By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis, Bronchitis Treatment Bronchitis Signs and Symptoms The first sign of bronchitis is usually a
persistent dry cough (associated with an upper respiratory infection). Eventually, coughing
brings up sputum from the lungs that may be thin, clear, and white. As infection progresses,
the sputum becomes thick and yellow, green, or brown. A thick, pus-filled discharge suggests
a bacterial infection. Other symptoms include the following: – Burning pain, wheezing, and crackling in
the chest – Painful and difficult breathing
– Malaise (generally feeling unwell) – Low-grade fever (101ºF–102ºF) Insomnia can develop with persistent nighttime
coughing. Symptoms usually last 3 to 7 days; a dry cough commonly persists several weeks
after the infection resolves. Complications of Bronchitis Left untreated, acute bronchitis can occasionally
progress to pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, particularly in people with suppressed immune
systems or lung disease. Chronic bronchitis is associated with long-term constriction
of airways, bacterial infection, and other diseases, including asthma, emphysema, and
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bronchitis Diagnosis Diagnosis is made by the health care provider
taking a careful history of symptoms and performing a physical examination. A stethoscope is used
to listen to the lungs. If symptoms are prolonged or severe, a chest x-ray may be performed
to check for a more serious condition. Treatment for Bronchitis Viral bronchitis usually resolves without
treatment. Increasing fluid intake helps reduce congestion and is necessary when fever is
present. Rest is also helpful, and fever and back and muscle pain may be treated with acetaminophen
(Tylenol). Over-the-counter cough suppressants and expectorants and steamy showers can temporarily
relieve symptoms by thinning mucus and opening airways, allowing for easier expulsion of
mucus. Bacterial bronchitis is treated with antibiotics,
such as tetracycline, erythromycin, and amoxicillin (in children), depending on the causative
bacteria. Side effects of these medications are usually mild and include nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Prevention of Bronchitis Good hygiene can reduce the spread of viral
infection. Immunizations against influenza and pertussis can reduce the risk for bacterial
bronchitis. Avoiding smoking cigarettes, second-hand smoke, and heavy fumes can hasten recovery,
because the lungs’ task of filtering pollutants is made easier.


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