Viruses are the most common cause of acute bronchitis. Bacteria can also cause it, but this is not as common.
Things that raise the risk are:
- Having a cold or the flu
- Being around others who are sick
- Smoking, or being near others who smoke
- Having allergies or asthma
Working with certain substances that can cause irritation of airways such as:
- Dusts from farming
- Having a weak immune system
Acute bronchitis can cause:
- Breathing problems
- Slight fever
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose
An infection caused by a virus will usually go away on its own within a week. The cough can last for up to a month.
The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms. It includes:
- Drinking more fluids
- Medicines to lower fever and manage coughing
- Inhalers to open airways and ease breathing
An infection caused by bacteria will also need antibiotics.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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