Bronchitis-how to recognize and how to treat?
Bronchitis is often confused with the common cold. And no wonder, because the initial symptoms such as cough, weakness or malaise are deceptively similar to those occurring in the course of the latter. However, if they do not resolve after a few days-go to the doctor. Improperly treated bronchitis can lead to serious complications. And what types of bronchitis are distinguished? How does the disease develop? What are its symptoms and how to deal with them?
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a disease of the lower respiratory tract caused by viruses, bacteria or environmental factors. Although most often children struggle with it, it can also occur in adults. The viruses that cause bronchitis are most often the paragrip viruses, influenza A and B viruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, RSV and coronaviruses.
Types of bronchitis
Depending on the duration of the disease, its acute, subacute and chronic form is distinguished.
- Acute bronchitis
It lasts up to 3 weeks. Almost every one of us has struggled with it at least once in his life-it appears in both children and adults. This is the mildest and most common form of bronchitis, manifested primarily by an acute cough.
- Subacute bronchitis
It lasts from 3 to 8 weeks. It can be caused by overactive bronchial tubes after a previous illness or infection with a pertussis stick.
- Chronic bronchitis
We are talking about him when the cough persists for more than 8 weeks. This is most often due to environmental factors such as smoking, air pollution and frequent viral infections. If chronic bronchitis is suspected, contact your doctor, as if left untreated it can cause bronchiectasis and lead to even more serious diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
How to treat bronchitis?
Bronchitis usually does not require specialized treatment. First of all, it is recommended to rest and stay at home for a few days. It should be remembered to take a large amount of fluid, which will dilute the secretion and facilitate its expectoration. In addition, you can take expectorants – most often they contain ambroxol, bromhexine or acetylcysteine. If the cough is severe and accompanied by shortness of breath, consult your doctor, who may prescribe bronchodilators such as fenoterol or salmeterol. High fever can be beaten by taking preparations with ibuprofen or paracetamol.