What is Bronchitis ?
The condition that falls in between the common cold and pneumonia in severity is called bronchitis. Symptoms include a frequent cough that produces mucus, fatigue, fever, and a wheezing sound when breathing. Find out how to treat, or better yet, prevent bronchitis.
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis occurs when the bronchioles (air-carrying tubes in the lungs) are inflamed and make too much mucus. There are two basic types of bronchitis:
Chronic bronchitis is defined as cough productive of sputum that persists for three months out of the year for at least two consecutive years. The cough and inflammation may be caused by initial respiratory infection or illness, exposure to tobacco smoke or other irritating substances in the air. Chronic bronchitis can cause airflow obstruction and then is grouped under the term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Acute or short-term bronchitis is more common and usually is caused by a viral infection. Episodes of acute bronchitis can be related to and made worse by smoking. Acute bronchitis could last for 10 to 14 days, possibly causing symptoms for three weeks.
How is bronchitis diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will do a physical examination and take a medical history. They may ask if you have had a cold recently, how long your cough has lasted, and if you produce mucus when you cough. In addition, they may order a chest X-ray, tests for viruses in your upper respiratory secretions or blood tests.
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