Bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial tubes that carry air to your lungs. It causes these airways to swell and produce mucus. Bronchitis can be acute (sudden and severe) or chronic (develops and worsens over time).
If you are trying to recover from a cold, but a frequent mucus-producing cough persists, this could be a sign of bronchitis.
If you believe you're suffering from bronchitis symptoms, find your local CareNow urgent care for fast, quality and convenient diagnosis and treatment.
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What are symptoms and types of bronchitis?
The most common symptom of bronchitis is a cough prodcutive of mucous.
Other symptoms may include a lack of energy, shortness of breath, slight fever and chills and chest discomfort.
Acute bronchitis usually starts suddenly and resolves spontaneously within a few weeks. It is characterized by a hacking cough and phlegm.
Typically, acute bronchitis is brought on by a viral or bacterial infection in the upper respiratory tract. In healthy people, this condition is rarely severe.
Chronic bronchitis is most often caused by smoking and is characterized as developing the illness for two or three months every year.
Acute bronchitis is more common and develops when the cough from a cold worsens after the other cold symptoms have gone away. Here’s more information about symptoms and how to know when to contact a doctor at a CareNow for treatment.
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a cough with production of mucus, which lasts for at least a 3-month period for a minimum of two consecutive years.
This prolonged inflammation is associated with a lot of airway swelling which can lead to constriction and/or blockage.
Normally, this is the result of damage to the lungs from an underlying medical condition or from smoking. There are a number of ways to treat chronic bronchitis, all of which require a licensed medical professional.
What's The Difference Between Bronchitis and Pneumonia?
It is easy to confuse bronchitis and pneumonia as the symptoms are very similar. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs. Pneumonia shares a lot of the same symptoms with bronchitis with a few more additions.
Generally someone with pneumonia will feel much worse than someone with bronchitis.
Anyone can suffer from pneumonia. However, it can be a more serious condition in patients at the extremes of age, such as the very young and the very old, or patients with other medical conditions. There are several types of pneumonia.
Doctors use antibiotics to treat bacterial pneumonia. You should always consult a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and the best way to treat it.
Whatever the case is though, you’ll need lots of rest. Thousands of Americans die from pneumonia every year. It’s is a serious illness that requires time to recover from.
How is Bronchitis Diagnosed and Treated?
A healthcare provider can diagnose bronchitis. A chest X-ray may be used to rule out pneumonia. However, antibiotics will not help treat viral bronchitis.
Most acute bronchitis symptoms will improve on their own with the help of at-home remedies:
- Drink fluids
- Take over-the-counter pain medicines (as directed)
- Use a humidifier
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid irritants such as smoke, fumes or pollution
Contact a healthcare provider if your or your child have any of these symptoms:
- Cough with bloody mucus
- Trouble breathing
- Fever higher than 100.4°F
- Inability to sleep
- Prolonged cough
CareNow® Can Help Treat Bronchitis
If you notice any symptoms after other cold symptoms have dissipated, we recommend you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
You may believe the cough will run its course, which it might; however, if the fever and coughing is persistent or you have shortness of breath, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor.
If your bronchitis is preventing you from sleeping, accompanied by a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or producing blood or discolored mucus, you should also seek medical attention immediately.
Remember, walk-ins are always welcome but our Web-Check in feature can help make your visit more convenient!
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