Acute BronchitisMonday, February 22, 2010
Acute bronchitis is responsible for the hacking cough and phlegm production that sometimes accompany an upper respiratory infection. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.
Acute bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial treethe tubes that carry air from the mouth and nose to the lungs. When these tubes get infected, they swell, and mucus forms. The swelling makes it more difficult for you to breathe. It may make you wheeze when you breathe.
Acute bronchitis is almost always caused by viruses. As your body fights back against these viruses, more swelling occurs and more mucus is made. Even though your body kills off the viruses, it takes time for your body to repair the damage caused by the infection.
Since acute bronchitis is caused by viruses, antibiotics are not helpful. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help open the bronchial tubes and clear out the mucus.
Pneumonia and acute bronchitis can sometimes cause similar symptoms. If you have a high fever, feel very sick and weak, and continue to cough, you should call your doctor. You may need to have a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.