What is bronchitis?
|Bronchitis is an inflammation of the large breathing tubes (airways) that are called bronchi, which causes increased production of mucus and other changes. Although there are several different types of bronchitis, the two most common are acute and chronic (primarily affects adults).|
What is acute bronchitis?
|Acute bronchitis is the inflammation of mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes.|
What causes acute bronchitis?
|Acute bronchitis is usually caused by infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses. It may also be caused by physical or chemical agents - dusts, allergens, strong fumes, and those from chemical cleaning compounds, or tobacco smoke. (Acute asthmatic bronchitis may happen as the result of an asthma attack, or it may be the cause of an asthma attack.) |
In children, the most common cause of bronchitis is a virus, although in children over 6 years of age, it can be caused by bacteria. Acute bronchitis is usually a mild condition.
Acute bronchitis may follow the common cold or other viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. It may also occur in children with chronic sinusitis, allergies, or those with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Pneumonia is a complication that can follow bronchitis.
What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?
|The following are the most common symptoms for acute bronchitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:|
In the earlier stages of the condition, children may experience a dry, non-productive cough which progresses later to an abundant mucus-filled cough. Younger children may have some vomiting or gagging with the cough. The symptoms of bronchitis usually last seven to 14 days, but may also persist for three to four weeks.
The symptoms of acute bronchitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
How is acute bronchitis diagnosed?
Treatment for acute bronchitis:
In many cases, antibiotic treatment is not necessary to treat acute bronchitis, since most of the infections are caused by viruses. Even children who have been coughing for longer than eight to 10 days usually do not need antibiotics. Most of the treatment is supportive of the symptoms your child may have, and may include:
Antihistamines should be avoided, in most cases, because they dry up the secretions and can make the cough worse.
Overuse of antibiotics is leading to strains of diseases that are becoming resistant to the medication, making it harder to treat patients. All too often, antibiotics have been prescribed for conditions such as colds, fluid in the middle ear, or bronchitis, which do not respond to antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Antibiotics are only effective in treating bacterial infections.
The key to preventing overuse of antibiotics is education of the parents and physicians in the appropriate use of antibiotics, according to the AAP. Some tips to remember when taking antibiotics, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), include the following:
Always consult your child's physician for more information.Click here to view related Web sites