Stop Acute Bronchitis in Its Tracks

There are two basic categories of bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is typically associated with colds and flu like symptoms. While chronic bronchitis may last months or even years, the acute variety typically is limited in duration to no more than a week or two.

The symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

1. Tightness in the chest area

2. Usually a sore throat

3. Congestion

4. Wheezing and difficulty breathing

5. A low to mid grade fever

And a general feeling of “yuckyness.”

Most acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection and can be spread through person-to-person contact either directly or indirectly. This means that if you are a caregiver of someone who has bronchitis, you are at risk of contracting the illness yourself.

The good news is that there are several ways that a healthy person can limit the potential of getting ill.

These include:

1. Wash your hands.

You can significantly reduce the risk of catching many common illnesses, including bronchitis through careful handwashing or use of hand sanitizers. This is especially true if you’re working as a caregiver or mom.

2. Get a flu shot.

Acute bronchitis can begin with an illness caused by a common influenza virus. Getting an annual vaccination can help protect you from influenza (the flu) and bronchitis.

3. Limit exposure to sick people

When someone becomes ill in our house, we work to isolate them to minimize infecting the rest of the family. This includes assigning them their own drinking glass along with keeping them in limited areas of the house. Although not perfect, our sick person ritual has kept the other children from also becoming ill.

4. Cover your mouth.

Teach anyone that gets ill to cover their mouths when they cough to limit transmission of the illness. Once again, this is not perfect solution that can help to contain an influenza virus that may result in bronchitis.

5. Avoid smoking and smoke whenever possible.

There are many chemicals, fumes and particle dust that can irritate and compromise bronchial passages. None more so however than smoking. If you have someone suffering from acute bronchitis, try to keep them away from any smoking environment. They simply don’t need the extra stress on an already infected pulmonary system

At work, be sure to use care in common areas like break and meeting rooms along with the restroom. It’s no secret that many people simply do not wash their hands after using the restroom. This is especially poor hygiene when you consider the number of people with potential illnesses that also use common areas.