Bronchitis - acute
The goal of treatment is to relieve the symptoms.
In otherwise healthy people, antibiotics should only be prescribedafter 10-14 days of persistent cough. At that point, a bacterial infection or presence of sinusitis should be considered.
Medications called bronchodilators thatopen constricted air passages in the lungs (albuterol) are prescribed for patients with wheezing.
Decongestants (such as pseudoephedrine) may also help alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis. Medications that liquefy mucus secretions (mucolytic agents, like guaifenesin) may also be prescribed, but how well they work remains uncertain.
The patient will also be told torest, increase humidity (using a cool mist humidifier) to soothe air passages, and increase fluid intake tostay hydratedand to thin mucous lung secretions.
Symptoms usually abate within 7 to 14 days in the absence...
In honor of Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, November 14-20, 2011 , we are delving into the subjects of bacteria, viruses, appropriate use of antibiotics, and avoiding infection.
Bacteria and Antibiotics
Before the discovery of penicillin in 1928, bacterial infections were a major cause of death . Bacteria are single-celled organisms which can live both inside and outside of the human body, including on the surface of non-living objects. The bacteria, streptococcus pyogenes which is responsible for strep throat and some skin infections, was previously the cause of half of all post-birth deaths before penicillin (an early antimicrobial medication) came into common use. The bacteria, staphylococcus aureus, was fatal in 80 percent of infected wounds. Tuberculosis and pneumonia bacteria were also horribly dangerous.
Antimicrobial medications, or antibiotics, have saved countless lives during the past 80+ years. However, when they are not used appropriat...
A few weeks back the New York Times ran a column in their health section called "The Claim: It's a Cold. No, It's an Allergy." Guess what? Symptoms of seasonal allergies and colds overlap. The column looks to new studies to tell the actual difference; however common sense tells us the difference with or without clinical trials.
How are they different?
According to the New York Times: " The first is the onset of symptoms. Colds move more slowly, taking a day or longer to set in and gradually worsening - with symptoms like loss of appetite and headache - before subsiding after about a week and disappearing within 10 days. But allergies begin immediately. The sneezing is sudden and overwhelming, and the congestion, typically centered behind the nose, is immediate. Allergy symptoms also disappear quickly - almost as soon as the offending allergen, like pollen, is no longer around.
Then there are hallmark symptoms of each. Allergies virtually always cause itchiness in the eyes, the n...
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