Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Acute Bronchitis Overview

Another name for Acute Bronchitis is Bronchitis.

What is bronchitis?
A person with bronchitis has swelling and irritation of the air passageways in the lungs. There are two kinds of bronchitis: acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection. In some cases, bacteria can cause acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis can occur in anyone, but those with asthma, COPD, or another lung disease are at greatest risk.

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
The most common symptoms of bronchitis include a cough, breathing difficulty, and wheezing. The cough may be dry or produce yellow or brown mucus. Chest pain with coughing may be a later symptom.

How does the doctor treat bronchitis?
Bronchitis usually gets better by itself, but some cases it may be necessary to treat it with antibiotics. Bronchodilator medications may be recommended for those with wheezing.

Continue to Acute Bronchitis Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Bronchitis References
  1. Aagaard E, Gonzales R. Management of acute bronchitis in healthy adults. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2004 Dec;18(4):919-37; x. [15555832]
  2. Harris RH, MacKenzie TD, Leeman-Castillo B: Optimizing antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory tract infections in an urban urgent care clinic. J Gen Intern Med 2003 May; 18(5): 326-34. [12795730]
  3. Panpanich R, Lerttrakarnnon P, Laopaiboon M. Azithromycin for acute lower respiratory tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD001954. [15497172]
  4. Smucny J, Fahey T, Becker L: Antibiotics for acute bronchitis (Cochrane Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000; 4: CD000245. [11034678]
  5. Wark P. Bronchitis (acute). Clin Evid. 2005 Jun;(13):1844-52. [16135312]
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