Acute bronchitis is the sudden development of inflammation in bronchial tubes—the major airways into your lungs. It usually happens because of a virus or breathing in things that irritate the lungs such as tobacco smoke, fumes, dust and air pollution. Bacteria sometimes cause acute bronchitis. NURS 6051 wk 6 Assignment: Acute Bronchitis
How Acute Bronchitis Affects Your Body
In acute bronchitis, cells that line the bronchi become infected. The infection usually starts in the nose or throat and travels to the bronchial tubes. When the body tries to fight the infection, it causes the bronchial tubes to swell. This causes you to cough. Sometimes it is a dry cough, but often you will cough up mucus (sputum). The inflammation also causes less air to be able to move through the bronchial tubes, which can cause wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Eventually, the immune system fights off the infection. Acute bronchitis usually lasts for 3-10 days. However, your cough and mucus (sputum) production can last for several weeks after the infection has cleared.
How Serious Is Acute Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is temporary and usually does not cause any permanent breathing difficulties. It is possible for people with weakened immune systems or other major health problems to develop severe problems such as pneumonia or respiratory failure. In general, those who develop major problems from acute bronchitis are:
- The elderly
- Young children
- People with other major health conditions including cancer or diabetes
- People who have not been immunized for the flu, pneumonia and whooping cough.
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi. It may develop suddenly, following a head cold (acute bronchitis), or it may continue or return regularly for many years, causing worsening of the bronchi and lungs (chronic bronchitis).
Certain people are more likely to get bronchitis than others. Men are effected more than women, out numbering them 10 to 1. The reasons for this are unknown. Smokers are 50 times more likely to get chronic bronchitis than non smokers.
Acute bronchitis is a bacteria or virus infection, often following a cold. People who have acute bronchitis usually have a mild fever, soreness under breast bone and coughing. First they have a dry cough then the cough later brings up green and yellow mucus. The cough may continue for 4 to 6 weeks.
In acute bronchitis, the symptoms are a head cold, fever and chills, running nose, aching muscles and maybe back pains. This is followed by a cough. At first the cough is dry and eventually becomes phlegmy.
The best treatment for acute bronchitis is bed rest in a warm room. Cough medicines will relieve the cough and aspirin will reduce the fever. Antibiotics may be needed if the cause is bacteria.
Chronic bronchitis is caused by other problems such as sinusitis, smoking etc. The Bronchi becomes thick, inelastic, and mucus and pus builds in lower part of lungs instead of bringing stuff up and out. The result is chronic cough, shortness of breath, sometimes spasm, and frequent infection.
The main symptom in chronic bronchitis is a cough. Other symptoms in chronic bronchitis rely on how much, or how little, emphysema is present. This disorder causes the lungs to become stretched, making breathing hard. NURS 6051 wk 6 Assignment: Acute Bronchitis