Signs and Symptoms
1. Constant, hacking, dry or wet cough that brings up green, gray, or yellowish mucus.
2. Wheezing and shortness of breath.
3. Pain in the upper chest, made worse by fits of coughing.
4. Fever of 100 degrees or higher.
What to do now
1. If you have a persistent, dry cough, try an over-the-counter cough medicine. If you have a cough that is bringing up mucus, be careful not to take medicine labeled as a cough suppressant; doing so could cause mucus to build up in your lungs.
2. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to fight fever and pain (Never give aspirin to a child under 12 who has chicken pox, flu, or any other illness you suspect of being caused by a virus).
3. Stay home in a warm room.
4. Inhale steam from a vaporizer or a pot of hot water, or take hot showers. This will loosen mucus in you lungs.
5. Drink a lot of liquids, at least eight to ten glasses a day.
When to call a doctor
1. If your mucus increases or becomes darker or thicker. You many have a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics.
2. If symptoms don’t ease in three or four days, or if your bronchitis keeps coming back.
3. If the person with bronchitis is an infant or elderly.
4. If you have a lung disease or heart disease and you suffer a bronchitis attack.
5. If you cough up blood or if yours shortness of breath gets worse.
How to prevent it
1. Get rid of your smocking habit (if you have).
2. Treat colds and flu promptly.