To manage the symptoms of bronchitis and feel better, you may
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. If due to certain medical conditions such as kidney diseases your doctor has restricted your fluid intake, you may ask them of the number of fluids you can safely have.
- Take adequate rest.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, as per the label instructions.
- Take steam inhalation.
- Take a warm shower.
- Adults may take non medicated lozenges to soothe the throat.
- Avoid smoking.
- Wear a mask to protect yourself from pollution or cold air.
- Take a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meat.
- Perform breathing exercises.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Have ginger tea and other herbal teas.
- Gargle with salt and water.
- Drink some honey in water.
- Avoid being around second-hand smoke.
- Use a humidifier.
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis refers to the inflammation of the air-carrying tubes in the lungs (bronchioles). The condition is often associated with persistent, nagging coughs with mucus. The condition often starts as an infection of the nose, throat, ears, or sinuses that later moves to the bronchi.
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic:
- Acute bronchitis: It is a short-term condition. It is usually caused by a viral infection. Smoking may initiate or worsen the symptoms. Bacterial infection may occasionally cause acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis usually goes away in a week or two. The symptoms may at times last for three weeks.
- Chronic bronchitis: It is less common compared with acute bronchitis. It is defined as cough productive of sputum, lasting for three months of the year for at least two consecutive years. It may block the airflow in the lungs and is classified as a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Chronic bronchitis may begin as cough and inflammation caused by a respiratory infection or illness, exposure to tobacco smoke, or other irritants in the air.
What causes bronchitis?
Bronchitis is usually caused by viral infections. It may occasionally result due to bacterial infections. Certain conditions such as asthma and obesity may make a person more likely to get bronchitis.
Smokers are more likely to get bronchitis. The risk is relatively higher in female smokers than in male smokers.
A history of childhood lung diseases is associated with a high risk of bronchitis.
Exposure to environmental pollutants, dust, and second-hand smoke increases the risk of bronchitis.
People who have allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, a type of digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices or food and fluids back up from the stomach into the food pipe), or a family history of bronchitis are more likely to get bronchitis.
What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
The commonest symptom of bronchitis is a persistent cough with mucus production. Other symptoms include:
Is bronchitis contagious?
Acute bronchitis may be contagious because it is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. You may get the infection from the affected person when they sneeze or cough. You may also get the infection if you touch a contaminated object and then touch your face without washing your hands.
Chronic bronchitis is usually not contagious because it results from a long-term irritation of the airways.
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Acute BronchitisBronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is short in duration (10-20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.
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cefuroximeCefuroxime is an antibiotic used to treat infections of the middle ear, sinuses, skin, tonsils, and throat, and to treat laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, COPD, and early Lyme disease. Common side effects of cefuroxime include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, rash, hives, vaginitis, and mouth ulcers.
cephalexinCephalexin is a prescription antibiotic used for treating middle ear infections (otitis media), tonsillitis, laryngitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin infections, bone infections, throat infections, bronchitis, and bone infections. Common side effects of cephalexin include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, headaches, and vaginitis. Dosage of cephalexin depends on the type of infection.
Chronic BronchitisChronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and ColdsIf you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
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ofloxacinOfloxacin is an antibiotic medication prescribed for the treatment of pneumonia, bronchitis, staph infections, STDs (gonorrhea, chlamydia), urinary tract infections, and prostate infections caused by E. coli. The most common side effects of ofloxacin include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, headache, dizziness, itching, and vaginitis in women. Do not take ofloxacin if pregnant or breastfeeding.
penicillin VPenicillin V (Veetids and Pen-Vee-K have been discontinued) is an antibiotic prescribed to treat infections from a variety of bacteria that causes infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract, and gonorrhea. Side effects include rash, itching, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea. Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
turmericTurmeric is a perennial herb (Curcuma longa) used orally and topically in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for multiple ailments. Turmeric may be used to treat fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, headache, fever, bronchitis, indigestion (dyspepsia), diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas (flatulence) and bloating, minor skin irritations, ringworm, leech bites, infected wounds, inflammatory skin conditions, and others. Mild side effects of oral turmeric include stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea. Do not take turmeric if pregnant or breastfeeding.
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