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Sometimes a run-of-the-mill upper respiratory tract infection takes a turn for the worse, and is no longer just a common cold. You cough, you wheeze, you have shortness of breath. You say you have a chest cold, but your doctor calls it acute bronchitis, also known as a lower respiratory tract infection. It sounds scary, but usually isn’t very serious, and most of the time you won’t need antibiotics because the majority of cases result from a viral infection, like a cold or flu.
Bronchitis causes the mucus lining of your bronchial tubes (which carry air to the lungs) to become inflamed and full of mucus. It’s temporary, and most people feel better in a week to 10 days, but your cough can linger for several weeks.
Fortunately, you won’t have to grin and bear it. There are plenty of home remedies for bronchitis that can ease your symptoms and suffering.
“None of these [bronchitis remedies] are going to actually reduce your duration of illness,” says Chris Carroll, MD, a member of the board of trustees of the American College of Chest Physicians. “But, you’ll feel better, and that’s important.”
RELATED: What Is Bronchitis?
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