Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases. About 5% of adults are affected and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year. In 2010, COPD affects 329 million people or nearly 5% of the global population. In 2013, it resulted in 2.9 million deaths, up from 2.4 million deaths in 1990.
Diagnosis is typically based on a person's signs and symptoms. The color of the sputum does not indicate if the infection is viral or bacterial. Determining the underlying organism is typically not needed. Other causes of similar symptoms include asthma, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, bronchiectasis, and COPD. A chest X-ray may be useful to detect pneumonia.
Prevention is by not smoking and avoiding other lung irritants. Frequent hand washing may also be protective. Treatment of acute bronchitis typically involves rest, paracetamol (acetaminophen), and NSAIDs to help with the fever.Cough medicine has little support for its use and is not recommended in children less than six years of age. There is tentative evidence that salbutamol may be useful in those with wheezing; however, it may result in nervousness and tremors.Antibiotics should generally not be used. An exception is when acute bronchitis is due to pertussis. Tentative evidence supports honey and pelargonium to help with symptoms.
Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases. About 5% of adults are affected and about 6% of children have at least one episode a year. It occurs more often in the winter. More than 10 million people in the United States visit a doctor each year for this condition with about 70% receiving antibiotics which are mostly not needed. There are efforts to decrease the use of antibiotics in acute bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts for three months or more per year for at least two years. Most people with chronic bronchitis have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Protracted bacterial bronchitis is defined as a chronic productive cough with a positive bronchoalveolar lavage that resolves with antibiotics. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis may include wheezing and shortness of breath, especially upon exertion and low oxygen saturations. The cough is often worse soon after awakening and the sputum produced may have a yellow or green color and may be streaked with specks of blood.
Individuals with an obstructive pulmonary disorder such as bronchitis may present with a decreased FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio on pulmonary function tests. Unlike other common obstructive disorders such as asthma or emphysema, bronchitis rarely causes a high residual volume (the volume of air remaining in the lungs after a maximal exhalation effort).
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