Bronchitis Treatment Questions and Answers
Get diagnosis and treatment if you are having symptoms of Bronchitis. Eastside Urgent Care helps treat bronchitis. Walk in today. No appointments needed.Call our team of medical professionals or visit us online to book an appointment. We are located at 872 Ohio Pike Cincinnati, OH 45245.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a common infection of the lining of bronchial tubes, that carry air to our lungs, and become inflamed, causing a cough and discolored mucus. Acute bronchitis commonly develops after having a cold or the flu, or other respiratory infections, and generally clears up within a week to ten days. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is when inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes lasts at least three months, coupled with a constant productive cough. Chronic bronchitis is a far more serious condition that requires medical attention.
What causes bronchitis?
The same virus that causes the common cold and flu (influenza) is most often the cause of acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is treatable at home with the common cold remedies. Antibiotics do not kill viruses, and no prescription medication is usually ever required. The causes of chronic bronchitis are generally environmental, from lifestyle choices, or occupational. Toxic gasses, air pollution or dust in the environment, or in the workplace are common contributors to chronic bronchitis.
Other factors increase a person’s risk of bronchitis, which include:
- Cigarette smoking – increased risk of both acute and chronic bronchitis.
- Weak immune system – from other underlying illness. Infants, children and older adults are also more vulnerable to infection.
- Gastric reflux syndrome – repeated and severe cases of heartburn, which irritates the throat, making it more prone to infection.
What are the symptoms of Bronchitis?
Symptoms of acute bronchitis are similar to those of a common cold or flu, with body aches, headache and a cough, and though the body aches and headache will like improve in about a week, the cough could linger on for several weeks before subsiding.
Common symptoms of acute bronchitis are:
- Cough, with clear, white, green or yellowish grey colored mucus
- Mild fever with chills
- Discomfort in the chest
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts at least three months, with recurring attacks two years in a row. Those with chronic bronchitis usually experience a worsening of symptoms. This sometimes is the result of an acute infection on top of the chronic bronchitis.
As mentioned, chronic bronchitis is a serious, long-lasting respiratory infection, and seeking medical treatment is highly advisable, especially if you are experiencing a painful, productive cough that:
- Persists more than 3 weeks
- Disrupts sleep
- Is accompanied by a fever over 100.4 (38 C)
- Creates discolored, or blood, in the mucus
- Comes along with wheezing and difficulty breathing
What happens if you let bronchitis go untreated?
For most people, a case of acute bronchitis will generally clear up in a couple of weeks, though the cough may linger on for possibly four more weeks. A person in generally good health will return back to normal lung function after recovery. If chronic bronchitis goes untreated, the infection can travel to one or both lungs, which can lead to pneumonia. A virus is the most common cause of bronchitis, though bacteria can also trigger it, and if untreated, viral or bacterial bronchitis can lead to viral or bacterial pneumonia. Because bacteria will multiply and spread, bacterial bronchitis is more likely to lead to pneumonia than viral bronchitis. Even if you are on prescription antibiotics to treat the bacterial bronchitis, it is possible to still develop pneumonia. The reason for this is that antibiotics are selected to fight the specific bacteria it is targeting, and it may be some different bacteria that is the cause of the pneumonia. Chronic bronchitis causes serious damage to the lungs, and over time the damage can cause permanent decreased lung function. Looking for a doctor who specializes in Bronchitis near you? Visit Eastside Urgent Care in Cincinnati OH. At Eastside Urgent Care in Cincinnati, our professional, and highly trained physicians, and emergency care nurses specialize in both primary and urgent care, and they are available through our walk-in clinic without an appointment. Visit us at 872 Ohio Pike Cincinnati, OH 45245. We serve patients from Cincinnati OH, Covedale OH, Delhi OH, St Bernard OH, Bridgetown North OH and Elmwood Place OH.