Acute bronchitis involves swelling of the bronchial tubes which are airways that enable air to pass from the mouth to the lungs due to bacteria or virus. Other irritants such as smoke or pollution can also cause the disease. A cough that last more than 5 days can be called an acute case.
People with recurrent acute bronchitis are susceptible to progress to chronic bronchitis which is a cough that occurs every day with production of sputum lasting for 3 months or up to 2 years.
Symptoms of acute bronchitis
- Coughing and watery eyes
- Headache and muscle aches
- Children will have runny nose, mild fever and coughing up sputum or vomiting mucus.
- Get plenty of rest especially in the first few days of the infection where there is heaviness of the chest and difficulty in breathing. Avoid running, biking, swimming and other exercises that can result to heavy breathing while suffering from bronchitis.
- Drink warm fluids to soothe the sore throat and minimize the amount of phlegm as well as allowing it to be easily expelled.
- Drink warm water mixed with lemon and honey to soothe the throat.
- Drinking tea such as chamomile, peppermint or other herbals teas to provide relief to the sore throat.
- Garlic soup is also good in treating bronchitis. Saute’ minched garlic using olive oil and add vegetable broth and heat it up and drink the mixture while still hot.
- Gargle warm salt water. In a glass filled with warm water, mix 1 teaspoon of salt until fully dissolved. Gargle the water and spit it out.
- Apply a warm compress on the chest. Applying heat on the chest lessens the pressure caused by coughing. Fill a hot water bottle with water and place it on the chest. Avoid placing it directly on the skin. Make sure that it is wrapped with a towel before placing on the chest to prevent burning the skin. Another alternative is taking a warm bath or hot shower.
- Hydrate the lungs with warm and moist air to relax the bronchial passages. Use a humidifier which adds moisture to the air inside a room. Another option is to boil a pot of water which releases steam from the boiling water that can increase the humidity of the room.
- Use a nebulizer to inhale saline and purified water mists. Place a cup of water in the radiator and the heat coming from the radiator causes the water to evaporate and humidify the air. Take a hot shower as hot as tolerated and then breathe in the moist ai.
- Avoid exposure to smoke and other elements that can trigger irritation on the lungs.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that contains aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve the pain caused by bronchitis.