Urgent Care for Bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the small tubes that carry oxygen to your lungs. It results in thickened mucus, trouble breathing, and other discomforts. A common cold, flu, or other respiratory condition, can cause bronchitis. Prolonged exposure to airborne irritants can also cause the disease. Specifically, smoking, air pollution, and household cleaners with strong fumes can bring it about.
What Causes Bronchitis?
There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic.
Acute bronchitis is typically caused by a virus and can occur after an upper respiratory infection. Bacteria can also cause this disease, but it’s less common. This type of illness usually lasts two to three weeks.
Chronic bronchitis is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. Smoking, or other lung irritants, can cause this condition. This is serious and requires medical attention.
What Are the Symptoms?
While the most common symptom is a persistent cough with or without mucous, other symptoms of acute bronchitis may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore chest
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
- Mild headache
- Mild body aches
- Sore throat
- Elevated temperature (100.4 degrees or higher)
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include frequent coughing that produces mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Even though bronchitis doesn’t usually lead to more serious problems, it can develop into pneumonia.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, visit Bayside Urgent Care:
- If you cough up bloody mucus
- Sleeplessness due to coughing
- Your cough lasts longer than 3 weeks
- Chest pain
- Unexpected weight loss
- A fever over 100.4 degrees
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
How is Bronchitis Diagnosed?
At Bayside Urgent Care, we will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms. Also, we will ask how long you’ve had them. We will listen to your lungs for wheezes or any indication fluid is present.
We may perform some additional tests, such as:
- Oxygen saturation
- Chest x-ray
- Blood work
- Other lab tests to rule out a bacterial infection
What are The Treatments?
Usually, acute bronchitis will go away within a few weeks. If you have an infection caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be prescribed. While you are recovering, you can ease your symptoms by:
- Drinking plenty of water to help loosen the mucus and make it easier to cough it up.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take over-the-counter medicines like cough medicine, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to relieve the discomfort you may experience from coughing and reduce fevers.
- Use a humidifier to open your airway and help to loosen mucus.
What To Bring When You Visit
To help us treat you more effectively, please be prepared to tell us about any medications you take (including vitamins and supplements), past illnesses and surgeries, and your primary care doctor’s phone number and address so we can transfer records, if necessary.
You Can Count on Bayside Urgent Care Center When You Have Bronchitis
Our center is located in Clearwater, Florida, conveniently situated to Largo, Belleair, Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach, and Tampa. If you are experiencing symptoms detailed above, visit our office or call.
*Urgent care is not a substitute for emergency care. Always head to the nearest emergency room or call 911 if you are experiencing very serious or life-threatening problems. Read What is Urgent Care for more information.