Bronchitis is a common illness that many people face, yet information about the illness isn’t as readily available as it is for the cold or flu. There’s an increase of bronchitis cases during the winter and early spring, so now is the perfect time for you to learn more about what exactly happens when you get bronchitis!
What Causes Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is caused by bacteria or a virus entering your airway. Your bronchial tubes become irritated, and bronchitis symptoms quickly follow. Many people get bronchitis after fighting an upper respiratory infection, or the common cold, because it offers the perfect opportunity for bacteria and viruses to attack your bronchial tubes. It is possible to have bacterial and viral bronchitis at the same time, but they will require different treatments to clear them both.
Bronchitis symptoms are painful, annoying, and can quickly interrupt your ability to go to work or school and perform well. The most common bronchitis symptoms include:
- Painful coughing
- Coughing up thick mucus that is sometimes discolored
- Difficulty catching your breath
- Body aches
- Chest tightness
- Sore throat
Some people report a low fever and chills when they’re suffering from bronchitis, but these symptoms are less common.
How Long Does Bronchitis Last?
The length of bronchitis can vary greatly on a case by case basis. For acute bronchitis cases, symptoms typically improve after 7-10 days, but a cough can linger for up to 90 days. Getting treatment quickly helps to reduce the length of your symptoms, but it’s always a challenge to get rid of the lingering cough left behind.
In cases of chronic bronchitis, patients suffer for months at a time, some for as long as an entire year. Chronic bronchitis is often a sign of an underlying medical condition that will require treatment from a pulmonary specialist.
Uncomfortable bronchitis symptoms should be treated by a medical professional if they are recurrent, interfering with your day to day routine, or last longer than 7-10 days. Bronchitis treatment will vary from person to person but it may include breathing treatments, antibiotics, prescription cough medicine, and more.
If you’re in need of treatment for your bronchitis symptoms, visit your local urgent care center right away. The experienced staff and high-quality facilities will be able to evaluate, diagnose, and form a treatment plan all in one place! Why spend days waiting for an appointment with a primary care provider or pay outrageous hospital bills if you don’t have to?