When you suffer from a cold or the flu for a few weeks, most times it goes away and you feel great again. Sometimes your cold lingers on and you develop a horrible cough and congestion. It’s hard to breathe and your feel tired and run down. What you have is most likely bronchitis.
There are two types of bronchitis to worry about. The first is acute bronchitis with flu-like symptoms that last a few weeks and goes away. The second is chronic bronchitis that produces a chronic cough, fatigue, and chills and lingers on. Pulmonary Associates of Brandon has the staff to help treat your bronchitis effectively. Learn more about our bronchitis treatment options below.
What Are the Symptoms and Causes of Bronchitis?
What are the symptoms of bronchitis you may ask? The doctor will tell you that the symptoms are a chronic cough that brings up mucus that is green, yellow, or white. Often your chest feels full, your nose runs non-stop, you’re tired, feverish, and run down. Other symptoms are chills, muscle aches, and a sore throat.
What causes bronchitis? The causes of bronchitis are bacteria, a weak immune system, smoking, air pollution, GERD, or inhaling chemicals that are harmful where you work or live.
Call us for an appointment when you cough up blood, cannot go to sleep, the symptoms last more than three weeks, lose weight, have a foul taste in your mouth, have a temperature over 100, or have trouble breathing. Don’t wait for your bronchitis to turn into pneumonia.
Tests For Bronchitis
So, your doctor has recommended you go to a pulmonary specialist to treat your bronchitis? Don’t panic, our tests are painless. Our specialists will give you a complete physical exam and take a complete medical history. The doctor then listens to your lungs and heart to detect any abnormalities that can arise from bronchitis. They will also check the oxygen level of your blood using a sensor that is put on your finger or toe, a much simpler process than you’d think.
Our pulmonologists will then perform a lung function test using a device called a spirometer. When you breathe into this device it measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs quickly. Before the test, your doctor may give you a medication called a bronchodilator. This medication expands your lungs’ airways so that you can breathe easier. This test is also used to test for asthma, allergies respiratory infections, and emphysema. Other tests used to test for bronchitis are a chest X-ray, blood test, CT scan, or a lab analysis of your mucus to rule out more serious infections.
Treatments For Bronchitis
If the doctors find that your bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection they will prescribe an antibiotic. If you’re having trouble breathing due to your bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe an inhaled medication which uses a humidifier to open your airways. For chronic bronchitis, however, our doctors may prescribe oxygen therapy or recommend setting up a time to meet with our respiratory therapist.
Both children and adults suffer from bronchitis, but early treatment is key for people of any age. Call Pulmonary Associates of Brandon and make an appointment if you’ve been suffering from symptoms of bronchitis. Our pulmonary specialists will help provide a treatment plan that puts you or your family member on the road to recovery quickly.