Bronchitis

Condition

Here’s Why Seeing A Lung Specialist Helps You Treat Your Persistent Cough

Is your persistent cough keeping you awake at night?

Is it just a common cold or something even worse?

If you’re still coughing for weeks and not feeling better, you could be suffering from a serious lung condition called bronchitis.

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis occurs when the tubes that carry air to your lungs are inflamed and swollen, leaving you with a nagging cough and phlegm.

Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a common and temporary condition caused by bacteria or viruses. This affects people of all ages and can progress to pneumonia in severe infections.

Symptoms

  • fever
  • persistent cough with or without phlegm
  • shortness of breath
  • chest discomfort

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a common and temporary condition caused by bacteria or viruses. This affects people of all ages and can progress to pneumonia in severe infections.

Symptoms

  • fever
  • persistent cough with or without phlegm
  • shortness of breath
  • chest discomfort

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a serious condition where airways are repeatedly inflamed for several months or years. This is mainly caused by smoking and sometimes by air pollution and allergies.

Symptoms

  • persistent cough with excessive phlegm
  • difficulty in breathing
  • chest discomfort

Bronchitis Diagnosis

Whether you’re suffering from acute or chronic bronchitis, early detection and treatment significantly decrease your risk of severe lung damage.

To diagnose bronchitis, your lung specialist will do a physical exam using a stethoscope to listen for unusual sounds in your lungs.

You will be asked a series of questions like:

  • whether you smoke
  • your symptoms and medical history
  • your exposure to secondhand smoke, fumes, or air pollution

 

Also, your lung specialist may need to run some tests to determine the severity of your bronchitis, including:

  • sputum swab to test for bacteria or viruses
  • checking of oxygen levels in your blood
  • chest X-ray, lung function tests, or blood tests

Bronchitis Treatment

If left untreated

  • Acute bronchitis can develop into pneumonia especially the vulnerable people who have weaker immune systems.
  • Chronic bronchitis can develop into life-threatening respiratory problems and puts you at risk of heart failure.

Acute bronchitis treatment

  • drinking lots of water and getting plenty of rest
  • antibiotics for bacterial infection
  • over-the-counter pain relievers for pain and fever relief
  • over-the-counter cough medicines to ease your coughing
  • bronchodilators to ease breathing
  • steroids to reduce inflammation

Chronic bronchitis treatment

  • Quitting smoking
  • Staying away from secondhand smoke and air pollutants
  • bronchodilators to ease breathing
  • steroids to reduce inflammation
  • oxygen therapy for severe cases
  • pulmonary rehab consisting of breathing strategies, exercise, and nutrition counseling

Treat Your Bronchitis Today

You must immediately consult a lung specialist if your cough:

  • persists for more than 3 weeks
  • keeps you from sleeping
  • comes with fever
  • causes chest discomfort
  • produces phlegm or blood
  • makes breathing difficult
  • has a barking sound

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