Bronchitis is a type of upper respiratory infection that’s especially common during the wintertime. Bronchitis often rises in the number of cases along with the cold, flu, pneumonia, and sinus infections. If bronchitis goes untreated it will get worse and can even require hospitalization. When you’re battling a case of bronchitis, getting the treatment you need when you need it is vital.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a viral infection that attacks the airways that connect between your lungs. Bronchitis typically lasts about one week, although it can continue to worsen causing more complications. Bronchitis is often recurring in those who have a history of smoking or other lung disease.
How is Bronchitis Diagnosed?
Bronchitis is easily mistaken for pneumonia because the symptoms are so similar. The first step of diagnosis is looking at your symptoms. Common symptoms of bronchitis include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest congestion
- Body aches
Bronchitis does not typically come with a fever, but pneumonia does. After evaluating your symptoms, the doctor will likely order a chest x-ray to confirm the diagnosis of bronchitis rather than pneumonia.
Can Urgent Care Treat Bronchitis?
Urgent care centers offer on-site x-ray imaging which means they’re able to diagnose bronchitis quickly and easily. Once diagnosed, the doctor will devise a treatment plan. Since bronchitis is a viral infection, it typically clears up on its own without antibiotics. The doctor at urgent care can still prescribe a cough medication to make you more comfortable and offer tips for helpful home remedies.
If you are in need of antibiotics to cure your bronchitis, urgent care can provide a prescription. Your treatment plan should also include a follow-up after a certain period of time to ensure the bronchitis has cleared from your system and no other treatment is needed.
Utilizing your local urgent care center for your bronchitis treatment will allow you to get the treatment you need without hours spent in an emergency room waiting room. You’ll also be able to get treatment you can afford due to the lower costs at an urgent care center. Waiting to get treated at your primary care provider gives the bronchitis time to get worse, while an urgent care center has flexible hours of operation that allow you to stop by whenever it’s convenient.
We know life gets busy this time of year, but you’re never too busy to prioritize your health and well being!