If you have a lingering cough that comes from your chest, you might have bronchitis. Gaylene Soloniuk-Tays, MD, can treat your bronchitis symptoms so you can get the rest you need to recover and prevent your bronchitis from worsening or causing respiratory complications. If you think you may have bronchitis, don’t wait to schedule an exam at Compassionate Family Care. Call the office in Visalia, California, or make an appointment online today.
Bronchitis refers to inflammation within your bronchial tubes. When you breathe, air travels to your lungs through the bronchial tubes. When the soft tissue lining these tubes becomes inflamed, the condition is known as bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection, which typically lasts 1-3 weeks. Chronic bronchitis can last for several months and is generally caused by environmental irritants or smoking.
Acute bronchitis often shares symptoms with colds and other common respiratory illnesses, such as:
Symptoms that may specifically indicate you have bronchitis include:
If you have a stubborn chest cough that produces mucus, wheezing, or chest discomfort for at least three consecutive months, you may have chronic bronchitis.
Because bronchitis shares symptoms with other respiratory conditions, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Fortunately, Dr. Soloniuk-Tays has the expertise to diagnose bronchitis accurately. She begins with a comprehensive physical exam, a discussion of your health history, and a review of your symptoms.
In some cases, you may need to have some tests, such as a chest X-ray, a mucus culture, or a spirometry breathing test. These diagnostics can rule out other possible causes for your symptoms, including pneumonia, allergies, whooping cough, or asthma.
Since acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, the best treatment is usually rest and extra fluids to support your own immune system as it fights the illness. Dr. Soloniuk-Tays may prescribe a nebulizer inhaler, steroid injections, or cough suppressant medications to address your symptoms, so it’s easier for you to sleep and recover.
Bacterial bronchitis isn’t very common, but if your bronchitis gets better and then returns again, it may, in fact, be caused by a bacterial infection. In this case, you’ll need antibiotics to make a complete recovery.
In the case of chronic bronchitis, controlling your symptoms will make you more comfortable, and doing so may also prevent you from developing respiratory complications, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
For more information call Compassionate Family Care today, or schedule an appointment online.