Bronchitis is the inflammation of the larger airways in your lungs, causing an ongoing cough. Bronchitis can be due to an infection, smoking or breathing in irritating substances.
When you get Bronchitis it causes the bronchi in your lungs to become inflamed, producing more mucus than usual. Acute bronchitis can last for a few weeks, whereas chronic bronchitis can last for months and may come back each year.
Most people with acute bronchitis will feel better with time and rest, with a number of treatments available to help ease the cough and other symptoms.
These treatments can include:
Bronchitis usually results from a viral infection, so antibiotics are not effective. However, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic if he or she suspects that you have a bacterial infection.
It's best not to suppress a cough that brings up mucus, because coughing helps remove irritants from your lungs and air passages. If your cough keeps you from sleeping, your doctor may suggest using a cough suppressant at bedtime.
If you have allergies, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your doctor may recommend an inhaler and other medications to reduce inflammation and open narrowed passages in your lungs.
If you think you have bronchitis, please make an appointment with your doctor at South Street Medical Centre to assess your condition and discuss treatment.