Bronchitis is the result of inflammation of your bronchial tubes. These are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. When your bronchial tubes are inflamed or infected, less air enters your lungs, and less air is released. As a result, you cough a lot to get rid of phlegm. If you have this kind of cough frequently, you may have chronic bronchitis.
The specialists at Express Lane Urgent Care in Turlock, California, are compassionate and experienced with chronic conditions like bronchitis. Our providers regularly treat patients with persistent coughs, so they’ll treat you quickly, ensuring a quick return to work or school. Walk-ins and same day appoitments welcome, call us at (209)664-1550.
What are the symptoms of chronic bronchitis?
If you have chronic bronchitis, you may notice some of these symptoms:
- Coughing with mucus
- Bad breath
- Swollen ankles
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Respiratory failure
Those who suffer from chronic bronchitis ultimately develop emphysema. This is a much more serious condition, and together these two conditions are called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
A National Health Survey reports that 8.6 million adults were diagnosed with COPD in 2017. The number is high because many of these symptoms are easily ignored, and patients are often not treated in time to stop the development of emphysema.
What are the causes of chronic bronchitis?
Cigarette smoking is the leading risk factor for developing chronic bronchitis. In fact, over 90% of those diagnosed with COPD have a history of smoking. Secondhand smoke is also dangerous and can cause chronic bronchitis and irritation of your lungs.
When working in an industrial field where you normally deal with fumes or toxic gases, your lungs can become inflamed, resulting in chronic bronchitis. Anything that you breathe in that causes irritation or inflammation of your bronchial tubes is considered a culprit.
What you can do about chronic bronchitis
Treatment of chronic bronchitis improves symptoms and prevents complications such as emphysema and COPD. The most important thing you can do to treat this chronic condition is to stop smoking.
There are also other treatments and medications that our urgent care doctors can prescribe, such as:
- Oxygen therapy
- Rehabilitation programs
What you can do right now, besides quitting smoking, is to stay away from pollutants as much as possible. Avoid places where others are smoking and avoid situations where strong fumes have the opportunity to get into your lungs. Additionally, you can get vaccinated against the flu. This will reduce the risks of getting an infection.
If you have a chronic cough that you suspect could be bronchitis, make a same-day appointment by calling us. You can also take advantage of our convenient walk-in visits. The providers at Express Lane Urgent Care are available to help you seven days a week, with evening hours available. Don’t wait until your cough gets worse. Get treatment today.