Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lungs, specifically of the bronchial tubes (which permit air to enter the lungs) in the lower respiratory tract. It occurs in two types: acute bronchitis, which generally lasts for 1-3 weeks; and chronic bronchitis, which is characterized by recurring symptoms over a period of months.

Acute bronchitis is a common condition caused by viral and bacterial infections. In most cases, symptoms are mild, but acute bronchitis may progress to viral pneumonia in some patients. We prescribe acute bronchitis antibiotics to help bacterial infections. In some patients, bronchitis medications cause side effects that can include upset stomach and vomiting. Be sure to inform your CallonDoc doctor if you are experiencing side effects or allergic reactions in connection with your bronchitis treatment.

Persons suffering from acute bronchitis are usually advised to avoid tobacco smoke (including secondhand smoke) or exposing themselves to other airborne irritants. Some find it helpful to use an indoor humidifier to moisten indoor air. To recover faster, you should get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Symptoms of Bacterial Bronchitis

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Frequent cough

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Sore throat

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Chest congestion

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Sore ribs from prolonged coughing

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Persistent wheezing

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Whistling sound while breathing

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Yellow or green mucus

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Mild fever

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Available treatment options

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Antibiotics (Zpak, Cefuroxime, Augmentin, Levofloxacin)

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Oral and Inhaled steroid (Prednisone, Symbicort, Qvar)

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Cough suppressant (Tessalon, Histex, Bromfed)

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Anyone can get acute bronchitis. However, it is more likely to occur in smokers, persons with chronic sinusitis, persons with enlarged tonsils, and persons who recently contracted the flu or the common cold. The very young and very old are at increased risk. Those who work with chemical products (e.g., cleaning agents) are also at increased risk for developing acute bronchitis.
Frequent hand washing can reduce your risk of developing acute bronchitis. You may also wish to wear a face mask if you believe you may be exposed to airborne pollutants or individuals who are ill.

Pneumonia, an infection of the air sacs in the lungs, is sometimes confused with bronchitis due to their similar symptoms. During diagnosis, it is important for the medical professional to pinpoint which condition is causing the patient's symptoms in order to determine the correct treatment options.

Pneumonia is the more serious of the two conditions. One way to distinguish between the two conditions is the relative severity of the patient’s fever. In bronchitis patients, fever is only mild, if it is present at all. In pneumonia patients, fever can be more serious, as high as 105°F. If you’re feeling ill and aren’t certain which condition you have, it’s best to seek out professional help from a licensed medical provider, like CallonDoc.

You may have a serious medical condition. Seek in-person medical help immediately.
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a sputum-producing cough that lasts at least three months of the year for two years. It is less common than acute bronchitis, and when it occurs it is often in conjunction with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you are experiencing symptoms or still experiencing symptoms after two or three weeks, or if your symptoms suddenly become severe, you may wish to seek medical treatment.
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