Bronchitis is the result of infection in the respiratory tract. It leads to inflammation in the air passage between the nose and the lungs. There are two different forms of bronchitis. They are acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Though the names have similarity, they are completely different health problems having different symptoms. Though the effect of acute bronchitis lasts for a few days, chronic bronchitis has a lifelong effect on the health.
Acute bronchitis is a very common health problem of the winters. Mainly, it is caused by viral infection, but certain kind of bacterial infection can also lead to this condition. It is found that the disease develops after the infections of influenza or common cold. Other possible causal factors are smoke, dust, and harmful chemicals. These substances have suspended particles that are capable of causing irritation to the bronchial tubes and cause inflammation. Sometimes, the disease may occur after accidental inhalation of food or vomit. It may lead to asthma in severe cases.
The symptoms are usually observed 2-3 days after the actual infection of the respiratory passage has happened, and some of the symptoms may continue to last for 2-3 weeks. Following are the main symptoms that will help you identify the problem.
This is the first symptom which is observed, and it usually last for the longest period of time. Coughing due to acute bronchitis has a distinguishing sound. In the initial stage, the cough remains dry, but later it brings out mucus. The color of the mucus could vary from clear to yellow to green. If the coughing persists for a long time and is repeated quite frequently, then it can cause contraction of the thoracic cavity and spots of blood may be found with the mucus.
Fever and Chills
The fever associated the disease is usually mild and does not go above 101 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be accompanied by sudden feeling of coldness and shivering of the body. If the body temperature goes up then there is risk of getting pneumonia.
Runny Nose and Sore Throat
Runny nose is one such symptom that causes a lot of uneasiness to the patient. Repeated blowing of the nose should be done in a gentle manner or else it may get hurt. Due to the soreness of the throat, the voice tends to get hoarse.
The disease tends to make the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves very sensitive, leading to a lot of pain. For this reason, neck pain, muscle pain, and back pain are often noticed in this condition. One may get frequent bouts of headache as well. Some people also complain about a kind of dull chest pain that arises due to difficulty in breathing and excessive coughing.
Wheezing Sound in Nose
This occurs mostly because of the blockage in the nose and rest of the breathing tract. As a result, breathing becomes difficult, and thus, produces a typical noise. It gets aggravated after performing any physical activities.
The symptoms should not be neglected, and necessary steps for treatment should be taken on time to prevent any serious complications like pneumonia. Doctors prescribe suitable medicines to get relief from fever and the persistent cough. You should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. It is a highly contagious disease, which can spread from one person to another through air or direct contact of the things that are used by the patient. Therefore, if you are affected by the disease, make sure you cover your face while coughing and sneezing. Also, if you are going near a patient of acute bronchitis, then you should wear a mask and wash your hands as frequently as possible in order to prevent spreading the infection.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.