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Bronchitis

IAM Healthy

Family Physicians & Geriatric Physicians located in Apopka, FL

If you’re suffering from a severe cough that’s producing a lot of phlegm, you may have bronchitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the lungs. At IAM Healthy, in Apopka, Florida, the team of compassionate medical professionals offers expert diagnosis and treatment for bronchitis, including same-day appointments. Don’t suffer through a painful and disruptive cough. Call IAM Healthy or make an appointment online today.

Bronchitis Q & A

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammatory condition that affects your bronchial tubes — the delicate passageways that carry air in and out of your lungs. The condition causes uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms, including:

  • A severe cough that produces thick phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • A tight, uncomfortable feeling in your chest
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Body aches

Bronchitis is either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis usually lasts up to 10 days, although your cough may linger. Chronic bronchitis can last for months.

It’s easy to mistake acute bronchitis for the common cold. However, a cold usually lasts for a week or less, while bronchitis symptoms, especially the cough, can linger. If you have bouts of bronchitis that last for three months or more, or you have recurring infections for two years, your provider at IAM Healthy may diagnose you with chronic bronchitis.

What causes bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses similar to those that cause colds and the flu. Smoking cigarettes is the most common cause of chronic bronchitis, although air pollution, dust, or other airborne irritants in your environment or workplace can trigger the illness.

Anyone can develop acute or chronic bronchitis. However, your risk increases if you smoke. Your chances of developing bronchitis are also higher if you have a compromised immune system. For example, if you recently had a severe cold or other upper respiratory infection, your immune system might not be able to fight off further infection, and you could develop bronchitis.

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

It’s easy to think you have a common cold in the early days of bronchitis. If your symptoms don’t start to subside within a few days or if your cough becomes more severe, make an appointment at IAM Healthy for an expert diagnosis.

During your exam, after asking about your symptoms, overall health, and medical history, they listen to your lungs. Your provider may also order tests, like chest X-rays, lung function tests, and sputum tests.

How is bronchitis treated?

In most cases, bronchitis is viral, which means it won’t respond to antibiotics. However, your provider can prescribe medication to alleviate your symptoms while you rest and recover. You may also benefit from a short-term dose of corticosteroids to help expel the excessive phlegm from your lungs.

If you’re concerned about bronchitis, call IAM Healthy or schedule an appointment online today. The practice offers same-day appointments whenever possible to provide quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment to restore your health.