Family Medicine Physician & Sports Medicine located in Wilmington, NC
When you ignore a nagging cough that’s keeping you up all night, you’re likely only going to end up feeling worse. Dr. Richard Ferro and his experienced team at Carolina Care in Wilmington, North Carolina offer urgent care services for health issues like bronchitis, the flu, and pneumonia. To find relief for your bronchitis symptoms, call Carolina Care or schedule an appointment online today.
Bronchitis Q & A
What is bronchitis?
When you have bronchitis, the lining of your bronchial tubes is inflamed. Your bronchial tubes carry air to your lungs, and when they get infected, mucus builds up. The tubes then swell, which makes breathing difficult.
Acute forms of bronchitis usually develop because of a cold or flu virus. This type of infection typically lasts for 7-10 days. In some cases, exposure to irritants like smoking, dust, or pollution can cause bronchitis to turn chronic.
What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
Bronchitis is often confused with the common cold because their symptoms are similar. They typically include:
- A cough
- A headache
- A sore throat
- Body aches
- Fever and chills
- Mucus production
- Chest congestion or discomfort
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
It can take a while for a bronchitis cough to go away because your bronchial tubes need time to heal. When a nagging cough doesn’t go away, it can indicate the presence of a more serious health condition, such as asthma or pneumonia.
How is bronchitis diagnosed?
To diagnose bronchitis, Dr. Ferro performs a full physical examination and reviews your symptoms. Because bronchitis is similar to the common cold, it’s important to share all of your symptoms and their duration as well as your medical history.
Based on your physical exam, Dr. Ferro might suggest a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia or other underlying causes. Carolina Care provides digital X-ray services on-site for your convenience.
How is bronchitis treated?
Bronchitis is a viral infection, so medications like antibiotics are usually ineffective.
Dr. Ferro typically treats bronchitis with self-care therapies like using a humidifier to loosen mucus and relieve coughs, avoiding smoking, and wearing a face mask when you go outdoors in the cold to reduce bronchial irritation. It’s also crucial to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Depending on your bronchitis symptoms, Dr. Ferro may also prescribe medications to make you more comfortable. These typically include inhalers, cough suppressants, or drugs to open narrowed bronchial passages and reduce inflammation.
If you’re suffering from a cough that could be due to bronchitis, call Carolina Care or schedule an appointment online to relieve your discomfort today.