The Difference Between Viral And Bacterial Bronchitis



People suffer from illnesses or diseases due to viruses and bacteria; but sometimes, environmental factors also play an important role in triggering such illnesses. When a person becomes ill, his life is naturally affected. And this includes his relationship with his family, colleagues, and friends. That is why, may experts stress the need for a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent these illnesses.

Inflammation of your bronchial tubes is a condition called bronchitis. This illness can be caused by viral infections, bacterial, and allergens. There is a great difference between a viral bronchitis and a bacterial bronchitis. Most people may not be able to distinguish between the two, and only a professional can evaluate and diagnose a person's condition.

The most common cause of bronchitis is viral infection. If the bronchitis is viral in nature, you may experience several symptoms like wheezing, burning pain, difficulty in breathing, headache and other symptoms. Bronchitis caused by viruses is not that serious, and can disappear without medications. Usually, home remedies are enough to relieve bronchitis symptoms.

If the illness is caused by a virus, you may only have mild fever and you donít feel that sick. You might cough up with little or even no mucus at all. While with bacterial bronchitis, you will have higher fever and cough (with discolored, dark, and thick mucus).

Bronchitis can become serious if you're suffering from another disease like asthma, cystic fibrosis, or COPD. If this is the case, home treatments are not enough.

Your doctor knows the right treatment suited for your condition. By performing the necessary physical examination and considering your symptom's history, an accurate diagnosis can be obtained. If you're only suffering from a mild condition, using the stethoscope is enough to examine your lungs, but with severe or prolonged symptoms, the best way is to have your chest x-rayed.

Treatment of bronchitis also differs between one that is caused by a virus and that of bacteria. Viral bronchitis can be resolved without undergoing any treatment. But this doesnít mean that you will take your condition for granted. You can do simple things like increasing your fluid intake; this helps in reducing congestion especially when you have fever. You must also take a rest and if you feel muscle pains, you can use acetaminophen. If you canít withstand the symptoms, you can purchase cough expectorants and suppressants to thin the mucus. Having a steamy shower can also open your airways thereby allowing mucus expulsion.

If you're bronchitis is caused by bacteria, your doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic like erythromycin, tetracycline, and amoxicillin. The antibiotic prescribed is dependent on the type of bacterial infection. You can experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. There are certain bacteria that are resistant to drugs, and just recently, FDA approved a drug suited for these kinds of bacteria. The drug is called gemiflaoxacin mesylate. This is a tablet that needs to be taken orally once a day for five days. If you use this drug, you may experience rashes, diarrhea, and nausea.

Remember that a viral bronchitis can't be treated with antibiotics because your condition might become worse. Donít just use any medication without consulting first with your doctor to ensure that you're on the safe side.

It is essential that you rest to make exertion of the mucus easier. Later on, you can do cardio respiratory exercises moderately as this can help regain the normal functions of your lungs, and expel remaining mucus.


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