Bronchitis, a respiratory disease, is an inflammation of the bronchial passages in the lungs. As these passages become inflamed, it shuts off or greatly restricts small airways in lungs and can result in coughing and breathlessness.
Bronchitis can either be considered acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis usually lasts a week or so. Chronic can last months and be frequent.
Acute bronchitis is viral most of the time but sometimes bacterial. Chronic bronchitis can be a severe long term ailment requiring much medical attention. Smokers may find it harder to recover from bronchitis and may be more prone to it and often develop chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is often due to an infection in the lung. Many bouts of acute bronchitis can lead to chronic bronchitis. The main cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking and exposure to industrial pollution.
Symptoms of Bronchitis often include coughing accompanied by phlegm and soreness in the chest. Chronic bronchitis may also have symptoms of wheezing and tiredness.
Bronchitis is treated with a lot of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding smoke. A prescription bronchodilator or cough syrup may be prescribed. Antibiotics are typically not necessary for healthy people but may be prescribed if necessary. Those with chronic bronchitis may be more vulnerable to further infections so it is recommended to receive a flu shot and a pneumonia vaccine.
If you feel you may have bronchitis, visit AFC Urgent Care. Our doctors can diagnose and treat you on site. We have low wait times and accept most insurances. Visit us at 485 Granite St in Braintree MA or call 781-848-2273.