iCare – Cough / Bronchitis – Urgent Care Services Page
Most people will experience the common cold or the flu at some point during the year, resulting in a few days at home for recovery. But there are times when the symptoms seem to hang on, and even get worse! If you are having a hard time getting over an upper respiratory infection, then your cold or viral infection may be followed by bronchitis.
Acute and Chronic Bronchitis
Bronchitis occurs when inflammation is present in the bronchial tubes and lungs, leading to coughing and mucus production. When the infection sets in after a head cold, then it is known as acute bronchitis and will usually go away within a few days or up to three weeks.
On the other hand, if the symptoms persist for more than three months, then you may have chronic bronchitis. Some people find that the symptoms might get better or worse, depending on the time of year. Chronic bronchitis is most common among people who smoke because the pollutants are breathed into the lungs each day and cause tissue irritation.
Symptoms of Bronchitis
How do you know if you have bronchitis? This illness is an inflammatory response that creates mucus production. Since the mucus is building up in your airway, the body responds by coughing to clear up the mucus. Although you want the cough to go away, this response is helpful to keep your lungs healthy and free of mucus.
Typically, the symptoms of bronchitis start quickly, and might include:
- Sore throat
- Coughing that produces phlegm
- Mucus is thick and discolored (yellow or green)
- An aggressive cough (stronger than a common cold)
- Fever, sometimes with body aches and chills
- Chest congestion
- Tightness in the chest
Suggested treatment options depend on the type of bronchitis and the severity of your symptoms. Minor respiratory infections can be treated at home with plenty of clear fluids, rest, and over the counter expectorant. Consider adding humidity to the air using a humidifier or regular steam showers. Acute bronchitis usually goes away on its own within a week to ten days.
If the symptoms are severe, then a doctor might request chest x-rays to be sure you don’t have a pneumonia infection. Sometimes, prescription medications can be used to reduce wheezing. Patients find it helpful to use cough drops that soothe the tickle or pain in the throat. Since bronchitis is caused by a viral infection, then antibiotics are not recommended for treatment.
Chronic bronchitis might include other treatments. Often, lifestyle changes are recommended. For example, it can be beneficial for the patient to stop smoking, which reduces irritation in the lungs.
Should You Visit an Urgent Care for Bronchitis?
If you are experiencing the above symptoms and they aren’t going away within a few days, then it can be helpful to talk to a doctor about your health. One of the simplest ways to access medical services is by visiting our team at iCare ER and Urgent Care. You don’t need to be experiencing a medical emergency to visit our clinic. Our Urgent Care services are available for a variety of medical concerns, including upper respiratory infections.
These are a few signs that you need to visit an ER or Urgent Care right away for bronchitis treatment:
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up blood
- A fever over 100.4 degrees F
- Crushing chest pain
- Symptoms that don’t go away within 7 – 10 days
iCare ER and Urgent Care is Here to Help
At iCare ER and Urgent Care, we are here to help when you need medical support. Our team is board-certified and offers years of experience in emergency treatments as well as urgent care visits. Call ahead of you would like to schedule an appointment in our urgent care: (214) 407-8668.