What is bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is a condition that occurs when the tubes that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes) become inflamed and irritated. The bronchial tubes swell and produce mucus, which creates a cough. This often occurs after an upper respiratory infection like a cold, and is almost always caused by a virus.
Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, lasts a long time, and is more common among smokers. People with chronic bronchitis have a daily productive cough (with mucus) for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row.
What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
The most common symptoms of bronchitis are as follows:
- Cough that produces mucus (may be without mucus for the first few days)
- Soreness/burning feeling in the chest
- Mild headache
- Mild body aches
- Low-grade fever (less than 102 degrees F)
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
Most symptoms last for up to 2 weeks, but the cough can last for up to 8 weeks in some people. Many symptoms of bronchitis are similar to those of pneumonia, which can be serious. It is important to visit Healthcare Clinic for accurate diagnosis.
What is the treatment for bronchitis?
Visit Healthcare Clinic if you suspect you have bronchitis. We can determine whether the illness is acute or chronic bronchitis, or another type of respiratory infection. Then a decision can be made about the appropriate treatment. For viral illness, treatment is typically directed toward relieving the symptoms.
This treatment is available at Healthcare Clinic locations for patients 18 months and older.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.