We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Conditions

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Bronchial Infection?

By D. Jeffress
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A bronchial infection is an acute respiratory problem caused by a virus. Infections lead to inflammation and constriction of the airways, which makes it difficult to breathe deeply without wheezing and coughing. A bronchial infection usually clears up in one to two weeks, though a severe infection accompanied by a bad cough can lead to chronic problems. Most people can overcome acute infections by getting rest, avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking, and taking over-the-counter cough medication. In the case of a severe or chronic problem, a doctor might prescribe antiviral drugs to provide relief from symptoms.

Respiratory infections can be caused by several types of viruses, though the most common culprits are influenza and rhinovirus. An individual who has a chronic immune system disorder or has suffered lung damage from smoking or asthma is at in increased risk of contracting a bronchial infection. In addition, young children and elderly people are more likely to experience lasting problems due to weakened immune system functioning.

A virus usually enters the body through the mouth and nose and quickly travels to the airways. As the immune system tries to combat the foreign pathogens, it triggers an inflammatory response in the lungs and throat. Tissue becomes irritated, swollen, and filled with excess mucus. Common symptoms of a bronchial infection include wheezing, coughing up mucus, fatigue, and fever. A person may also experience chest pain or tightness due to a constant cough.

People who experience mild infections do not typically need to seek treatment from medical professionals. An individual can usually recover by resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and simply waiting for the virus to run its course. Over-the-counter cough syrups, throat sprays, and aspirin can help to relieve symptoms and make it easier to sleep with a bronchial infection. A primary care doctor should be contacted if a cough persists for several weeks or causes a high degree of discomfort.

A physician can check for an acute bronchial infection by monitoring a patient's breathing, taking a chest x-ray, and collecting blood and mucus samples for careful analysis. The doctor can rule out other potential causes of respiratory problems and make a proper diagnosis. Patients are usually given prescription antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs, and instructed to come back in for regular checkups to make sure that conditions do not turn chronic. Most people experience full recoveries within a few weeks of treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Wisedly33 — On Mar 11, 2014

Bronchial infections can be viral or bacterial in nature. Just depends. Sometimes, a low-grade sinus infection can progress to bronchitis. Even viral bronchial infections are often treated with precautionary antibiotics, simply because the mucus in the bronchial tubes is such a welcoming host for bacteria that will need antibiotics to treat. So it's better to get them out of the way to start with.

Bronchitis is no fun, no matter what causes it. It's uncomfortable at best and downright miserable at worst. You may wheeze for weeks, and have a nagging cough for months after a really robust bout with it.

Even when you're over the infection, do have the doctor listen to your chest every couple of months, just to make sure the bronchitis doesn't mount a comeback.

Share
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.