Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. It is typically not a serious illness, but it can be important to monitor your symptoms and understand them. AFC Urgent Care Methuen can help you learn the symptoms of bronchitis and the best treatment options for your case. Click here for a list of general illnesses that our trained physicians are able to treat.
Symptoms of bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is the most common form of bronchitis. It comes as a result of a cold or flu, and typically resolves itself within a week to ten days. A cough can last for a few weeks if not treated properly. Compromised immune systems and being around cigarette smoke and other irritants can make bronchitis worse. This can also cause chronic bronchitis, which lasts up to four weeks. Symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis include:
- Cough that produces clear, white, yellow, or green mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Slight fever
To avoid catching bronchitis, wash your hands frequently, especially before you eat. Avoid anyone who may be sick with bronchitis or any other illness. If your cough lasts more than three weeks, creates difficulty sleeping, or you have a fever over 100 degrees, you should contact your doctor. Be sure to monitor your symptoms. Some cases of bronchitis can lead to pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.
Ways to treat bronchitis at home
Try and avoid anything that may irritate your lungs when you have bronchitis. Bronchitis is an infection and inflammation of the lungs, so cigarette smoke or other air pollutants can make the infection worse. Breathing in steam from showers or hot bowls of water can break up the mucus and relieve symptoms faster. Drinking at least 12 oz. of water a day can also thin our the mucus that causes coughing. Always get plenty of rest and use medications such as ibuprofen to help with any chest pain or pressure.
Try to not use cough medicine. Coughing helps break up the mucus and rids your body of the virus, so suppressing the cough can end up extending your illness. Only use if coughing makes it difficult to sleep at night, if recommended by your doctor.
For more information on the treatment and prevention of bronchitis, call AFC Urgent Care Methuen. Our physicians are trained to give you and your loved ones the best possible care. Give us a call at 978-975-0700.