Your bronchial tubes deliver air from your trachea (windpipe) into your lungs. When these tubes become inflamed, mucus can build up. This condition is called bronchitis, and it causes symptoms that can include coughing, shortness of breath, and low fever.
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic:
- Acute bronchitis typically lasts less than 10 days, but the coughing can continue for several weeks.
- Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, can last for several weeks and usually comes back. This condition is more common in people with asthma or emphysema.
These symptoms can include:
- A runny nose
- A sore throat
- feeling cold easily
- back and muscle aches
- fever of 100°F to 100.4°F (37.7°C to 38°C)
After the initial infection, you’ll probably develop a cough. The cough will likely be dry at first, and then become productive, which means it will produce mucus. A productive cough is the most common symptom of acute bronchitis and can last from 10 days to three weeks.
Another symptom you may notice is a change of color in your mucus, from white to green or yellow. This doesn’t mean that your infection is viral or bacterial. It just means that your immune system is at work.
Causes of acute bronchitis include viral and bacterial infections, environmental factors, and other lung conditions. Viral infection: Viruses cause 85 to 95 percent of acute bronchitis cases in adults. The same viruses that cause the common cold or flu can cause acute bronchitis. Bacterial infection: In rare cases, bacterial bronchitis can develop after a viral infection of bronchitis. This can result from infections by bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumonia, Chlamydia pneumonia, and Bordetella pertussis (which causes whooping cough). Irritants: Breathing in irritants such as smoke, smog, or chemical fumes can cause inflammation in your trachea and bronchial tubes. This can lead to acute bronchitis. Other lung conditions: People with chronic bronchitis or asthma sometimes develop acute bronchitis. In these cases, acute bronchitis isn’t likely to be contagious because it’s not caused by an infection.
Any affecting Organ:
Bronchitis (pronounced: brong-KYE-tis) is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, the airways that connect the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs. This delicate, mucus-producing lining covers and protects the respiratory system (the organs and tissues involved in breathing).
Prevention / Treatment:
When you feel sick, you may really hope your doctor will prescribe medication to make you feel better. It’s important to know, though, that antibiotics aren’t recommended for people with acute bronchitis. Most cases of the condition are caused by viruses, and antibiotics don’t work on viruses, so the drugs wouldn’t help you. However, if you have acute bronchitis and are at high risk of pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics during cold and flu season. This is because acute bronchitis can develop into pneumonia, and antibiotics could help prevent this from happening.