ACUTE BRONCHITIS

Definition:
Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi.

Causes / trigger:
This may be triggered off by a virus infection which has spread to the mucous membrane during a cold. Another cause may be bacteria often occurring during/after infection with a virus or fungi, especially when the immune system is weakened (e.g. people infected with HIV).

Symptoms / signs / effects:

  • Tickle in the throat that is often painful
  • Coughing up increased amounts of mucus
  • Frequently fever, fatigue or general malaise

Diagnosis:

  • Initially investigation of the patient's previous history and symptoms as well as tapping and listening to the lung with a stethoscope.

Treatment:
Use of drugs to control mucus (mucolytics), to relieve coughing (antitussives) and where appropriate, medication to dilate the bronchi (sympathomimetics) as well as antibiotics.