• Bronchitis and Cough

    Bronchitis and Cough

    Coughing, breathing issues and chest discomfort can ruin anyone’s weeks. All of these symptoms plus fever, chills, and fatigue can point directly to acute bronchitis. Whether you wake up with an uncontrollable cough or you have a gradual buildup of misery, bronchitis can affect anyone of any age. Bronchitis is a respiratory infection that causes the mucus membranes in the lungs to become inflamed and irritated. As the membranes swell they can cause tiny airways in your lungs to narrow, making it difficult to breath and resulting in coughing spells. Bronchitis comes in two horrible and misery-filled forms: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis can last anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks while chronic bronchitis may last up to 2 years. Acute bronchitis is far more common than its chronic cousin, and it is responsible for the hacking productive cough that often accompanies the illness. In most cases, a virus is responsible for acute bronchitis, but the disease can be propagated by pathogenic bacteria as well. If you do begin to have a productive, hacking cough along with a fever, fatigue, chills and breathing issues then you can relax in knowing that Fast Pace Urgent Care is right around the corner in your own community. At Fast Pace we understand how busy you are and how much you just want to feel better and get back to your normal daily routines. For this reason, we see you quickly and give you prompt treatment. Come and see us at Fast Pace Urgent Care whenever you start to feel a little under the weather and we’ll get you back in tip top shape in no time.

    Symptoms of Bronchitis

    Both acute and chronic bronchitis carry the same symptoms. These symptoms may include:

    • Cough
    • Mucus production
    • Fatigue
    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
    • Slight fever and chills
    • Chest discomfort

    Acute bronchitis may also produce a nagging cough that sticks around long after the other symptoms disappear. Patients with acute bronchitis may cough for 1 to 3 weeks as the inflammation in their chest dissipates. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by a productive cough that lasts at least three months and that could last for up to two years. Chronic bronchitis may also have times when symptoms worsen. During these times, patients may experience a flare up of all of their symptoms for a few weeks. After a flare up, symptoms usually disappear and the patient feels better once again.

    Acute and chronic bronchitis can both be serious disorders that require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms then seek medical attention ASAP. If your cough:

    • lasts more than three weeks
    • prevents you from sleeping night after night
    • is accompanied by a fever of over 100.4 degrees
    • produces an abundance of discolored mucus
    • produces blood
    • is associated with wheezing or severe shortness of breath

    What Causes Bronchitis?

    Acute bronchitis is generally caused by a viral infection that originates in the lungs. Approximately 90% of bronchitis cases are contributed to viral infections. The other 10% are due to bacterial infections that target the lungs. Since the disease is most often caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help clear the infection. Overtime, many bouts of acute bronchitis can weaken your airways and lead to chronic bronchitis. Industrial pollution and smoking are other culprits of chronic bronchitis. Both of these pollutants cause irritation to occur in the lungs of patients. This irritation can lead to the production of excess mucus and inflammation. Overtime, this can lead to chronic bronchitis.

    What is the Treatment for Bronchitis?

    The main goals of treatment for both acute and chronic bronchitis is to relieve symptoms so that breathing becomes easier. Since acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help the condition. Instead, doctors generally prescribe rest, fluids and acetaminophen in order to treat any fever. A humidifier may also be helpful in breaking up excess mucus and relieving wheezing. If your acute bronchitis has affected your breathing then your doctor may prescribe inhaled medications to open up your airways and allow you to breathe easier. Cough medications could also be prescribed if your cough is bad enough to keep you up at night or affect your daily routines. If you have chronic bronchitis then you may be prescribed oxygen therapy. This therapy can help you breathe easier and provide your body with the oxygen it needs to thrive. Your doctor may also suggest removing the cause of your chronic bronchitis from your life. If you are an avid smoker, then quitting tobacco products can improve your symptoms and help you get better.

    How Can I Feel Better?

    Fast Pace Urgent Care is just around the corner when you start to feel ill. If you are suffering from a cough, fever, chills, or chest discomfort then Fast Pace Urgent Care can provide you with prompt treatment to alleviate your symptoms and help you get better faster. Stop by and see us the minute you start to feel poorly and we will send you on your way with proven treatments that can help you feel better and prevent your illness from getting worse.

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