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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the lining of airways. There are commonly two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a type of chest infection. It is a common condition that affects the lungs and occurs when the airways in the lungs become …
What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
The main symptoms of acute bronchitis include: coughing; mucus production, and; wheezy or crackly breathing. Some people with acute bronchitis may also experience: a fever; muscle aches and pains; a sore throat, and; a blocked or runny nose.
What causes bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis often develops after having a cold or the flu. It is most commonly caused by a virus, such as the influenza virus, but can also be caused by bacteria and other particles, such as air pollution or chemicals that are breathed in and irritate the …
Who can develop bronchitis?
Anybody can develop acute bronchitis, but you are at an increased risk if you are elderly, smoke, or have a weak immune system.
How is bronchitis diagnosed?
To work out if you have acute bronchitis, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. This may include listening to your chest with a stethoscope to hear your breathing. They may also take a sample of mucus or a …
How long does acute bronchitis last?
Most cases of acute bronchitis last from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how severe it is. Elderly people and those with a weak immune system or other chronic illness may develop more severe symptoms and take longer to recover.
What can be done at home to treat acute bronchitis?
Getting plenty or rest, drinking lots of fluids and avoiding substances that irritate the lungs, such as smoking, can all help the recovery from acute bronchitis. Over-the-counter pain-relief medications and decongestants can also help to …
Is acute bronchitis contagious?
Some of the infections that cause acute bronchitis can be contagious, which means that they can be easily passed on to another person. Acute bronchitis can be spread by breathing in the droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 412 (Click smiley face below left to rate)