Bronchitis

Did you know that bronchitis is the fifth most common reason adults visit their doctor? If you’re experiencing respiratory problems and it’s preventing you from work or other responsibilities, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. Expert pulmonologist, Akinyinka Ajelabi, MD, and the team at Kingwood Pulmonary, PA in Kingwood, Texas, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of bronchitis. Don’t let coughing and wheezing interfere with your quality of life.

Questions & Answers

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a serious respiratory condition characterized by inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes. Researchers separate bronchitis into two categories: acute and chronic.

Though acute bronchitis can occur for a variety of reasons, it’s usually a result of a cold or respiratory infection. Acute bronchitis is very common and easy to treat.

However, chronic bronchitis causes constant irritation of your bronchial tubes and usually occurs due to years of smoking. Left unmanaged, chronic bronchitis can lead to more serious health problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

The symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis are very similar. Telltale signs include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever
  • Chills
  • Chest discomfort

If you have bronchitis, your lungs also produce mucus. Mucus caused by bronchitis can be clear, white, yellowish, gray, or even green. If you have acute bronchitis, you might also experience flu-like symptoms, including body aches or a headache.

When should I visit the doctor about a cough?

Almost everyone develops a cough from time to time, and it usually subsides with rest and conservative measures of care. However, you should make an appointment at Kingwood Pulmonary, PA if your cough:

  • Prevents you from sleeping
  • Lasts for more than three weeks
  • Is accompanied by a fever of 100.4 degrees
  • Produces discolored mucus

You should also schedule an appointment if your cough triggers wheezing or shortness of breath. All of these symptoms point to a more serious underlying health problem.

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

To diagnose bronchitis, your provider conducts a physical exam and reviews your medical history. They also use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs while you breathe.

If these measures don’t provide adequate information, they might also order a series of chest X-rays or pulmonary function testing with spirometry. Spirometry measures how much air you can hold in your lungs and how quickly you can exhale.

How is bronchitis treated?

Treatment for bronchitis depends on whether your condition is acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis usually heals on its own with rest and over-the-counter medications.

However, if you have chronic bronchitis, the team might recommend pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a treatment program that uses a series of breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs and their capacity.

If you regularly cough and wheeze, and you suspect a condition like bronchitis is the underlying cause, make an appointment at Kingwood Pulmonary, PA today. Request your consultation by calling the office.