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The Symptoms and Causes of Acute Bronchitis

By on May 20, 2012 in Diseases with 0 Comments

What is acute bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial tree. The bronchial tree consists of the tubes that carry air to the lungs. When these tubes get infected, they swell and form mucus inside. This makes breathing very difficult.

Acute bronchitis is bronchitis that lasts a short time (several weeks or less), while chronic bronchitis is lasting or recurrent.

What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?

Symptoms of acute bronchitis may include:

  • Sore throat.
  • Fever.
  • Cough that may produce a clear mucus, yellow or green.
  • Chest congestion.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.
  • Chills.
  • Body aches.

What is the cause of acute bronchitis?

Most often, acute bronchitis is caused by viruses that attack the lining of the bronchial tree and cause infection. As the body defends itself against these viruses, more swelling occurs and more mucus forms. The body takes time to kill these viruses and heal damage to the bronchi.

In most cases, the same viruses that cause colds cause acute bronchitis. Research has shown that bacterial infection is much less common cause of bronchitis than doctors used to think. Very rarely, an infection caused by a fungus can cause acute bronchitis. Exposure to an irritant, such as smoke, dust or air pollutants, can cause bronchitis.

 

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