One of the most common illnesses caused by a cold or another respiratory illness is bronchitis. Bronchitis causes inflammation to your bronchial tubes which carry air to and from your lungs. Although it is a viral infection, symptoms are often moderate. Keep reading with CheckPoint to find out what symptoms to look out for and treatment options that can help you get over bronchitis fast.
There are two forms of bronchitis, acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is more common. It is often caused by a viral infection and symptoms persist only for a time; usually about one to two weeks. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis, however, never really go away, but there are treatment options available that can make symptoms more manageable.
Bronchitis is often referred to as a chest cold. This is because the symptoms are very similar to, although somewhat more severe than, a common cold. However, the same viruses that cause the cold and flu can lead to bronchitis infections.
Coughing up colored mucus is often the easiest way to spot a bronchitis infection. Wheezing or a “rattling” in your chest when you breathe in are also good ways to spot a bronchitis infection.
Other symptoms of bronchitis can include fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, and runny nose. If you have bronchitis you may also experience body aches and a headache. These symptoms may persist alongside other symptoms.
Chronic bronchitis can be a bit more problematic. Chronic bronchitis is bronchitis that never really goes away. The symptoms like coughing, excess mucus, and shortness of breath may always be present in someone with chronic bronchitis. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. Air pollution, dust, and exposure to certain irritants can also lead to chronic bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis may also lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which requires more serious care.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for bronchitis. However, since bronchitis is viral and not a bacteria, antibiotics won’t do when it comes to getting you better. Instead, your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu to help you kick the virus.
Bronchodilators may also help open up airways which can relieve chest tightness and shortness of breath. Corticosteroids may be used to help control any inflammation in your airways that could also be causing these feelings.
Over-the-counter cough medicines will also be very effective in helping alleviate some of the pesky symptoms of bronchitis like the nagging cough that typically accompanies the illness. NyQuil, DayQuil, and other antitussives can be especially helpful at night when a severe cough may cause you to lose out on valuable sleep your body needs to kick the bronchitis virus.
Managing Your Symptoms
Alongside over-the-counter or prescription medication, rest is key for getting over bronchitis. While you are resting, ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help relieve you of some of the discomfort your symptoms may be causing.
Some doctors also recommend humidifiers and hot showers to help loosen congestion and open up your airways. These treatments will also open your airways which will relieve some of the chest tension and shortness of breath.
As with any treatment or medicine, there are side effects associated with medicines routinely given to treat bronchitis.
Dizziness, fatigue, and upset stomach are sometimes associated with cold medicines. For this reason, you must consult with your doctor before starting any new medication, prescription, or over-the-counter.
Additionally, be sure to follow dosage instructions located on the label of any new medicine to ensure you are being treated in the best way possible.
When To Contact CheckPoint
If you have exhibited any of the symptoms of bronchitis, or if you are running a fever or have a cough you cannot seem to kick, contact your local trusted healthcare professionals at CheckPoint Urgent Care. Our team of dedicated physicians and nurses is committed to giving you the highest quality medical services, while also treating you like family.
If you would like more information on bronchitis, influenza, COVID-19, or have any other questions regarding your next stop for medical treatment, please visit our website. There you will find appointment information, insurance information, and other resources that will make your next trip to the doctor quick and simple.