If you have bronchitis, it means the lining of your bronchial tubes is inflamed. Two of the most common symptoms of bronchitis are a thickening of mucus and difficulty carrying air in and out of the lungs.
The treatment you need for bronchitis largely depends on what caused it. For example, bronchitis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Oftentimes, the infection of the chest is secondary, following a respiratory tract infection.
Symptoms of Bronchitis
Bronchitis is either acute or chronic. It is chronic bronchitis if the symptoms persist and do not go away after two weeks. Acute bronchitis should go away with or without treatment. The symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis are similar. They include:
● Constant coughing
● Producing mucus that’s white, yellow, or green in color
● Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)
● Body aches and fatigue
● Feeling cold and feverish
● Discomfort or pain in the chest area
A typical bout of chronic bronchitis is three months. Chronic bronchitis can lead to serious complications, which is why it’s important to see a doctor if your acute bronchitis has turned chronic.
Causes of Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is usually the result of an infection from a cold, flu, virus or bacteria. In the case of a virus, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication. In the case of bacteria, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Bronchitis Risk Factors
There are some risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing bronchitis. Here are some examples.
- Living with a smoker or being a smoker puts you at higher risk of developing acute or chronic bronchitis.
- Occupational hazards such as working in a factory that produces toxic fumes or working with formaldehyde or toxic cleaning agents can lead to bronchitis.
- Another risk factor is having a weak immune system because of certain medications or illnesses, which can make you more prone to developing respiratory and chest infections. People with compromised immune systems such as those with AIDS or HIV are also vulnerable to developing bronchitis.
- Finally, gastric reflux sufferers are also prone to developing bronchitis due to stomach acid irritating the throat.
Prevention usually involves reducing your exposure to irritants, quitting smoking, and keeping a healthy lifestyle. Getting vaccinated also protects you from certain virus strains, such as influenza, which reduces the risk of bronchitis developing as a result of it. If your occupation is a risk factor, wear a mask while doing your job. Also, wear a mask if your immune system is compromised or weak. Finally, eat a healthy diet and exercise to strengthen your immune system.
Bronchitis Treatment in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, Florida
If you are experiencing symptoms of bronchitis, our compassionate family medicine specialists at Advanced Medical will ensure you get the proper treatment for your condition. Our physicians and staff take the time to listen to our patients because we know that every person’s illness is different and deserves our full attention. To make an appointment, call (561) 434-1935 or request an appointment online now.