bronchitis is an inflammation of the large bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs that is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks. Causes
Acute bronchitis can be caused by contagious pathogens, most commonly viruses. Typical viruses include respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, influenza, and others. Bacteria are uncommon pathogens but may include Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Bordetella pertussis, streptococcus pneumoniae, and haemophilus influenzae. * Damage caused by irritation of the airways leads to inflammation and leads to neutrophils infiltrating the lung tissue. * Mucosal hypersecretion is promoted by a substance released by neutrophils. * Further obstruction to the airways is caused by more goblet cells in the small airways. This is typical of chronic bronchitis. * Although infection is not the reason or cause of chronic bronchitis, it is seen to aid in sustaining the bronchitis. Symptoms
Bronchitis may be indicated by an expectorating cough, shortness of breath (dyspnea), and wheezing. On occasion, chest pains, fever, and fatigue or malaise may also occur. In addition, bronchitis caused by Adenoviridae may cause systemic and gastrointestinal symptoms as well. However, the coughs due to bronchitis can continue for up to three weeks or more even after all other symptoms have subsided. Treatment
Only about 5-10% of bronchitis cases are caused by a bacterial infection. Most cases of bronchitis are caused by a viral infection and are "self-limited" and resolve themselves in a few weeks. Acute bronchitis should not be treated with antibiotics unless microscopic examination of the sputum reveals large numbers of bacteria. Treating non-bacterial illnesses with antibiotics leads to the promotion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which increase morbidity and mortality. Smoking cessation
Many physicians recommend that, to help the bronchial tree heal faster and...