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Acute bronchitis: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in adults

According to statistics, among respiratory diseases, acute and chronic bronchitis + its forms and complications occupy one of the first places both in terms of the number of people seeking medical help and the number of total days, registered as temporary disability.

Even a serious inflammatory disease, such as pneumonia or pneumonia, costs the economy less than acute bronchitis.


Definition and classification

Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is catarrhal or purulent diffuse inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tree, caused by both viral, bacterial and harmful industrial and production factors (dust, aerosols) and manifested by symptoms such as coughing, sputum discharge.

In some cases, common infectious symptoms associated.

Do not confuse this process with bronchiolitis. And although in both cases, the bronchi are affected, but under the bronchiolitis are meant only the small bronchi, which are part of the underlying respiratory tract. These diseases differ in clinical symptoms and complaints.

Acute bronchitis (ICD 10) has a classification: Section 10, J40.

Doctors apart from the division into acute and chronic process, there are the following known classifications:

  • etiotropic - due to disease. There are viral, bacterial, fungal, allergic, toxic lesions;
  • pathogenetic - according to the severity of the picture, the level of damage to the bronchial tree and the presence of symptoms.

In addition, bronchitis is divided into recurrent (with the return of symptoms), symptomatic (when the lesion of the bronchi is part of another process, for example, malignant neoplasm). There are other classifications.

Causes of acute bronchitis

Causes of acute bronchitis Since it is the causes of acute bronchitis that provide the key to treatment and allow an experienced doctor to determine the approximate duration of disability and the duration of clinical manifestations, we will list them:

Viral lesions . Most often they are caused by rhinoviruses and adenoviruses tropic to the mucosa. Symptoms of viral bronchitis, manifested in concomitant rhinitis, rhinorrhea, dry cough.

If no more than 2 to 3 days have passed after hypothermia, then most likely the bacterial flora has not joined, and proper treatment will prevent it.

Bacterial causes - the natural outcome of viral lesions. They are manifested by the appearance of sputum, a wet cough that has mucopurulent discharge. It is the bacterial causes of acute bronchitis that are the cause of "going to hospital".

Allergic processes often serve as precursors to asthma, occur with symptoms of bronchial obstruction (spasm) of small bronchi.

They develop as manifestations of respiratory (house dust, wool, feather, down, plant pollen) and food (citrus, strawberries, chocolate) allergies.

Harmful aerosols, caustic chemicals . Most often, these are production chronic intoxications (beryllium, manganese, silicoses) or acute inhalation poisoning with chlorine and ammonia vapors.

In this case, marked swelling and a deeper lesion of the walls of the bronchi, which may not be limited to the mucous membrane.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis in adults

Symptoms of acute bronchitis in adults The clinical picture of acute lesions of the respiratory tract is so characteristic that this disease usually begins to study not only respiratory diseases, but also therapy in general, or internal diseases.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis in adults are as follows:

Cough. In acute bronchitis, depending on the stage of the process, the primary dry cough may become wet.

Sputum separation. The primary mucous character of sputum is replaced by a mucous - purulent, and then - purulent. In the case of an allergic lesion, sputum may be transparent and thick.

Variable rales . Depending on the diameter of the bronchus, wheezing can be both humming and whistling, and buzzing. There are distant wheezes that are heard at a distance from the patient, but more often they are heard by the doctor auscultatory, when listening to the lungs.

When asked to cough, wheezing changes its timbre and location. This may be due to an increase in the diameter of the bronchi with sputum displacement.

General febrile reaction . The temperature in acute bronchitis most often indicates the accession of a bacterial infection, which has begun to multiply in the bronchial mucous membrane weakened by the virus.

As a rule, the temperature is never high, and in typical cases does not exceed 38 degrees. This is a signal to start antibiotic therapy.

Dyspnea. This feeling of lack of air, both during exercise, and at rest, in more severe cases. In bronchitis, shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is most often associated with spasm of the small bronchi (obstruction) during chronic process.

