This is a condition in which the lung's large air passages become irritated and swollen because of infection or exposure to an irritant.
Acute bronchitis is a short-term irritation and swelling of the lining of the large air passages (bronchial tubes) leading to the lungs. This type of bronchitis usually occurs after a viral infection (such as the common cold); bacterial infection (less common); or exposure to chemicals, dust or fumes.
Most cases of bronchitis are caused by a virus. People who have a virus can spread it by coughing, sneezing or touching a surface or object. Others may “catch” a virus if they breathe in infected droplets or touch an infected surface, and then touch their nose, eyes or mouth. The most common symptoms of acute bronchitis are:
For treatment, make sure to get plenty of rest and drink an adequate amount of fluids. Also, avoid cigarette smoke and other respiratory irritants. If needed, your health care provider may order an antiviral, antibiotic or over-the-counter medication for you.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of bronchitis or a chest infection.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives, and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects).
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