One common cause of a cause is acute bronchitis, which it is sudden onset of swelling and irritation of the large tribes that carry air to the lungs.
It is often caused by viral infections, by may also be the product of air-borne pollutants, such as chemical fumes, dust and smoke. This leads to a nagging cough, which usually subsides within 2-3 weeks but can sometimes persist for several weeks after.
Other symptoms include wheezing, breathlessness, fever and a feeling of discomfort or pressure behind the stemma.
Antibiotics are not routinely needed as viral infections usually resolve on their own. However, it may be prescribed for those with a poor immune system whose illness may be complicated by a bacterial infection.
Several self-help measures can alleviate symptoms and aid recovery:
- Resting in a warm, well-ventilated room
- Taking paracetamol for fever or chest discomfort
- Taking cough medicine for a non-productive cough
- A heat pack or warm water bottle placed on the chest to relieve discomfort
- Steam inhalations using a mentholated preparation to clear your nasal and bronchial passages
Seek medical assistance if you have increased shortness of breath, high fevers and chills, chest pain, dark coloured and/or bloody sputum, vomiting or any other concerns.