Acute Bronchitis

What is acute bronchitis?

When you have acute bronchitis, the air passages between your windpipe and your lungs are swollen and irritated. You have a bad cough and pain in your chest when you breathe deeply or cough.

How does it happen?

Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, like a cold or the flu. It can also be caused by bacteria.

Most of the time, it clears up in a few days. It may take you longer to get better if:

  • You smoke cigarettes.

  • You have a heart or lung disease.

  • You live in an area where air pollution is a problem.

  • You have any other chronic health problems.

What are the symptoms?

  • A deep cough with yellowish or greenish phlegm.

  • Pain in your chest when you breathe deeply or cough.

  • Wheezing or feeling short of breath.

  • Fever and/or chills.

How do I know if I have it?

Your Reddy Urgent Care healthcare provider will elicit your history and perform a physical exam.  Also, you may have a chest X-ray or other tests.

How can I take care of myself?

Resting at home and drinking plenty of fluids to keep the mucus loose may be all you need to do to get better in a few days. If your symptoms are severe or you have other health problems (such as heart or lung disease or diabetes), you may need to take antibiotics.

You should also:

  • Stop smoking if you smoke.

  • Avoid smoky places.

You may want to ask your healthcare provider about taking medicine for your cough or fever.

Come to Reddy Urgent Care if:

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You have a fever higher than 101.5°F (38.6°C).

  • You cough up blood.

  • You are feeling worse or are not any better after 2 days.

How can I help prevent acute bronchitis?

You can lower your chances of getting bronchitis by not smoking.