Bronchitis Treatment in Orlando, FL
While a short-term cough is usually nothing to worry about, chronic coughing can be a sign of a more serious condition. Experienced by many people during cold and flu season, acute bronchitis is a respiratory condition that causes the bronchial tubes to swell and produce excess mucus as the body fights off infection. Chronic bronchitis is a more serious condition that causes constant inflammation in the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking. In addition to coughing and difficulty breathing, bronchitis may produce fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, a sore throat, and/or chest congestion.
Acute bronchitis will often resolve on its own within 10 days or so, although the coughing may persist for a several weeks. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis generally lasts a minimum of three months, with recurrent bouts developing over at least two consecutive years.
When Is Bronchitis Treatment Necessary?
Bronchitis can sometimes lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia. Therefore, it is important to seek professional treatment if your symptoms last for more than three weeks or include a high fever, wheezing, shortness of breath, or blood-tinged mucus.
Before suggesting a treatment plan for bronchitis, a physician may:
- Order a chest X-ray to rule out more serious conditions
- Take a sputum culture to test for bacteria, which may require antibiotic treatment
- Perform a pulmonary function test to check for signs of asthma or emphysema
If a diagnosis of bronchitis is confirmed, the physician may recommend medications to help suppress coughing and wheezing, reduce fever, and ease muscle aches, if necessary. For chronic bronchitis, the physician may also prescribe a corticosteroid inhaler with a long-acting bronchodilator, or suggest pulmonary rehabilitation, which is an individualized breathing exercise program designed to improve lung function and reduce symptom severity. Finally, the most important aspect of chronic bronchitis treatment is to avoid air pollutants, such as tobacco smoke.
Get to the Bottom of Your Chronic Cough
If you’ve been coughing for more than a few weeks, it’s best to find out what’s going on. As a member of Optimum Direct Care in Orlando, FL, you’re in good hands with Dr. Toni “Muzzi” Muzzonigro. The goal of our direct primary care practice is to help you establish a trusted and enduring doctor-patient relationship that serves as the foundation for your optimum wellness throughout your life. Dr. Muzzi can determine the cause of your chronic cough and, if necessary, recommend appropriate bronchitis treatment.