All you should know about Bronchitis in 2022

All you should know about Bronchitis in 2022

All you should know about Bronchitis in 2022

All you should know about Bronchitis in 2022

Bronchitis may also lead to pneumonia if you don’t go for quick  treatment. Bronchitis is an infection of the airways that lead to your lungs. Pneumonia is an infection inside one or two lungs. If bronchitis is left untreated, the infection can travel from the airways into the lungs. That can lead to pneumonia.


What causes pneumonia and bronchitis?

There are four different types of pneumonia. Each type has a different cause.

  • Bacterial pneumonia can be caused by the bacteria StreptococcusChlamydophila, or Legionella.
  • Viral pneumonia is usually caused by a respiratory virus.
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia is caused by organisms that are neither bacterial or viral, but that have similar qualities to both.
  • Fungal pneumonia can be caused by fungi from bird droppings or soil. You can develop it if you’re exposed to and inhale large quantities of the fungi.

A virus most commonly causes bronchitis. It’s usually the same virus that causes the common cold. Bacteria can also trigger it, but never mycoplasma organisms or fungi. This is where it differs from pneumonia in terms of cause.

Untreated viral or bacterial bronchitis can turn into viral or bacterial pneumonia.


How can you prevent pneumonia?

If you have bronchitis, the best way to prevent pneumonia is to treat the condition early. Recognizing the symptoms of bronchitis can help you get treatment sooner. Early symptoms of bronchitis are similar to those of a cold or the flu. They may include:

  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • wheezing
  • fever of 100°F to 100.4°F (37.7°C to 38°C)
  • feeling tired
  • back and muscle aches

You’ll then develop a dry cough which will become productive after a few days. A productive cough is one that produces mucus. The mucus may be yellow or green.

Bacterial bronchitis more commonly leads to pneumonia than viral bronchitis. That’s because the bacteria multiply and spread.

In some cases, it’s still possible to contract pneumonia even if you’re taking antibiotics to treat bronchitis. This is because antibiotics are very specifically selected for the bacteria they’re targeting. If you’re taking antibiotics for one type of bacteria, it’s still possible for pneumonia to be caused by another type.

Your doctor will only prescribe antibiotics if you have bacterial bronchitis. Antibiotics can’t treat viral bronchitis or any other virus.


Who’s at increased risk for pneumonia?

It’s possible for anyone to develop pneumonia following bronchitis, but certain groups of people are at greater risk. These groups typically have weakened immune systems. You may be at an increased risk for pneumonia following bronchitis if you:

  • are under the age of 2 or over the age of 65
  • have had a stroke
  • have difficulty swallowing
  • have asthmacystic fibrosisdiabetesheart failure, or other chronic medical conditions
  • have very limited mobility
  • are taking medications that affect your immune system
  • are receiving treatment or therapy for cancer
  • smoke or take certain illicit drugs
  • drink alcohol to excess


Symptoms of bronchitis vs. pneumonia

It’s important to be able to differentiate between the symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia. This is because pneumonia is a much more serious condition and could be potentially life-threatening.

Bronchitis often develops following a cold and presents as a worsening of your symptoms. Symptoms of bronchitis may include:

  • coughing up clear, yellow, green, or blood-streaked phlegm
  • fever and chills
  • tightness or some pain in your chest
  • feeling lethargic

Chronic bronchitis usually lasts several weeks. Acute bronchitis doesn’t last long, but your symptoms are more severe.

It can be difficult to determine when bronchitis has developed into pneumonia since they share many of the same symptoms. But symptoms of pneumonia are more severe.

If you have symptoms of bronchitis, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. They’ll use a stethoscope to listen to your chest and lungs to determine if the infection has moved onto your lungs. They may ask you to return within a certain time period if your symptoms haven’t cleared up or if your symptoms worsen.


There are certain symptoms of severe pneumonia that bronchitis doesn’t have. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek urgent medical attention:

  • significant difficulty breathing
  • a feeling that your chest is being crushed
  • coughing up lots of blood
  • blue fingernails or lips

When to seek help?

If you think you’re experiencing the symptoms of pneumonia, seek immediate medical attention. Like most illnesses, treatment of pneumonia is more successful the earlier it’s caught.

Untreated pneumonia can escalate quickly, so don’t delay. Even if you think your symptoms are relatively mild and might only be bronchitis, still get it checked out. Bronchitis might also require antibiotics if it’s caused by a bacterial infection.

The treatment for pneumonia depends upon the cause. Antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal drugs are all used to treat the different types of pneumonia. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medication.

Many cases of pneumonia can be treated at home with oral medications. But if your symptoms are severe or you have other health concerns, your doctor may recommend hospitalization. Your treatments in the hospital might include intravenous antibiotics, respiratory therapy, or oxygen therapy.

What’s the outlook?

Bacterial bronchitis can lead to pneumonia if it’s not treated promptly. But the majority of people respond well to the treatment of pneumonia and recover.

For some people, the condition can lead to complications and worsen other health conditions they might already have. Ultimately, pneumonia can be life-threatening. See your doctor if you suspect you may have it. They can determine what’s going on and any needed next steps.

