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What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is one of many illnesses that affect both adults and children alike. Although bronchitis can strike any time of year, now is a time when the number of cases seem to be on the rise. Bronchitis is common enough that, in most cases, overcoming the illness and getting back to normal is easy with the right medical care. We’re all technically at risk of getting bronchitis, but what exactly does that mean? 

What is Bronchitis Exactly?

Bronchitis occurs when your bronchial tubes are inflamed and irritated. Your bronchial tubes are responsible for transporting air to and from your lungs, so needless to say they’re a very important part of the respiratory system. The most common type of bronchitis is acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is typically caused by a common cold and although the cough may linger for weeks, patients typically recover in 7-10 days. Chronic bronchitis is a more serious type of bronchitis that is recurring and lasts for extended periods of time. 

Bronchitis Symtpoms

The signs and symptoms of bronchitis are the same for both chronic and acute cases. Common symptoms include: 

  • Coughing – this is often accompanied by thick, green or yellow colored mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low grade fever
  • Chest tightness and pain
  • General fatigue 

Acute bronchitis usually comes with typical cold symptoms too, such as a runny nose, headache, and congestion. 

Treatment Options for Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis can usually be treated at home using similar remedies as you would for any other cough or cold. Using a humidifier to moisten the air, taking over the counter cough medications, and over the counter pain relievers are all helpful tools. Some people use warm water or tea to help soothe their throat and reduce the urge to cough. 

If your symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks or become so severe that they’re disrupting your ability to sleep or catch your breath, it’s time to seek professional help. Visiting a local urgent care center is the best way to receive same-day treatment and diagnosis for your acute or chronic bronchitis. A physician will examine you, review your symptoms, and run any necessary tests. Then, they’ll offer a treatment plan that’s right for you. If you have an infection that’s causing your bronchitis to linger, you will receive an antibiotic to help clear the infection. Even if no infection is present, urgent care staff can provide higher strength cough medications and throat sprays to keep you comfortable. 

If you’re suffering from an uncomfortable case of bronchitis, contact your local urgent care center today! AFC Urgent Care Allen provides urgent care services for patients in Allen, McKinney, and other surrounding communities!