Bronchitis Treatment Clinic Questions and Answers
Oak Park Urgent care helps treat bronchitis. If you have bronchitis, then call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. You can also visit us at 24661 Coolidge Hwy. Oak Park, MI, 48237. We are open 7 days a week. We service children, adults, and seniors.
What causes bronchitis?
The lung is made up of 3 different parts – the main airways, known as the bronchi, the passageway, or the trachea, and the small branches that extend out from the airway inside the lungs, known as the bronchioles. The airways produce mucus to trap any dust particles to keep the passage clear for air. A clean passage is necessary to help people breathe properly. When any of the three parts of the lungs gets inflamed or swollen, the resulting condition is called bronchitis.
The condition can be bacterial, caused by a nasal or sinus infection, or a viral infection, like the flu or a cold. The infection irritates the airways, which causes the lungs to produce more mucus and the body expels the mucus through coughing. Living in dusty, desert-like regions, polluted areas, and participating in chain-smoking as well as other factors that can pollute the airways are the top causes of bronchitis. There are two types of bronchitis – acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis lasts for a few weeks and causes congestion, cough, and mucus. It can affect anyone, but is more common in asthmatic, sinus infection-prone people, or children under the age of 5. The symptoms of acute bronchitis can last for up to 3 weeks, although the cough can hang on for longer, and usually occur in stormy or wintery weather.
Chronic bronchitis is a long-term respiratory condition that comes and goes in bouts, but never goes away. Reports suggest that it happens to people over 40 years of age, and the symptoms stay for 3 months for 2 consecutive years at a time. The condition can be very serious as it causes your lungs to become a breeding ground for infections. Thus, a cough lasting for more than 4 weeks should immediately be considered for medical treatment. You should seek medical care if your cough produces blood, you have a fever of over 101°, and you feel short of breath.
How serious is bronchitis?
While acute bronchitis that lasts may not be serious, repeated bronchitis episodes may turn into pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia may look similar, but with so much mucus lodging in your chest, pneumonia is much more serious and can be potentially life-threatening. Seek medical help if you are coughing up a lot of blood, have blue fingernails, have a crushing pain in the chest, and have substantial trouble breathing.
Bronchitis is very dangerous in children aged 5 and under, and adults aged 60 and older. Even for people between the ages of 5 and 60, chronic bronchitis can be very serious as it will reoccur and cause permanent damage to the lungs. You will generally need long-term medical treatment to manage the symptoms.
People with the following conditions are more susceptible to bronchitis:
- Inflammation or infection of the lungs caused by a virus or bacteria, like the flu or a cold.
- Active or passive smokers.
- Asthmatics and allergy sufferers.
- Residents of heavily polluted areas with irritants in the air like salt mines, coal mines, chemical fume makers, grains, or textiles industry workers.
How long does it take to get over bronchitis?
The recovery time for bronchitis will depend on what type of bronchitis a person has. If you have acute bronchitis, the symptoms will fade away on their own over the course of a couple of weeks. A cough lasting for more than 4 weeks should be checked out by a doctor. You should seek medical attention if you cough up blood, have a fever over 101,° and are often feeling short of breath. Chronic bronchitis comes and goes for episodes that can last for several months at a time. Patients who have several of these episodes over the span of at least 2 years are suffering from chronic bronchitis. In this case, they will never fully get better, and the condition may cause permanent damage to the lungs.
What is prescribed for bronchitis?
Basic hygiene and care can be used to treat bronchitis, with medications not having any real effect in most cases. You can decrease your risk for developing bronchitis by following some simple measures such as:
- Vaccination from common cold and influenza.
- Staying away from people who have a cough.
- Avoiding pollution and dust prone regions.
- Wearing a mask and maintaining personal hygiene.
- Quitting smoking.
- Doing breathing exercises – or yoga.
You can always visit a healthcare professional at Oak Park Urgent Care to get personalized treatment for acute or chronic bronchitis. For more information, please call us. We serve patients from Oak Park MI, Huntington Woods MI, Pleasant Ridge MI, Ferndale MI, Madison Heights MI, Southfield MI, Lathrup Village MI, Berkley MI, Clawson MI, Birmingham MI, Warren MI, Troy MI, and Detroit MI.