronchitis

Everything You Need to Know About Bronchitis

Key Takeaways

  • Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic.
  • About 14 million cases of chronic bronchitis are reported annually in the US.
  • Chronic bronchitis can lead to serious complications.

Bronchitis is a common medical condition affecting people worldwide, regardless of their age and sex. However, bronchitis tends to affect young children and infants, as well as people who have chronic medical conditions, especially chronic conditions affecting the lungs and heart.

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the tubes that normally distribute the air into the lungs. Inflammation of these tubes causes a constriction, as well as an increased production of mucus. 

What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?

Characteristic signs and symptoms of bronchitis include:

Should I go and visit a doctor?

Keep in mind that bronchitis is not serious, even though it can be very bothersome. As previously mentioned, bronchitis most commonly affects young children and infants, as well as elderly people they are the most vulnerable group.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention:

  • Chills
  • High fever 
  • Feeling drowsy, dazed, or confused
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood

How to treat bronchitis yourself

In most cases, bronchitis tends to resolve on its own. This is all for acute bronchitis, while chronic bronchitis requires a more serious approach.

Some of the simple things you can do on your own at home include:

  • Bed rest – as much as you can
  • Drink plenty of fluids – at least 2 liters a day to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid cold air as it can trigger a cough
  • Avoid fumes
  • Don’t smoke or quit smoking if you do
  • Use honey to treat the dry cough

Bronchitis facts

  • Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi
  • Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic
  • Allergic bronchitis is common among people who are predisposed to have allergic problems
  • Acute bronchitis is commonly caused by a viral infection
  • Antibiotics are not necessary as bronchitis results from a viral infection.
  • Bronchitis tends to resolve on its own without treatment within 10 days
  • Cough can persist for a couple of weeks, sometimes a month
  • Chronic bronchitis can lead to serious complications, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema
  • Smoking aggravated the signs and symptoms of bronchitis
  • A hacking cough is the most characteristic symptom of acute and chronic bronchitis
  • Dust, air pollution, fumes trigger the signs and symptoms of bronchitis.