Common warning signs of bronchitis
It's no secret that people tend to get sick more often in the winter months. With Americans getting one billion colds each year, there are plenty of illnesses you can catch. One common illness seen in the winter months is bronchitis. Acute bronchitis can develop after a cold or the flu when the bronchial tubes become infected or swollen. If left untreated, bronchitis can worsen quickly. So let's look at a few common warning signs and treatment options for this condition.
Common symptoms of bronchitis
One of the main symptoms of bronchitis is a really bad cough. Because other illnesses, like a cold or the flu, are also associated with a bad cough, this can make detecting bronchitis more difficult. But with bronchitis, the cough may be more "wet" with the production of mucus. Additionally, fatigue, fever and chills, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness or discomfort are all warning signs of bronchitis. One of the easiest ways to tell if it's bronchitis is if you've felt like you've had a cold and the main cold symptoms have gone away while a cough has stayed. Fortunately, most cases of bronchitis can clear up on their own. But others may need medical attention.
Diagnosis and treatment
Some cases of bronchitis may clear up on their own if they aren't that severe. If a cough lasts more than three weeks, is accompanied by a high fever or produces blood, a visit to a medical clinic may be needed.
Doctors may prescribe some cough medicine or other medications to help suppress a cough and alleviate discomfort. To diagnose more severe cases of bronchitis, patients may need a chest x-ray or a test of their mucus run. These tests can help determine if it is bronchitis and how severe it is. If someone gets bronchitis regularly, they should seek further tests at a medical clinic and consider using a humidifier at home.
Bronchitis can make you feel downright miserable. While this condition generally stems from a cold or the flu, it can appear on its own. So if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect that you may have bronchitis, talk to a local doctor today for proper diagnosis and treatment.