Progressive dyspnea is a formidable symptom requiring emergency treatment, often in a hospital setting.

Symptoms of intoxication . This suggests that the disease from a local lesion of the bronchus became the disease of the whole organism. These manifestations include weakness, sweating, decreased performance.

Diagnosis of acute bronchitis

Diagnosis of acute bronchitis in adults

In typical cases, the usual questioning and examination of the patient. The diagnosis is made on the basis of the hypothermia factor, the characteristic clinical picture and auscultation data.

Additional data are able to identify the accession of a bacterial infection in time:

  • complete blood count - increased ESR, neutrophilic leukocytosis, with the appearance of the spread of the process on the lung tissue (bronchopneumonia) - the leukocyte formula shifts to the left;
  • X-ray examination of the lungs in an uncomplicated case is uninformative, and can only show increased bronchial pattern;
  • General analysis and bacteriological examination of sputum with its seeding, isolation of pure cultures and determination of sensitivity to antibiotics is an important study that gives the "key" to the correct therapy.

Treatment of acute bronchitis in adults

Treatment of acute bronchitis in adults Help with bronchitis, everyone can begin to render himself, even before the visit of the doctor.

Pre-medical therapeutic measures are as follows:

  • abundant warm vitamin drink;
  • warm mineral waters. Alkaline drink improves the discharge of sputum;
  • immunity enhancing drugs that help fight a viral infection;
  • in rhinitis, sore throat - use of adrenergic and vasoconstrictor nasal drops, gargling and the use of antiseptic aerosols are indicated.

In the event that the temperature and sputum become purulent, it is a sign of the accession of the bacterial flora.

антибиотиками. Then it is necessary to treat acute bronchitis with antibiotics.

. But the doctor must prescribe them . In addition to antibiotics, help:

  • the use of bronchodilators and mucolytic drugs (Lasolvan);
  • bronchodilators ("Berodual);

It is better to appoint them in inhalations for which there are ultrasonic inhalers.

For removal of general symptoms, it is recommended to use effervescent and combined drugs from the group of NSAIDs: Teraflu, Aspro - C, which have a fever-reducing effect.

Simultaneously with the treatment, it is recommended to correct the intestinal dysbiosis, which develops as a result of the use of antibiotics.

Complications of acute bronchitis

Sometimes immediately, after an acute process, acute obstructive bronchitis develops due to an altered reactivity of the bronchi. Its cause is usually a diffuse and uniform spasm of the bronchi.

This spasm worsens sputum discharge, bronchial drainage function decreases, shortness of breath develops.

Bronchial obstruction is a major obstacle to rapid recovery.

Therefore, treatment, first of all, should be directed to the restoration of bronchial patency. For this purpose, bronchodilators and bronchodilators are used according to special schemes.

Chronical bronchitis

Chronical bronchitis Acute bronchitis should be distinguished from chronic. The criterion for the chronization of the process is the ineffectiveness of treatment. In the event that the acute catarrhal process lasts more than a month, then we can speak of the onset of a chronic course of the process.

It is associated with the depletion of the compensatory mechanisms of the tracheobronchial tree, the appearance of obstruction and other symptoms.

Acute and chronic bronchitis is treated, in principle, in the same way, but the treatment of the chronic form is more intensive: immunity is stimulated, careful selection of antibiotics and mucolytics is carried out.

Prognosis and prevention of acute bronchitis

With normal bronchitis, the prognosis is usually favorable. Pneumonia, which carries the greatest threat to life, should be prevented in the elderly, children, debilitated patients with a significant decrease in immunity.

Prevention of acute bronchitis, first of all, boils down to improving immunity and preventing hypothermia. In addition, it is necessary to sanitize all foci of chronic infection in the body: carious teeth, sinusitis, otitis.

Only in this case one can consider himself safely protected from inflammation of the airways.


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