What is acute bronchitis?
When you have acute bronchitis, the air passages between your windpipe and your lungs are swollen and irritated. You have a bad cough and pain in your chest when you breathe deeply or cough.
How does it happen?
Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, like a cold or the flu. It can also be caused by bacteria.
Most of the time, it clears up in a few days. It may take you longer to get better if:
You smoke cigarettes.
You have a heart or lung disease.
You live in an area where air pollution is a problem.
You have any other chronic health problems.
What are the symptoms?
A deep cough with yellowish or greenish phlegm.
Pain in your chest when you breathe deeply or cough.
Wheezing or feeling short of breath.
Fever and/or chills.
How do I know if I have it?
Your Fast MD for you Urgent Care healthcare provider will elicit your history and perform a physical exam. Also, you may have a chest X-ray or other tests.
How can I take care of myself?
Resting at home and drinking plenty of fluids to keep the mucus loose may be all you need to do to get better in a few days. If your symptoms are severe or you have other health problems (such as heart or lung disease or diabetes), you may need to take antibiotics.
You should also:
Stop smoking if you smoke.
Avoid smoky places.
You may want to ask your healthcare provider about taking medicine for your cough or fever.
Come to Fast MD for you Urgent Care if:
You have trouble breathing.
You have a fever higher than 101.5°F (38.6°C).
You cough up blood.
You are feeling worse or are not any better after 2 days.
How can I help prevent acute bronchitis?
You can lower your chances of getting bronchitis by not smoking.