Bronchitis mimics pneumonia and Influenza when it comes to signs and symptoms, so self-diagnosis is exceptionally challenging. Patients experiencing fever, chills, cough, mucus production (yellow or green), shortness of breath, headache, and chest tightness should seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.
Patients who are coughing up yellow green mucus or experiencing a fever over 101 degrees should seek medical attention. Patients who are immunocompromised or diagnosed with asthma should see a doctor at the first sign of respiratory illness to prevent exacerbation.
In many cases, the patient can ward off bronchitis with rest, recuperation, and over the counter medications. However, in some cases, untreated bronchitis can lead to pneumonia, which is more serious and always requires evaluation by a physician.
It’s also important to note that chronic bronchitis (bronchitis that lasts more than two months a year at least two years in a row) may indicate underlying COPD.
Several methods can be used to identify bronchitis:
· Physical examination based on the sounds of the lungs through a stethoscope
· Chest x-ray to differentiate bronchitis from pneumonia
· Sputum tests to identify the virus, bacteria, or allergen causing the inflammation
· Pulmonary function tests to rule out emphysema or asthma
Bronchitis is typically treated with inhalers, nebulizer treatments, and breathing exercises. Because most bronchitis infections are viral, antibiotics are not prescribed. In cases of bacterial bronchitis, antibiotics are included in the treatment regimen.
Follow up treatments for the same condition are free for one full week at Hollywood Walk-In Clinic. The healthcare provider will let the patient know what to expect and when to return if symptoms have not resolved.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!