What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is no joke. If you get it, you will most likely have a bad cough, lots of mucus and maybe some general cold symptoms like body aches or chills. But what causes this condition?

Our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team highlights what you should know about this infection below.

How Is Bronchitis Caused?

There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is typically viral, and it is caused by influenza, the same viruses that cause colds and the flu.

Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, isn’t caused by a virus or bacteria. Most experts agree that the main cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. Air pollution and your work environment may also play a role, which is especially true among those who smoke. We’ve listed some common symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis below.

Common Bronchitis Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color—rarely, it may be streaked with blood
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

How Can Bronchitis Be Treated?

The treatment for bronchitis depends on what type you’re dealing with. If you have acute bronchitis, you might not need any treatment, since most cases are caused by viral infections. If your acute bronchitis was caused by a bacterial infection, though, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics.

Treatment for chronic bronchitis is different. Chronic bronchitis, considered to be chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is not curable, but treatment aimed at treating the causes and symptoms proves to be effective. We’ve listed some common treatment options of chronic bronchitis below.

Ways to Treat Chronic Bronchitis

  • Quit smoking.
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke and other lung irritants.
  • Take oral medicines to open airways and help clear away mucus.
  • Take inhaled medicines, such as bronchodilators and steroids.
  • Get oxygen from portable containers.
  • Have lung reduction surgery to take out damaged areas of the lung.
  • Get a lung transplant, in rare cases.
  • Humidify the air.
  • Attend pulmonary rehab to help you learn how to live with your breathing problems and stay active.

Bronchitis is nothing to mess around with. If you believe you may have bronchitis, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN center today to get the treatment you need!