Acute Bronchitis – Symptoms & Treatment

Acute Bronchitis

Acute Bronchitis

Typically, a viral infection is what causes acute bronchitis. Most frequently, they are the same viruses that cause the flu and colds. A bacterial infection, as well as inhaled physical or chemical irritants, are other potential causes. Dust, allergies, and strong fumes, such as those produced by cigarette smoke or chemical cleaning agents, may be among them. After a cold or other upper respiratory tract viral infection, acute bronchitis can develop. It can also happen to persons who have allergies, chronic sinusitis, swollen tonsils, or adenoids. When someone has a lung or heart illness, it might be quite severe.

Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis symptoms might include:

  • Stiffness or congestion in the chest
  • Spitting up clear, yellow, or green mucus
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Wheezing
  • Unwell throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body pains

Your cough might persist for a few weeks or longer. This occurs because it takes time for the bronchial passages to repair. A chronic cough might be a sign of another problem, such as asthma or pneumonia.

Acute Bronchitis: How is it Identified?

By collecting medical history and doing a physical exam, healthcare professionals can frequently identify acute bronchitis. Also, other illnesses like pneumonia or asthma may be ruled out with tests. To assist in confirming a diagnosis, apply any of the following tests:

A chest X-ray

A test that creates pictures of internal organs, bones, and tissues using invisible radiation beams, including the lungs.

Arterial blood gas

This blood test examines the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

Cultures of sputum and nasal discharge

To locate and identify the microbe causing the illness, tests may be conducted on sputum that you cough up or a sample from your nose.

Testing for pulmonary function

These examinations aid in determining the lungs’ capacity to transport air into and out of the lungs. Thus, specific devices that you breathe into are used for the testing.


The majority of the time, acute bronchitis is not serious and has no side effects. Frequently, the symptoms go away on their own, and lung function returns to normal. Furthermore, antibiotics are typically not necessary to treat acute bronchitis.

That’s because viruses are mostly responsible for illnesses. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics could be required if it has turned into pneumonia. Thus, adhere to the following types of treatment to address the symptoms:

  • Preventing secondhand smoking exposure
  • Cough syrup
  • Air humidification
  • Increased hydration
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol), which reduces temperature and acts as a painkiller,
  • Giving up smoking
  • Prevent antihistamines since they might dry up mucus and aggravate coughing.

Some individuals with acute bronchitis require inhalation medication. If you have wheezing, you could require this. It can help remove mucus and unblock bronchial tubes. Thus, to take it, you often use an inhaler. Using an inhaler, spray medicine directly into your bronchial airways. If this course of therapy is appropriate for you, your doctor will determine. Furthermore, your doctor could prescribe antibiotics if they believe bacteria are the reason for your acute bronchitis.

When to Get Medical Attention

Consult a doctor if you suffer any of the following:

  • The temperature of at least 100.4 °F
  • Cough up blood-colored mucous
  • Respiratory issues or shortness of breath
  • More than three-week-long symptoms
  • Repeated bronchitis flare-ups

This is not a comprehensive list. Thus, please see a doctor if you have any troubling or dangerous symptoms.