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What Causes A Child's Bronchitis To Go From Acute To Chronic?

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Bronchitis is one of the most common illnesses children face, and it only takes one cold or flu moving into the bronchial tubes for long nights full of coughing. Most cases are acute, which means they last less than three months and eventually heal entirely and go away. Yet millions of children live with long-term coughing and congestion because they've developed the chronic form of bronchitis. Find out what causes an acute case to become chronic to help your child recover.

Lack of Treatment

The primary reason that an acute case of bronchitis starts to last longer than three months is due to a lack of proper treatment. While most cases are caused by a virus that the body must fight on its own, a secondary bacterial infection can sneak in while the bronchial tubes are irritated and possibly chapped from the coughing caused by a cold or flu. Ignoring a persistent cough or wheeze because your child isn't complaining of being sick anymore can lead to a condition that takes much more treatment to heal. An acute case of bronchitis can take over two weeks to go away completely, so you can wait it out if you think it's viral. Just be sure to watch carefully after that point and take your child to a pediatrician before reaching the one month mark.

Exposure to Irritants

Some cases of bronchitis don't start because of an underlying illness like a cold or flu, but rather from allergies alone. If your child is sensitive to dust, pollen, or other common allergens, inhaling them constantly leads to congestion and coughing. This coughing causes permanent damage to the bronchial airways after enough time, so it's important to figure out the trigger and eliminate it as much as possible from the child's environment. Treatment with antihistamines can also help by tackling the body's reaction rather than trying to keep every piece of pollen or dust out of your home.

Compromised Immune System

Finally, an acute case of bronchitis that lingers for three months or longer may be a warning sign that your child's immune system is not working quite as well as it should. A chronic condition like bronchitis is often the first warning parents receive about a immune system issue, so it's worth having your child tested anytime they fail to respond normally to treatment and take an unusually long time to recover from a common illness. Look at this website for more information.