I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO TB SOMEWHERE IN MY LIFE AND I HAD THE CHEST X-RAYS DONE AND THE TB CLINIC SAID THEY LOOKED OK AND I DID NOT NEED MEDICATION,WELL THAT WAS 2 YEARS AGO AND I JUST HAD ANOTHER DONE AND I GAVE MY DOC THE OLD X-RAYS AND HE LOOKED AT THEM AND SAID I HAD BRONCHITUS AT THE TIME OF THAT X-RAY.WELL ABOUT 6 MONTHS AGO I WENT TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AND THEY SAID I HAD BRONCHITUS,WELL THAT MEANS I HAD BRONCHITUS FOR A YEAR AND A HALF AND DID NOT KNOW IT.COULD THAT HAVE DAMAGED MY LUNGS?BECAUSE THE DOC SAYS MY LUNGS ARE NOISY AND I HAVE A COUGH.PLEASE HELP.THANXS
Acute bronchitis is swelling and inflammation in the airways of the lungs. Symptoms can include cough with mucus, chest discomfort, fever, and/or extreme tiredness. It is often caused by an infection, which can be due to a bacteria or a virus.
An antibiotic is taken if a bacteria is causing the bronchitis. When a virus is causing the bronchitis, however, an antibiotic may not be prescribed. This is because an antibiotic is not effective against a viral infection and unnecessary use of antibiotics can lead to "drug-resistant" bacteria.
Avoiding tobacco smoke and other irritants, good nutrition with plenty of fluids, rest and medication are all important in your recovery. How long the acute bronchitis lasts is determined by your general state of health, your lung health, the virus or bacteria involved, ongoing exposure to tobacco smoke and how soon you get treatment. Frequent good handwashing and the use of disposable tissues can decrease the number of acute bronchitis infections. Ask your health care provider about the yearly flu (influenza) vaccine.
Sometimes viral bronchitis can cause asthma-like symptoms. This is more common in people with a history of asthma or allergy. Asthma-like symptoms include a dry, hacking cough that lasts four to eight weeks or longer after the initial infection is over. The cough may develop with exposure to cold, dry air, smoke or dust. Additional medications may be prescribed to improve your breathing. An inhaled quick-relief medication, known as a bronchodilator, may be given if you have symptoms of wheezing or shortness of breath. An inhaled corticosteroid medication may be used to decrease swelling and inflammation in your airways. Your health care provider is your best resource to discuss your treatment and anticipated recovery time.
Acute bronchitis is different from chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis develops from long-term irritation of the airways, is most often associated with smoking, and is defined as a productive cough for at least three months in a row for at least two years. Even people who inhale second-hand smoke are at risk for developing chronic bronchitis.
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