In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or flu. The virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes. These droplets typically spread about 1m (3ft).
Most people get over bronchitis in about two weeks, but it might take as long as three to six weeks. You can manage your symptoms at home with over-the-counter medicines while you get better. If you don’t feel better after three weeks, see your healthcare provider.
Most people DO NOT need antibiotics for acute bronchitis caused by a virus. The infection will almost always go away on its own within 1 week. Doing these things may help you feel better: Drink plenty of fluids.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and milk products. Try home remedies like spicy foods, mullein tea, vitamin C, zinc, garlic, and over-the-counter saline nasal spray.
Yes. Most of the time, acute bronchitis is caused by a virus, such as the flu (influenza) virus. However, many different viruses — all of which are very contagious — can cause acute bronchitis.
Albuterol is one of the more common bronchodilators prescribed for treating bronchitis. It comes in the from of an inhaler. Steroids: If chronic bronchitis symptoms are stable or slowly getting worse, inhaled steroids, can be used to help minimize bronchial tube inflammation.
What Is a Bronchitis Cough Like? A bronchitis cough sounds like a rattle with a wheezing or whistling sound. As your condition progresses, you will first have a dry cough that can then progress towards coughing up white mucus.
If you have symptoms of bronchitis, stay home to avoid spreading your viral infection to others. To properly treat your acute bronchitis, get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, and take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to treat your symptoms.
Symptoms of acute bronchitis typically start with a runny nose, sore throat, productive cough, and low-grade fever. Three or four days later, a dry, hacking cough may develop. Most cases of acute bronchitis last between three and 10 days.
A dry, indoor environment Dry air can aggravate an already irritated nose and throat, making your nighttime cough worse. To relieve a dry air cough, you can try a humidifier to put moisture back into the air and make it easier to breathe, but be sure to take proper care of the unit.
To diagnose bronchitis, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your medical history and symptoms. The doctor may also order a blood test to look for signs of infection or a chest X-ray to see if your lungs and bronchial tubes look normal and rule out pneumonia.
Treatment. Acute bronchitis usually gets better on its own—without antibiotics. Antibiotics won’t help you get better if you have acute bronchitis. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you, and their side effects could still cause harm.
Bronchitis and COVID-19 share many similar symptoms, like cough and shortness of breath. The best way to tell the difference between COVID-19 and bronchitis is to get a COVID-19 test. Both bronchitis and COVID-19 can turn into pneumonia.
Although a single episode of bronchitis usually isn’t cause for concern, it can lead to pneumonia in some people. Repeated bouts of bronchitis, however, may mean that you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Cough expectorant: Look for meds with guaifenesin, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cold medicines. It’s an expectorant, meaning it helps loosen mucus. Cough suppressant: Other OTC cough medicines can suppress your hacking — an especially useful trick if your cough is keeping you up at night.
The main symptom of acute bronchitis is a cough. This is usually a dry cough at first, but it may later develop into a phlegmy cough, where you cough up mucus (sputum). Doctors call this a “productive” cough.
If bronchitis becomes pneumonia, a person’s symptoms usually worsen. They will have a cough with mucus and a fever. If a doctor cannot diagnose pneumonia based on the person’s symptoms, they may suggest a chest X-ray or blood test.
Whether it’s acute or chronic bronchitis, you should always get medical care right away if your coughing makes it hard for you to catch your breath. The medical experts at Smart Clinic Urgent Care are well-equipped to handle and treat bronchitis, COPD, and asthma.

What sleep position is best for bronchitis?

If you have a chronic lung problem with mucus, or you have increased mucus from an infection, lying with your chest lower than your belly (abdomen) can help loosen and drain extra mucus from your lungs.
If you have acute bronchitis, your cough may last for several weeks after other symptoms have gone. You may also find that the continual coughing makes your chest and stomach muscles sore. Some people may have shortness of breath or wheezing as a result of inflamed airways.
Coughing and blowing your nose are the best ways to help mucus fight the good fight. “Coughing is good,” Dr. Boucher says. “When you cough up mucus when you are sick, you are essentially clearing the bad guys—viruses or bacteria—from your body.”
The most significant difference between the two is that a cold is a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract while bronchitis is a lower respiratory infection that affects the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs.
Use your stomach muscles to forcefully expel the air. Avoid a hacking cough or merely clearing the throat. A deep cough is less tiring and more effective in clearing mucus out of the lungs. Huff Coughing: Huff coughing, or huffing, is an alternative to deep coughing if you have trouble clearing your mucus.
If you’re taking antibiotics for bacterial acute bronchitis, you’ll become less contagious or not contagious at all within 24 to 48 hours. Chronic bronchitis is not usually contagious.
The most common symptoms for acute bronchitis include cough, chest soreness, runny nose, feeling tired and achy, headache, chills, slight fever, and sore throat. Healthcare providers can often diagnose acute bronchitis by taking a medical history and doing physical exam.
Most people get over an acute bout of bronchitis in two to three weeks, although the cough can sometimes hang on for four weeks or more. If you’re in otherwise good health, your lungs will return to normal after you’ve recovered from the initial infection.
Vicks VapoRub can help to improve breathing and the ability to rest when you’re dealing with bronchitis congestion. It can be especially effective in children.
To diagnose bronchitis, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your medical history and symptoms. The doctor may also order a blood test to look for signs of infection or a chest X-ray to see if your lungs and bronchial tubes look normal and rule out pneumonia.
The main symptoms of a chest infection can include: a persistent cough. coughing up yellow or green phlegm (thick mucus), or coughing up blood. breathlessness or rapid and shallow breathing.

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