Caused by the same viruses that cause a cold or the flu, bronchitis is a common condition that often results from a respiratory infection. It isn't uncommon for bronchitis to lead to pneumonia. Before your cough worsens, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Mitchell Cohen in the Century City area of Los Angeles, California.
Bronchitis is swelling and inflamed tissue in the tubes that carry air to your lungs, which makes it harder for you to breathe. Common symptoms of bronchitis include:
There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis results from a viral or bacterial infection and lasts up to 10 days.
Chronic bronchitis is an ongoing, serious condition in which your bronchial tubes are constantly irritated and inflamed, causing you to have a long-term cough with mucus. Usually the result of smoking, chronic bronchitis is often punctuated with periods of worsening symptoms.
Besides reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam, Dr. Cohen uses a stethoscope to listen carefully to your lungs as you breathe. The following tests also help determine the cause of your cough:
The primary goals of bronchitis treatment are to relieve your symptoms and make breathing easier. That's especially true if your bronchitis is viral. In that case, Dr. Cohen recommends:
However, if he thinks a bacterial infection causes your bronchitis, he’ll prescribe an antibiotic. For chronic bronchitis, inhaled medication, including both bronchodilators and steroids, as well as oxygen therapy to help clear away mucus and open your airways.
Regardless of the type of bronchitis Dr. Cohen diagnoses, it's essential that you limit your exposure to substances that exacerbate the condition, including:
Wash your hands often and try to avoid sick people to decrease your chances of getting sick. If you have a cough that persists, worsens, or is accompanied by a fever or other symptoms, call or make an appointment online with Dr. Cohen in the Century City area of Los Angeles.