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Bronchitis – what you need to know

Bronchitis occurs when the airways in your lungs are inflamed and make too much mucus.  The two types of bronchitis are:

Acute bronchitis – more common and usually a viral infection, it is also referred to as a chest cold.  This can be made worse if you smoke.

Chronic bronchitis is a cough that persists after the cold is gone.  It may persist two or three months each year for at least two years.

Symptoms of Bronchitis include:

  • A frequent cough that produces mucus
  • A lack of energy
  • A wheezing sound when breathing
  • A high fever

When to see a Doctor About Bronchitis

See your healthcare provider or visit our West Valley Urgent Care if you have ANY of these symptoms:

  • Cough that lasts more than two or three weeks
  • Fever
  • Cough that produces blood or thick or colored mucous
  • Any shortness of breath or wheezing

When a Cold Become Bronchitis

When you catch a cold, it can turn into bronchitis, which is sometimes called a chest cold.   While a cough is a common cold symptom, if it persists after the cold is gone, contact a doctor or come to West Valley Urgent Care for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Bronchitis Diagnosis

Usually tests are not needed as a doctor can detect bronchitis during a physical exam.  The doctor can listen to your lungs through a stethoscope and hear the telltale rattling sound in your lungs’ upper airways.

The Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis

The most common symptom of acute bronchitis is coughing.  The coughing begins early in the disease and usually lasts about 10 to 20 days as it gradually subsides.  About 50% of individuals will have sputum that is clear, yellow, greenish or occasional tinged with blood. Other symptoms may include:

  • sore throat
  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue

Is Bronchitis Infectious?

Yes – according to WebMD, acute bronchitis is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks and liquid droplets containing virus particles or bacteria are released into the air and objects.  You can become infected if you:

  • breathe air that contains the virus particles or bacteria, or
  • touch an object that has been touched by the infected person and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a serious long-term disorder that often requires regular medical treatment.

Call one of our three West Valley Urgent Care locations for an appointment or walk-in during our business hours.  Call (623) 334-8671.