Before a diagnosis, have you ever relayed the following symptoms to your doctor: a bothersome cough that’s lasted for about a week, sleep interruption because of said cough, discolored mucus that comes with your coughing fit, blood (hopefully not), a fever (39 degrees above) and chest pains? If so, you now probably know that you contracted a sickness called bronchitis.
It is an infection of the bronchial tubes, the large pathways that bring air to and from your lungs. Imagine an empty medicine dropper or an air blower as your lungs. Then, fill either one with water or any liquid. When you press it, it’s not only air that comes out. It will also expel some of the fluid on the inside. This simple illustration shows what bronchitis is like.
With air cleaners and medicine droppers, you can expel all fluids by pressing and pressing until most of it is out. All that’s left to do after is let them dry. This is not the case with curing bronchitis. The coughing fit experienced is just the body’s defense mechanism to expel the foreign bacteria in the bronchial tubes. But in cases like these, it is not enough to simply let the body expel the infection on it’s own, as it will cause discomfort to the victim.
Depending on the type of bronchitis – acute or chronic (with chronic being the more severe of the two) – one may experience any of the following:
Acute bronchitis (for a few days or weeks):
a) Cough w/ phlegm (color green)
d) Muscle aches and pains
e) Chest aches
The symptoms of chronic bronchitis are similar to acute bronchitis, but are much, much worse. An online article from Medical News Today also adds that breathing difficulty is a symptom that characterizes this type of bronchitis. Instead of remaining only for a few days or weeks, chronic bronchitis lasts for at least 3 months to two years straight, according the medical staff from Mayo Clinic. They also noted that chronic bronchitis might disappear, only to reappear again.
If you have experienced a combination of any of these symptoms for a few weeks or months, then it’s time to visit a pulmonologist. This kind of doctor is equipped to deal with diseases of the lungs, like bronchitis.
First on the doctor’s agenda is to run tests to eliminate the possibility of and/or prove you do have an infection of the bronchial tubes. According to professionals from Medical News Today, here are methods doctors determine bronchitis:
If it is proven that you have bronchitis, there are a number of medicines you can take depending on the severity of the infection. These include:
In addition to these, patients will be required to rest, drink lots of fluids, and inhale warm air so their breathing will return to normal.
So the next time you get any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, don’t hesitate to go to a pulmonologist immediately. Get your bronchitis treated before it worsens.