Acute Bronchitis Pathophysiology In acute bronchitis, the cells that line the bronchi become infected. The Inflammation of the airway bronchial tubes causes cough, irritation and sometimes shortness of breath. It usually develops after exposure to a virus or breathing irritants such as tobacco smoke, fumes, dust and air pollution. Bacteria can also cause infection and usually presents with colored sputum and fever (Heuther &McCance, 2012). The infection is exposed to the nose and/or throat and travels to the bronchial tubes. The bronchioles become inflamed while the bodies immune system reacts and fights of the cause. The inflammation restricts air to be able to move through the bronchial tubes normally, which can cause wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. While the in- fection usually lasts for 3-10 days, cough and mucus can last several weeks American Lung As- sociation). Age and Behavior Acute bronchitis is usually short lived and does not cause any permanent breathing difficulties in regularly healthy patients. It is possible for people with weakened immune systems or other ma- jor health problems to develop severe problems such as pneumonia or respiratory failure. In gen- eral, those who develop major problems from acute bronchitis are the elderly, young children,
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