Bronchitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Bronchitis is a common infection that causes inflammation and irritation in the main airways of the lungs or bronchi. This causes inflammation or inflammation of the channel.

When you experience bronchitis, one of the symptoms of bronchitis that is seen to mark infection is coughing. You will expel grayish yellow mucus with a sore throat, shortness of breath and nasal congestion.

This disease can be divided into two types. First, acute bronchitis which lasts for two to three weeks. Acute bronchitis is one of the most common respiratory system infections and most often affects children under 5 years of age.

Second, chronic bronchitis is a bronchial infection that lasts at least three months a year and recurs the following year. Chronic bronchitis is more common in adults over the age of 40 years.

In most cases, acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection, but sometimes it can also be caused by bacteria. If the body’s defense condition is good, the mucous membrane can return to normal after recovering from infection. This healing process usually lasts for several days.

Meanwhile, chronic bronchitis is a long-term serious disorder that often requires regular medical care. If someone has a smoking habit, recovery will be more difficult to obtain. Bronchitis is a disease whose healing also depends on the healthy lifestyle you live every day.

Every airway damage caused by cigarettes destroys the cilia (small hair-like structures that help to transport secretions along the cell surface), where cilia have a role to excrete excess mucus .

Besides can occur in adults, bronchitis in children can also occur. Usually, bronchitis in children is caused by diseases such as flu, sinus, or cough that reaches the bronchi. Bronchitis in children can also occur because parents smoke near them.

Bronchitis is a disease that needs to be watched out. If bronchitis is accompanied by a high fever, chest pain and coughing up blood, immediately go to the hospital to get proper treatment. Those who experience chronic bronchitis, have a risk of heart problems and other serious diseases, so they should be monitored by a doctor regularly.

Bronchitis Causes – Contagious Bronchitis or Not?

The cause of bronchitis is the thing that needs to be known by the doctor before giving the medicine for you. Bronchitis is generally caused by lung infections and 90% of cases found are caused by viruses. Repeated attacks of acute bronchitis, which weakens and irritates the bronchi from time to time can lead to chronic bronchitis.

Data reveal, chronic bronchritis is found in those who live around industrial areas such as mining. However, the main cause found is long-term smoking activity that causes the bronchial tubes to produce excessive mucus.

If someone asks whether bronchitis is contagious or not, the answer can vary. For acute bronchitis caused by a virus, bronchitis is usually contagious. But for chronic bronchitis, it is usually not contagious.

Symptoms of bronchitis

Once you know infectious bronchitis or not, now the symptoms of bronchitis need to be known. The main symptom of bronchitis is a dry cough. But there is also the possibility of coughing to produce thick grayish yellow mucus (although this is not always the case). Coughing may last for several weeks after other symptoms disappear.

The following are other symptoms that may appear:

  • Fever and chills
  • Pain and tightness in the chest
  • Pain below the sternum when breathing deeply

These symptoms may not be severe and you may not need to see a doctor, but symptoms of bronchitis are similar to pneumonia. It is very important to pay attention to changes in the symptoms experienced. See a doctor immediately if you have symptoms like the following:

  • Cough that causes persistent chest pain. This kind of cough can damage the air sacs in the lungs
  • Cough lasts more than a week and mucus becomes darker, thicker, increases in phlegm volume with blood coming out
  • Symptoms of acute bronchitis are followed by lung problems, chronic heart disease, or infection. Respiratory infections can make the body vulnerable to more serious lung diseases such as pneumonia.
  • Difficulty in breathing. This may be a symptom of a medical condition such as asthma, emphysema (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or heart disease
  • Fever more than three days

Treatment of Bronchitis

The conventional treatment for acute bronchitis can consist of simple steps such as, lots of rest, drinking lots of water, avoiding smoke to using an inhalation bronchodilator. After acute bronchitis is cured, prevention of bronchitis is by applying a healthy lifestyle by avoiding cigarettes and using pollution masks if the air is polluted. In cases of severe chronic bronchitis, oral steroids, additional inhalers or oxygen can be given to reduce inflammation.

Antibiotics will not be given in cases of bronchitis caused by viruses because they will not have any effect. Antibiotics are needed if there is a possibility of bacterial infection. If there is an increase in the amount of mucus and its thickness, then you have been infected with bacteria. The antibiotic prescription given is usually for five days.

If someone has chronic bronchitis, his lungs are susceptible to infection. Chronic bronchitis patients should get pneumonia vaccination immediately. Vaccination will protect you from bacteria or viruses from this disease. It is recommended to consult a doctor before vaccinating.

What needs to be noted, do not take antitussive drugs (cough suppressants) without a doctor’s prescription. As with acute bronchitis, a productive cough associated with chronic bronchitis can help cleanse the lungs of excessive mucus. In fact, doctors can recommend expectorants (sputum diluents) if the cough is relatively dry.

However, if there is a change in color, volume, or thickness of phlegm, it indicates that someone has been infected with bacteria. In this case, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight bacteria.

Meanwhile, if the patient has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), many doctors prescribe temporary bronchodilator drugs to help dilate the airways. If there is a defect in the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy that can be given at the hospital.

Research shows that someone who stops smoking despite being in the stage of chronic bronchitis and severe COPD can not only reduce the severity of symptoms, but can also increase life expectancy.