Acute Bronchitis

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By nclexnursing

Bronchitis is a condition in which the bronchial tubes, which deliver air to the lungs, become inflamed. It creates a cough that frequently produces mucous. Shortness of breath, wheezing, a mild fever and chest tightness are all possible symptoms. Acute and chronic bronchitis are the two basic kinds of bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis usually clears itself within a few days. However, even when the infection is gone, your cough can continue for several weeks.

Acute bronchitis is frequently caused by the same viruses that cause colds and the flu. When people cough, the infections transmit through the air, or through personal touch (for example, on unwashed hands). Acute bronchitis can also be caused by cigarette smoke, air pollution, dust, vapors, and fumes. Bacteria can potentially cause acute bronchitis in rare cases.

What causes acute bronchitis in the first place?

A virus, such as the common cold or influenza (influenza) virus, almost invariably causes acute bronchitis. It can also be brought on by bacteria.

What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis symptoms might persist anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or more.

You may experience cold or flu symptoms at first, such as:

  • a stuffy nose
  • Throat irritation
  • Tiredness, chills, and achy muscles are all symptoms of a cold.
  • A mild temperature (100° to 101° F or 37.5° to 38° C) is present.
  • Symptoms last 3 to 5 days on average.

After that, you acquire a cough. Coughing:

Usually does not generate mucus at first, but later produces clear, yellow, green, or even crimson mucus, which can cause chest pain while coughing or breathing deeply. Even if you don’t have asthma, you may have to wheeze for 2 to 3 weeks, and occasionally even longer.

Is it possible for doctors to know whether I have acute bronchitis?

When doctors talk about your symptoms and examine your lungs, they can usually tell if you have acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis, on the other hand, can have symptoms that are similar to mild pneumonia. Pneumonia is a lung infection that is more serious than bronchitis. If you have any of the following symptoms, your doctor may order a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia:

  • Are older and have a serious illness
  • You have a high fever and are having trouble breathing.
  • Have you been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease?

What is the treatment for acute bronchitis?

Your symptoms will be treated by your doctor as follows:

  • You can use over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you have a fever or chest pain from coughing.
  • Your doctor may prescribe an inhaler if you have wheezing (a little spray bottle with medicine that you breathe in)
  • Cough treatments virtually never make you feel better, but if your cough keeps you awake at night, they may assist a little.

If your mucus was thick and yellow, doctors used to think antibiotics would help. Antibiotics are no longer effective in treating acute bronchitis, save in the few cases when it is caused by bacteria.

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Quiz and Explantion

Which of the following bronchitis statements is incorrect?

A. Bronchitis is a condition that can be either acute or chronic.
B. A virus is the most common cause of acute bronchitis.
C. Sputum that is green in color indicates a bacterial illness.
D. Bronchitis is rarely treated with antibiotics.


C is the correct answer. It is a prevalent misperception that coughing up green or yellow-colored sputum indicates a bacterial infection. Propositions A, B, and D are correct.

Fevers that are high, protracted, or both are likely to suggest the presence of which of the following in people with bronchitis?

A. Pneumonia
B. Asthma
C. Cancer
D. Allergy


Pneumonia is the correct answer. High or sustained fevers are not common in choices B and D. C: Cancer can result in fevers, but they are rarely as high or as lengthy as those produced by pneumonia.

Which of the following is the final symptom to go away in persons with acute bronchitis?

A. Runny nose
B. Fever
C. Cough
D. Chilliness


C is the answer. Cough is the final symptom to go away, and it might take up to 3 weeks or more. Viruses can harm the epithelial cells that line the bronchial tubes, and it takes time for the body to repair the damage. Choices A, B, and D all fade away at different periods.