Are you trying to figure out if you have a cold, the flu or bronchitis and wondering if it's contagious? To discover the answer this question you'll need to evaluate what’s happening to you when you feel sick with a sudden respiratory illness.
First you will need to determine if you're experiencing the symptoms of bronchitis. We'll let the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention help us. They describe the symptoms of bronchitis as:
- Coughing that produces mucus (you may not see mucus during the first few days you are sick)
- Soreness in the chest
- Fatigue (being tired)
- Mild headache
- Mild body aches
- Fever (usually less than 101 °F)
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
What can you do?
Home remedies are actually your best bet when it comes to treating bronchitis. Research trials have shown that antibiotics are not effective for the treatment of bronchitis. Readers Digest published Natural Home Remedies: Bronchitis Anyone who's suffered from bronchitis knows what a pain it can be. But if you treat yourself right with these simple home remedies, you can help clear your body up.
Here is what they recommend ….
- Breathe steam
- Drink lot of water
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks
- Drink mullein tea.
- Eat chile peppers, hot spicy salsa, or dishes prepared with cayenne pepper
- Avoid milk products
- Take supplements that help bronchitis
As to whether bronchitis is contagious, that will depend on what type of bronchitis you have. There are two types of bronchitis, chronic and acute.
If you have chronic bronchitis you'll have the symptoms of bronchitis over a long period of time, months or even years plus can come back year after year. With chronic bronchitis your airways become irritated over and over causing a persistent cough. Things in the environment that irritate your lungs, like dust, chemicals, or smoke from a fire or cigarettes usually cause it. Chronic bronchitis isn’t contagious, but it’s a serious health problem that requires a doctor’s care and treatment to prevent more serious medical conditions from developing.
When your symptoms come on suddenly and lasts 1 – 3 weeks this is known as acute bronchitis. It’s usually caused by cold or flu viruses. Since these viruses are contagious, acute bronchitis is contagious to those around you. It may take a few days of upper respiratory symptoms before you can distinguish between bronchitis or a regular cold. Either way in most cases, you’ll be contagious for as long as a week once your symptoms develop. Most symptoms of acute bronchitis last for up to 2 weeks, but the cough can last up to 8 weeks in some people.
A good time to make that doctor appointment is when you keep coughing even after your other symptoms are gone or if you’ve been coughing for more than 3 weeks, begin wheezing, coughing up blood, or have a persistent temperature.
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Your partner in health,
Certified Health Coach
C2 Your Health LLC