Bronchitis is the fifth most common reason for doctor’s visits with over 8 million people a year diagnosed with the illness. Bronchitis is a condition often lasting for months and if you neglect treatment, can cause other health complications. The expert team at Katy Internists in Houston provide expert diagnostic services and state-of-the-art treatments and rehabilitation therapies. To learn more about how the practice can treat your bronchitis, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.
Bronchitis occurs when the tubes carrying air to your lungs (bronchioles) become inflamed and produce too much mucus. There are two types of bronchitis:
Also called a chest cold or short-term bronchitis, acute bronchitis is quite common and usually improves by itself in a week to 10 days.
Chronic bronchitis lasts for 2-3 months often causing repeated infections throughout the year. It’s a more serious condition than acute bronchitis and is considered a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Acute bronchitis caused by viral or bacterial infections can be contagious. Chronic bronchitis isn’t contagious and is brought on by smoking, pollution and other irritants in the air. However, both types of bronchitis need medical attention.
People of all ages and backgrounds can develop bronchitis, however, you’re at greater risk of developing an infection if you have lung problems like asthma, cystic fibrosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Symptoms of both types of bronchitis include:
If you have acute bronchitis your symptoms may be similar to a cold and should improve in about a week.
If you have chronic bronchitis you may notice periods during which your symptoms are noticeably worse before they subside again. However, make sure to visit Katy Internists if your cough lasts more than 2-3 weeks or if it begins to prevent you from sleeping well.
Other serious symptoms that need immediate attention include a fever higher than 102° Fahrenheit, blood in your mucus, and wheezing.
Most cases of acute bronchitis improve on their own. Some steps you can take to speed up your recovery include:
Your practitioner at Katy Internists may also prescribe medication to help clear the infection, an expectorant to help clear out mucus, or an anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation and clear your airways.
If you have a case of chronic bronchitis and your symptoms last for longer than two weeks, your practitioner creates a customized pulmonary rehabilitation program that helps develop your lung capacity making breathing easier.
To learn more about testing and treatments for bronchitis, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.