Bronchitis Causes & Symptoms

October 31, 2023

Although it is not as common as the common cold or flu during the early fall months, bronchitis is a health condition to watch out for as the weather changes. Due to the severity of the symptoms, familiarizing yourself with the causes and symptoms of bronchitis is crucial so that you can know when to seek medical treatment. This blog post will explore the multifaceted causes, the spectrum of symptoms, and the populations most at risk for bronchitis. Furthermore, it will delve into the treatment options available at urgent care centers, providing you with comprehensive insights to make informed health choices.

What Causes Bronchitis?

Various factors can trigger bronchitis, but it primarily begins as a minor viral infection, such as a cold that then progresses into bronchitis. There are two main types of bronchitis that you should be aware of:

Acute Bronchitis: Acute bronchitis starts as a viral infection such as a common cold or the flu. Without proper treatment, bronchitis can develop a secondary infection following a minor viral infection. Acute bronchitis typically resolves within a few weeks on its own, and because it is caused by a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics and has to resolve on its own over time.

Chronic Bronchitis: This is a more persistent condition, typically linked to smoking or long-term exposure to irritants like dust, air pollution, or chemical fumes. Chronic bronchitis is a significant concern, as it is a primary component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and can lead to severe respiratory issues over time.

Symptoms of Bronchitis:

  • Coughing that produces discolored mucus
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing

Vulnerable populations, such as young children, the elderly, or individuals with compromised immune systems, are at a higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms and complications from bronchitis. If you are experiencing trouble breathing, a high fever, or other severe symptoms, you should seek medical care at the emergency room.

Preventing Bronchitis

Preventing bronchitis entails adopting strategies to minimize irritant exposure and enhance overall respiratory health. Foremost among these is quitting smoking for individuals who smoke. Smoking cessation dramatically reduces the risk of both acute and chronic bronchitis.

Maintaining good hygiene practices is another essential prevention measure. This includes frequent handwashing, especially during cold and flu seasons, getting your flu shot, and staying away from people who are sick to help reduce the risk of viral infections leading to acute bronchitis.

Get Bronchitis Diagnosis & Treatment at AFC Urgent Care Southcenter

AFC Urgent Care Southcenter offers walk-in medical care for same-day illness diagnosis. Our board-certified medical staff is available 7 days a week to patients in Kent, WA, and the surrounding areas. When you’re feeling under the weather, you can count on AFC Urgent Care Southcenter for a fast diagnosis and customized treatment plan to get you feeling better fast. Simply walk into our clinic when it is convenient for you, or schedule an appointment online

If you live in Kent, WA, or in one of the surrounding communities, our dedicated medical staff is ready to help you feel your best by offering walk-in care available seven days a week. We accept most medical insurance and offer low-cost care options. Walk into AFC Urgent Care Southcenter today. For additional information or questions regarding our clinic, please call us at 425-291-3300.

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