Bronchitis Treatment Specialist Questions and Answers
If you are searching for a bronchitis treatment specialist, talk to our team of healthcare professionals today at Midlands Family Urgent Care about your condition and receive quality medical treatment. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Papillion NE, and Omaha NE.
Bronchitis is an infection in the lungs and involves inflammation of the breathing tubes or the airways in our lungs, known as bronchial tubes. When this inflammation occurs, there is excess mucus production in the bronchial tubes, leading to various symptoms affecting your breathing and upper respiratory tract. At Midlands Family Urgent Care, our bronchitis treatment specialists can evaluate and treat your case of bronchitis and answer any questions you have about bronchitis treatment, such as those answered below.
What causes bronchitis?
The likely cause of bronchitis typically depends on whether the illness is acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis, which is a chest cold that lasts up to three weeks, is generally caused by viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. Less commonly, bacterial infections can also cause acute bronchitis. Most cases of acute bronchitis clear up within ten to 14 days.
In contrast, the most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking, but it can also occur due to air pollution or long-term exposure to lung irritants. Chronic bronchitis is diagnosed if an individual has a productive cough with mucus for at least three months per year for two years in a row, as long as other lung conditions, such as tuberculosis, are ruled out.
The presence of chronic bronchitis is also indicative of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a lung condition that encompasses both chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Is bronchitis serious?
While an isolated episode of bronchitis is not typically serious, it can become serious if it leads to pneumonia or develops into a chronic condition. Individuals with chronic bronchitis often experience other lung infections more frequently than those without the condition, putting them at greater risk of further damage to their lungs and a decreased quality of life.
What is the treatment for bronchitis?
Treatment for bronchitis is also dependent upon whether the illness is acute or chronic. As such, acute bronchitis does not necessarily require medical care and often can be improved with over-the-counter (OTC) medication.
In the case that acute bronchitis does not go away on its own or is producing significantly adverse symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a cough suppressant, pain relief medication, or bronchodilator medication, which are inhaled medicines that relax your airways to help them stay open.
Treatment for chronic bronchitis could include any of the following medications or lifestyle changes:
- Air humidification
- Anti-inflammatory medications, such as corticosteroids
- Avoiding second-hand smoke and other lung irritants
- Combination of corticosteroids and both long-acting and short-acting bronchodilators
- Lung reduction surgery to remove damaged areas of the lungs
- Pulmonary rehabilitation to provide you with ways of coping with breathing issues and staying active
- Quitting smoking
What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
The symptoms of bronchitis vary according to the severity of the infection. With that in mind, some common bronchitis symptoms include the following:
- Discomfort or soreness in the chest
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Mild body aches and headache
- Productive cough with mucus, also known as expectoration, although a dry cough also can occur
- Shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea
- Sore throat
- Wheezing sound when breathing
You should seek urgent medical for any case of bronchitis that occurs with a fever, cough with bloody mucus, shortness of breath, or symptoms that last longer than three weeks.
Our bronchitis treatment specialists at Midlands Family Urgent Care can provide excellent medical care for both acute and chronic bronchitis! For more information or an appointment, we welcome you to call us, schedule an appointment through our website, or visit one of our clinics for a walk-in appointment. We serve patients from Papillion NE, Omaha NE, La Vista NE, Fairview NE, Ralston NE, Bellevue NE, Springfield NE, and surrounding areas.