Bronchitis

Tamara Maher, DO -  - Family Medicine Physician

Maher Family Practice

Tamara Maher, DO

Family Medicine Physician located in Los Alamitos, CA

If you’ve had a nasty cold or an attack of the flu, after a couple of weeks you should start to feel better. If you’re still feeling sick and have a persistent cough, then you may be suffering from bronchitis. If that’s the case, you should visit an experienced family doctor like Tamara Maher, DO, of Maher Family Practice in Los Alamitos, California. To obtain an accurate diagnosis of what’s causing your cough and to receive the best available treatment, call the practice today, or book an appointment online.

Bronchitis Q & A

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an infection in your bronchial tubes that carry air into your lungs. When they’re infected, the tubes swell and produce a lot of mucus, causing you to have a persistent cough. Bronchitis usually sets in when you’ve had a respiratory infection such as a cold or the flu.

The virus that causes the respiratory infection isn’t treatable with antibiotics, but in most cases, you recover with rest and care. However, in some cases, the illness can infect the bronchial tubes or leave them open to bacterial infection, resulting in acute bronchitis. You’re more likely to develop bronchitis if you:

  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Smoke or live with someone who smokes around you
  • Work in an environment that contains irritants such as dust and fumes
  • Live somewhere where there is a lot of pollution or air quality is poor

If your bronchitis persists or keeps returning, it’s become chronic and requires long-term care, but most cases Dr. Maher sees are acute bronchitis.

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

The main symptom is a persistent cough, often bringing up clear, white, yellow, or green mucus. You may also experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Congestion in your chest
  • Wheezing
  • Whistling sound as you breathe
  • Chills and aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Low fever
  • Blocked nose
  • Sore throat

If these symptoms don’t start to improve on their own accord, you should see Dr. Maher, who can diagnose the cause of your symptoms and prescribe an appropriate treatment for you.

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

Dr. Maher can usually tell if you have bronchitis by reviewing your symptoms and performing a routine physical exam, listening to your lungs, and checking the levels of oxygen in your blood. She may also:

  • Perform a lung function test
  • Order a chest X-ray
  • Take blood for testing
  • Take a mucus sample to identify the infection

Most cases of bronchitis resolve themselves, but you may need antibiotics or other treatments such as using an inhaler or humidifier and taking expectorant medication to help you cough up the mucus. If your symptoms aren’t getting better and you have a persistent cough, make an appointment by calling Maher Family Practice today, or book using the online tool.