Bronchitis is a common respiratory disease which causes inflammation in the lungs. It can be caused by a virus or bacteria. Symptoms include a persistent cough, yellow or green mucus, shortness of breath and a low grade fever.

There are two types of bronchitis-acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis can last between 2-3 weeks and can show up quickly after having a cold or respiratory infection. Chronic bronchitis can last about three months of the year, for a couple years. Those who smoke are more prone to developing chronic bronchitis.

To help relieve symptoms and feel better, try these steps at home:
• Take hot showers and use a humidifier to break up the mucus. This will help it clear out of your lungs when you cough.
• Use cough drops or over the counter cough medicine
• Keep hydrated by drinking fluids
• Get lots of rest
• Use over the counter pain relievers for low grade fever and body aches
• Stop smoking and do not let others smoke near you
• Wash your hands and bleach counters, faucets/doorknobs, toys etc.

If symptoms worsen or you feel poorly, see your physician for evaluation and possible treatment. If you are diagnosed with bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics (based on whether it is viral or bacterial), as well as steroids. Those with asthma and COPD may have more problems with shortness of breath and may require nebulizer treatments. If you are experiencing symptoms of bronchitis, contact your doctor. You do not have to suffer from symptoms!