Our Services / Bronchitis

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About Bronchitis

You can develop two types of bronchitis. One is a temporary viral infection, and the other is a progressive disease that can’t be cured. Fellowship-trained pulmonary specialist Joy Burbeck, MD, and the experienced team at Midsouth Independent Group (MIG) in Memphis, Tennessee, provide comprehensive lung care, whether you need help for a short-term infection or skilled management that supports your long-term lung health. If you have a chronic cough, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call the office or request an appointment online right away.

Bronchitis Q & A

What causes bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a lung condition that develops when the bronchial tubes carrying air between your windpipe and lungs become inflamed. You can develop two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic:

Acute bronchitis

Most people refer to acute bronchitis as a chest cold. This type develops when the virus from a cold or the flu gets into your lungs, causing an infection that usually improves in about 10 days. You can also get acute bronchitis from inhaling dust, allergens, and tobacco smoke.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), nearly always develops from cigarette smoking. This condition causes long-lasting inflammation in the airways. It’s also a serious disease that can’t be cured.

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

Acute and chronic bronchitis cause:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort and tightness

Acute bronchitis causes a dry cough that may last a few weeks after the infection clears up. If you have a fever or a cough that brings up mucus, it’s a sign of a secondary bacterial infection.

The cough caused by chronic bronchitis always produces mucus. Additionally, your cough keeps recurring for at least two years. In some cases, you may also develop an acute infection on top of chronic bronchitis.

How is bronchitis treated?

Your treatment depends on whether you have acute or chronic bronchitis:

If it’s acute bronchitis

A viral infection heals without treatment. While you’re sick, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter medications to ease your cough. If you develop signs of a bacterial infection, you should see the team at MIG. They may need to prescribe antibiotics.

If it’s chronic bronchitis

The inflammation and airway blockages get progressively worse when you have chronic bronchitis. Treatment manages your symptoms and slows or prevents progressive disease.

The essential first line of treatment is to stop smoking. Your MIG provider supports your efforts with prescription medications, such as nicotine replacement therapy.

Your provider also supports the health of your lungs with other treatments, including:

  • Short- and long-acting bronchodilators
  • Inhaled or oral corticosteroids
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Vaccinations

You can protect your lungs, which are vulnerable to infections, by getting vaccinated to prevent contagious respiratory diseases like the flu, pneumonia, and COVID.

Call Midsouth Independent Group today or connect online to request treatment for chronic bronchitis.