Bronchitis

DTLA Urgent Care

Urgent Care & Multi-Specialty Group located in Arts District, Los Angeles, CA

Bronchitis is a common condition that can cause severe coughing and make it difficult to breathe normally. The experienced staff at DTLA Urgent Care in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles provides efficient diagnosis and treatment for patients with bronchitis. To get tested for bronchitis, drop by the office or book an appointment by phone or online.

Bronchitis

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an infection that affects the lining of the bronchial tubes. There are two main types of bronchitis, acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis most often develops after a cold or flu and can also be caused by other types of respiratory infections. Acute bronchitis is quite common and can often be cleared up within a few weeks. Chronic bronchitis is most commonly caused by consistent irritation of the airways through habits like smoking and exposure to dust or toxic gases.

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

Although the symptoms of bronchitis are similar to those of a common cold or flu, the cough associated with bronchitis can last for several weeks. Some of the symptoms of bronchitis include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Cold chills
  • Discolored mucus
  • Severe coughing
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Headache

Although the symptoms for acute and chronic bronchitis are similar, the symptoms of chronic bronchitis can continue for at least three months.

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

Because bronchitis is often difficult to distinguish from a common cold, it's important to speak with an experienced physician about your condition.

The first step your UTLA Urgent Care doctor will take in diagnosing your condition is listening for abnormalities in your lungs with a stethoscope. Next, your doctor may perform a number of tests to confirm your diagnosis. These include:

Chest x-ray

Chest x-rays are used to uncover the source of your cough. If you’re suffering from an infection in your bronchial tubes or in your lungs (pneumonia), an x-ray will allow your doctor to plan the best course for treatment.

Sputum test

A sputum test is a test performed on the mucus coughed up from your lungs. Once a sample is taken, it’s sent off to a lab to be cultured and tested for signs of infection. This test is especially useful for testing for bacterial infections.

Pulmonary function test

This is a test measuring the amount of air your lungs can hold and how quickly you can release that air. Depending on the results, your doctor can determine if you’re suffering from an underlying condition like asthma or emphysema.

How is bronchitis treated?

Depending on the cause of your condition, bronchitis can be treated in a number of ways. Most cases of acute bronchitis clear up on their own within a few weeks. Because most cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses, the best method of treatment is rest and cough medicines to control excessive coughing.

If your condition is caused by bacteria, then antibiotics can be prescribed to treat your condition.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of bronchitis, book an appointment by phone or online today.