Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. When a person has bronchitis, it may be harder for air to pass in and out of the lungs. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about the condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Acute bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial tree. When these tubes get infected, they swell and mucus forms. The swelling of the tubes makes it more difficult for you to breathe. It may make you wheeze when you breathe.

The condition is almost always caused by viruses that get into the bronchial tree. The same viruses that cause colds in the nose and throat can cause acute bronchitis. As your body fights back against these viruses, more swelling occurs.

Acute bronchitis is spread from person to person by coughing. The viruses that cause the infection are sprayed into the air or onto peoples hands when they cough.

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not helpful. For some people with acute bronchitis, doctors prescribe medicines that are used to treat asthma. These medicines help open the bronchial tubes and clear out the mucus.

If your cough lasts more than one month or if you keep having a fever, you should see your doctor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.