Bronchitis is triggered by a virus that causes the airways, or bronchial tubes, that carry air to the lungs to become irritated and inflamed. Mucus can form in the lungs, which leads to the tell-tale cough associated with this illness. In many instances, acute bronchitis follows a cold, the flu, or an upper respiratory infection. Acute bronchitis will clear up on its own over the course of two or three weeks with the proper treatment; since it is a viral infection, however, antibiotics will not be effective and the illness can be contagious.
Bronchitis can also be a chronic condition, the most common cause of which is cigarette smoking. Other causes of chronic bronchitis include long-term exposure to air pollutants, smoke, or chemicals. In some cases, a series of acute bronchitis episodes can cause bronchial tube damage that may lead to chronic bronchitis.
Acute Bronchitis Symptoms
Most people identify bronchitis with a wet, hacking cough. Other symptoms can include:
- Fatigue after coughing
- Muscle aches
- