When the bronchial tubes get inflamed, it results in bronchitis. The bronchial tubes are the air passages that connect the windpipe to the lungs. These passages are lined with mucus producing cells and when this lining gets inflamed, it result in excessive production of mucus, persistent cough, pain in the chest, wheezing, soreness in the chest and low grade fever. These are all the symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchitis is of two types, namely acute and chronic. Usually acute bronchitis is caused by the same virus that causes flu or the common cold. After a severe bout of cold or flu, a person can get acute bronchitis. It can also result from pollution, fumes, dust and allergens. The best way to treat acute bronchitis is getting ample bed rest, taking in a lot of fluids, and consuming expectorants to bring out all the mucus and phlegm. Usually acute bronchitis lasts for about 2 weeks, but the cough may continue for several months.
As acute bronchitis is normally caused due to viral infections, taking antibiotics is not the solution. The doctor will treat severe cases with anti-viral medications, otherwise just medication will be given to relieve the symptoms. On very rare occasions, acute bronchitis is caused due to bacterial infections. In such cases, antibiotics are prescribed.
Chronic bronchitis occurs mostly in people who smoke or take in secondhand cigarette smoke. It is an ongoing condition that last for a minimum period of 3 months each year for 2 consecutive years. The best treatment for chronic bronchitis is cessation of smoking. Just the symptoms of this kind of bronchitis can be treated, while the condition itself cannot be treated.
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