Bronchitis

BRONCHITIS

Bronchitis is an infection of your bronchial tubes in which they become inflamed and irritated. Bronchial tubes are anatomical structures that carry air to and from air sacs in your lungs. They connect your nose and mouth to your lungs. Due to the persistent irritation of the airways, the mucus accumulates in the bronchial tubes and makes the gases exchange difficult. As a result, you may face difficulty in breathing and experience severe coughing.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of bronchitis are listed below:

  • cough
  • excessive sputum (clear, yellow or greenish)
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • wheezing
  • headache
  • back and muscle aches
  • extreme fatigue
  • fever (100°F to 100.4°F)

There are two types of bronchitis – acute and chronic. If you are suffering from acute bronchitis, your symptoms will be mild and usually improve in about a week. You may experience a nagging cough that might persist for several weeks.

Chronic bronchitis refers to a productive cough that lasts for at least three weeks, with recurring episodes occurring for at least two consecutive years. In chronic bronchitis, your symptoms may worsen from time to time. Following signs are indicative of an emergency; you should visit us at MyDoc Urgent Care immediately if your cough:

  • produces blood
  • lasts more than three weeks
  • accompanied by chest pain
  • prevents you from sleeping
  • produces discolored mucous
  • accompanied by unexplained weight loss
  • goes with a fever (higher than 100.4°F) (38°C)
  • associated with wheezing/shortness of breath

RISK FACTORS

Your risk of bronchitis may drastically increase if you are associated with the following:

  • cigarette smoke
  • weak immune system
  • asthma and allergies
  • gastric reflux
  • exposure to irritants on the job
  • family history of lung diseases

BRONCHITIS DIAGNOSIS

Based on the physical exam and your symptoms, our doctors at MyDoc Urgent Care can tell whether you have bronchitis. They might ask questions about your cough, how long you’ve had it, and the appearance of mucus. They may even lighten to your lungs to check for any abnormal breathing sounds.

You might have to go through some diagnostic tests depending on whether your doctor thinks you have acute or chronic bronchitis. The diagnostic procedures are listed below:

  • blood oxygen saturation
  • lung function test
  • chest X-ray
  • blood tests (to check for infections)
  • test your mucus to rule out other bacterial diseases

TAKE AWAY MESSAGE

Bronchitis is not a fatal health problem, but it can adversely affect your quality of life. The sooner you seek medical assistance and get the problem sorted out, the better its prognosis. If you delay the medical treatment required for your condition, you might end up worsening the problem and may complicate the original disorder. At MyDoc Urgent Care, we offer thorough medical checkups and state-of-the-art medical treatments for lung diseases, including bronchitis. With our experienced medical doctors and highly-skilled nursing staff, we can provide the best medical treatment in town.