See us if you have any of these acute bronchitis symptoms:
chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, cough (dry or mucus-producing)
Acute bronchitis is a temporary condition and is different than chronic bronchitis, which is a type of COPD. Acute bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes (airways) in your lungs suddenly become inflamed. It is usually caused when an infection in the nose or throat moves into the lungs, or by breathing in irritants like tobacco smoke, dust, and air pollution. A small percentage of acute bronchitis cases are caused by bacterial infection.
In people with weakened immune systems or other DISORDERS conditions, untreated acute bronchitis can result in severe conditions like pneumonia or respiratory failure. The people most at risk are:
- The elderly
- People with major HEALTH conditions including cancer or diabetes
- People who have not been immunized for the flu, pneumonia, and whooping cough
Acute bronchitis usually gets better on its own after 3 – 10 days. While the cough associated with it can last several weeks, acute bronchitis does not cause any permanent breathing difficulties. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend an inhaled medicine to open your airways, steam or a humidifier to help you breathe easier. If your doctor thinks bacteria caused your bronchitis, he or she may prescribe antibiotics.