Bronchitis is a common respiratory illness, but did you know? There are actually two types of this illness: acute and chronic.
Bronchitis, in general, is an inflammation of the lining in the bronchial tubes, but acute and chronic bronchitis last for different periods of time.
Our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team provides some further helpful information on this sickness below.
What Causes Bronchitis?
Acute and chronic bronchitis are caused by different things. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection, and it’s often caused by the same viruses that cause colds and the flu. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection, or by physical or chemical agents that are inhaled.
Chronic bronchitis is usually caused by long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs and airways. In the United States, cigarette smoke is the main cause. Exposure to other inhaled irritants can contribute to chronic bronchitis, including secondhand smoke, air pollution, and chemical fumes or dusts from the environment or workplace.
Common Bronchitis Symptoms
- A cough that is frequent and produces mucus
- A lack of energy
- A wheezing sound when breathing (may or may not be present)
- A fever (may or may not be present)
- Shortness of breath
How Long Will I Have to Deal With Bronchitis?
Again, it depends on which type of bronchitis you have. Most symptoms of acute bronchitis last for up to two weeks, and a lingering cough can last for up to eight weeks in some people.
Chronic bronchitis, however, lasts much, much longer. Symptoms from chronic bronchitis last at least three months, and subsequent episodes of bronchitis can come and go for two or more years following your recovery from the initial episode. If you experience any of the symptoms below, you should visit our AFC center for treatment.
When to See a Doctor for Bronchitis
- Fever over 100.4°F
- A cough that lasts more than three weeks
- Continued wheezing or shortness of breath that stops you from activities
- Expelling discolored or bloody mucus from the mouth or nose
Whether you’re dealing with bronchitis or some other illness, our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway center has your back! Visit us today.