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Bronchitis

Bronchitis is when the tubes that carry air to the lungs (the bronchial tubes) become inflamed and irritated. When this happens, the tubes swell and produce mucus, and this causes a cough. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.

Causes

Acute bronchitis often develops from a cold or other respiratory infection and is usually caused by a virus. Some people get acute bronchitis after having an upper respiratory tract infection such as a cold. Acute bronchitis can also be caused by bacteria, in rare cases.

Chronic bronchitis, is a more serious condition and is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking. Chronic bronchitis keeps coming back and can last a long time.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of acute bronchitis include;

  • Dry cough that may bring up mucus
  • Low fever
  • Tiredness/fatigue
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

Treatment

  • Acute bronchitis can be treated with an over-the-counter cough medicine with an expectorant. Cough medicine should be used if a doctor prescribes it.
  • Drink lots of fluids as this helps prevent dehydration and thins the mucus in the lungs.
  • Treat headaches, fever, and aches and pains with paracetamol or ibuprofen (but ibuprofen is not recommended if you have asthma).

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