Can Bronchitis Be A Serious Medical Issue?

Bronchitis is a very common illness that many people will suffer from at one point or another. All ages can be affected by bronchitis, but there are things that can be done to lower your risk. Although bronchitis is common, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. 

Telemedicine for Bronchitis

The good news for patients is that AFC Urgent Care Stoneham provides telemedicine provider visits so they can evaluate the severity of your bronchitis before you come in for an urgent care visit! If you have any questions about bronchitis treatment, make sure you consult our team via telemedicine to maintain safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic!

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a less common type of bronchitis. To be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis you have to have bronchitis for 3 or more months out of the year for two consecutive years. Many patients suffering from chronic bronchitis get diagnosed with COPD later on. Chronic bronchitis may begin from a simple upper respiratory infection, but it can also be caused by exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke. Treating chronic bronchitis typically requires the help of a specialist to closely monitor and treat symptoms. 

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a more common type of bronchitis. Although its common, acute bronchitis has to be taken seriously to avoid a case of chronic bronchitis or even pneumonia. Acute bronchitis usually happens after an upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold. Acute bronchitis symptoms last for 1 to 2 weeks, but a cough can linger even longer. 

Diagnosing Bronchitis 

Bronchitis is typically diagnosed through a physical examination and reviewing your symptoms. The most common bronchitis symptoms that physicians look for include: 

  • A persistent cough
  • Mucus when you cough – often green or yellow in color
  • General fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort from persistent coughing 
  • Low grade fever
  • Wheezing, only in some cases

Once you’ve been diagnosed with bronchitis your physician will determine the best course of action. The majority of acute bronchitis cases are cured without the use of antibiotics, but not always. The same home remedies you would use for a cold are helpful in curing bronchitis, along with cough and pain medications. 

Preventing Bronchitis 

Although treating bronchitis is important, preventing it is even better! You can help prevent acute bronchitis the same way you prevent the common cold and other viruses. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds multiple times per day. You should avoid touching your face with your hands when you’re out in public and keep a good distance from people whenever possible. Reduce your risk of chronic bronchitis by avoiding tobacco, secondhand smoke, and other irritants. 

The best place to seek treatment for your bronchitis symptoms is at a local urgent care center. You’ll be able to receive high-quality, same-day care when you need it. Urgent care centers offer affordable pricing and flexible hours, so there’s no reason to continue suffering without treatment!