Learning about acute bronchitis:What is acute bronchitis?How can I tell whether I have pneumonia or bronchitis?Getting treatment:Should I take antibiotics for acute bronchitis?When might antibiotics be used for bronchitis?Taking care of yourself:What can I do to relieve a cough?When do I need to see a doctor?When does my child need to see a doctor?
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems. Bronchitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
What is bronchitis?Bronchitis means that the tubes that carry air to the lungs (the bronchial tubes) are inflamed and irritated. When this happens, the bronchial tubes swell and produce mucus. This makes you cough.There are two types of bronchitis:Acute bronchitis usually comes on quickly and gets better after 2 to 3 weeks. Chronic bronchitis keeps coming back and can last a long time, especially in people who smoke. Chronic bronchitis means that you have a cough with mucus most days of the month for 3 months of the year and for at least 2 years in a row.This topic focuses on acute bronchitis. Both children and adults can get acute bronchitis.Most healthy people who get acute bronchitis get better without any problems. But it can be more serious in older adults and children and in people with other health problems, especially lung diseases such as asthma or COPD. Complications can include pneumonia and repeated episodes of severe bronchitis.What causes acute bronchitis?Acute
During a medical history for acute bronchitis,your doctor will ask the following questions: How long have you had the respiratory symptoms? Do you have any other symptoms,such as shortness of breath,chest pain,wheezing,fever,or other general body symptoms? Have you had other recent respiratory infections,such as a cold,the flu,or sinusitis ? Have you had recent contact with other ...