Bronchitis Specialist Questions and Answers
At Elite Health Center We Are Happy to Answer Your Questions About Bronchitis And The Various Treatment Options We Offer. Call Us Now or Schedule an Appointment Online!
Bronchitis is a fairly common illness that typically falls between the common cold and pneumonia in terms of severity. While it is not usually a severe illness, it is serious enough to require medical attention.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a respiratory infection that causes inflammation in the lining of the bronchial tubes that convey air to and from your lungs. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic, which means that it can either last for a relatively short amount of time, similar to the seasonal flu, or for a much longer period, typically longer than three months. Chronic bronchitis is usually associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
The main symptom of bronchitis is a cough that produces thickened, often discoloured, mucus. Other symptoms of bronchitis include:
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Slight fever with chills
- Runny nose
- Back and muscle aches
Acute bronchitis is typically caused by viral infections, while chronic bronchitis is usually a result of prolonged tobacco use or exposure to air pollution, toxic gases, or harmful dust. Although it is rare, acute bronchitis is sometimes caused by bacterial infections.
What is the Best Treatment for Bronchitis?
The best treatment for bronchitis depends on a few different factors and is typically decided on a case-by-case basis. Factors that are taken into consideration include whether the infection is acute or chronic and the infection’s cause and severity. Some possible treatment options for bronchitis include the following:
- Antibiotics, only when the bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection
- Antiviral medication, for acute bronchitis caused by viral infections
- Bronchodilators to help with wheezing or shortness of breath, as such medicine relaxes and dilates the bronchial tubes
- Corticosteroids, either inhaled or taken orally, to reduce bronchial inflammation and relieve cough symptoms
- Cough suppressants
- Humidifiers or steam vaporizers to help with wheezing or shortness of breath
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication to help reduce fever and pain from a sore throat or chest discomfort
As with any respiratory infection, it is essential to take in plenty of fluids and get lots of rest to prevent dehydration, especially if you have a fever.
When Should you see a Doctor for Bronchitis?
It is recommended that you see a doctor any time that you suspect you may have bronchitis. However, there are times when it is particularly important to visit the doctor, including when you experience any of the following:
- Coughing up blood or discolored mucus
- High fever
- Symptoms that last longer than three weeks or disrupt your ability to sleep
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
How Long Can Bronchitis Last?
Generally, acute bronchitis lasts between 10 to 14 days but can last as long as eight weeks. If acute bronchitis lasts longer than three months, it is considered chronic bronchitis, which can last for an indefinite amount of time.
If you are dealing with bronchitis, our bronchitis specialists can help at Elite Health Center. For more information about bronchitis and the treatment options available or to make an appointment with our bronchitis specialist at Elite Health Center, please call us or schedule an appointment through our website. You can find the Elite Health Center & Family Care clinic at the convenient location of 515 Channing Road in Lakeland, Florida. We serve patients from Lakeland FL, Medulla FL, Highland City FL, Youmans FL, Eaton Park FL, and Winston FL.
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