Bronchitis is a type of infection that can be caused by either bacteria or a virus. Bronchitis is painful, irritating, and disrupts your ability to perform at work, school, and home. Treating bronchitis is easier if it’s detected early and early detection is dependent on recognizing the symptoms. Bronchitis can affect people of all ages and it can occur any time of year, but it’s the most common during winter and early spring.
What Causes Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is often a result of the common cold. As mucus drains from the cold, it can settle into your lungs, turning into an infection. Some people suffer from recurrent bronchitis, known as chronic bronchitis.
Not every cold will result in bronchitis, but it is something you should be aware of so that you can be on the lookout for bronchitis symptoms as you recover from your cold. Bronchitis caused by bacteria can’t be treated with an antibiotic, but bronchitis caused by a virus can be.
Common bronchitis symptoms begin with persistent and painful coughing. As you cough, you’ll likely notice that you cough up thick, discolored mucus. Your chest might feel tight or sore from all of the coughing. In some cases, patients report difficulty catching their breath.
General fatigue, body aches, and a sore throat are all common symptoms of acute bronchitis too. Next time you notice any of these symptoms, try to remember that bronchitis could be the cause, not just a cold that will go away on its own!
When to Seek Treatment
You should get treatment for acute bronchitis if your symptoms last longer than 7-10 days or if they become so severe that over the counter medications can’t help to manage them.
If bronchitis isn’t treated, it can turn into pneumonia and result in a much longer course of treatment. Your local urgent care center is the best place to go for quick and effective bronchitis treatment. A family doctor will take too long to schedule an appointment and their hours often disrupt your daily routine. An emergency room should be reserved for true emergencies and as annoying as bronchitis may be, it isn’t an emergency.
Be sure to tell urgent care staff any over the counter treatments you’ve already tried and how long you’ve had your symptoms so they can find the best course of action for you!
If you have questions or concerns about bronchitis treatment at an urgent care, give them a call today to put your mind at ease!