For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Production of mucus (sputum), either clear or white or yellowish-gray or green in color
- Shortness of breath, made worse by mild exertion
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort
If you have acute bronchitis, you may have a nagging cough that lingers for several weeks after the bronchitis resolves. However, bronchitis symptoms can be deceptive. You don't always produce sputum when you have bronchitis, and children often swallow coughed-up material, so parents may not know there's a secondary infection. You can develop chronic bronchitis without first developing acute bronchitis. And many smokers have to clear their throats every morning when they get up, which, if it continues for more than three months, may be chronic bronchitis.
The goal of treatment for bronchitis is to relieve symptoms and ease breathing. Sometimes, all you may need to recover from acute bronchitis may be:
- Drinking fluids
- Breathing in warm, moist air
- Taking an over-the-counter (OTC) cough suppressant and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or aspirin (for adults)
Here are a few things I've found that have helped me:
1. Lots of hot tea with honey. This has helped to break up blockage in the throat, decreasing coughing and helping with ease of breathing.
2. "Steaming"- My mom did this with me while growing up. Fill a sink with hot water, and hang your head over the sink with a towel over your head to trap in the heat.
3. Deep Breathing to help decrease the chance of Pneumonia
4. SLEEP! I have a desire to push myself, force myself to clean, organize, or go to work. But I've forced myself to rest and sleep all day
5. Nasal Lavage- This helps to clear out my sinuses and decrease the passage
6. Cough into your elbow or sleeve. DO NOT COUGH INTO YOUR HANDS, because this will spread to others...