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Bacterial Bronchitis Overview

Bronchitis is a respiratory disease characterized by inflammation of membranes of bronchi. Bronchitis can be caused by virus or bacteria. It may be result of other pathogens as well such as dust and allergens. Bacterial bronchitis is less common than viral bronchitis but it is more severe. Bronchitis in humans can be caused by bacteria such as mycoplasma pneumoniae, streptococcus, bordatella pertussis, chlamydophila pneumoniae. Symptoms of bacterial and viral bronchitis are almost the same so it is hard to see the difference. Only a physician can give an absolute diagnosis. Also, bronchitis can be acute or chronic depending on the duration and frequency of bronchitis bouts. Acute bronchitis commonly results from viral infection but in rare cases it may be caused by bacteria. Bacterial bronchitis is not as contagious as viral bronchitis but anyway you should avoid any contact with person suffering from bronchitis. Bronchitis is especially infectious during the first week when symptoms of the condition are noticeable.

Causes of Bacterial Bronchitis

Any respiratory disease is most commonly caused by poor immune system as it is seen in patients suffering from HIV/AIDS or lupus. Chronic bronchitis can be caused by untreated common cold or flu. Increased risks of developing bronchitis have people with acid reflux disease or any type of respiratory disease. Bacterial bronchitis can result from continuous exposure to environmental pollutants such as tobacco and industrial smoke. People suffering from allergies to seasonal pollen, dust and pet dander are more susceptible to bacterial bronchitis.

Symptoms of Bacterial Bronchitis

Each individual may differently experience bacterial bronchitis. Symptoms of this respiratory condition can resemble other medical problems caused by bacterial infection. The most common signs and symptoms of bacterial bronchitis include: runny nose, malaise, chills, slight fever, back and muscle pain, sore throat, hoarseness, wheezing, drowsiness, initially dry, non-productive cough, and later yellowish mucus-filled cough.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Bacterial Bronchitis

If you notice mentioned symptoms present longer than few days, seek medical attention. Bacterial bronchitis can be diagnosed by completing physical examination and medical history. Tests used to confirm diagnosis include chest X-rays, blood tests, cultures of nasal discharge, pulse oximetry and pulmonary function test. Bacterial bronchitis is commonly treated with antibiotics but other medications can be given as well to relieve fever, cough and other symptoms of the condition. It is important to take prescribed medications regularly for period of time as ordered by a doctor since acute bronchitis may lead to chronic if left untreated. Additionally, avoid spending time in rooms with cold and dry air and increase fluid intake.

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