Causes and Symptoms
Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system. Sometimes it is caused by bacterial infections, but this is less common. Symptoms of acute bronchitis are similar to those of chronic bronchitis and include a dry, irritating cough, thick yellow mucus that may be streaked with blood, dyspnea, wheezing, fever and soreness of the chest muscles.
Because acute bronchitis is almost always caused by a viral infection, antibiotics are generally not prescribed (unless your doctor confirms that you condition is caused by a bacterial infection.)
Treatment options for acute bronchitis include:
- drinking plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you otherwise)
- a cool mist humidifier
When to Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if you develop symptoms of acute bronchitis. While they usually go away within 2 weeks, you should also contact your doctor if symptoms worsen or persist.
For more information, read Acute Bronchitis from A.D.A.M.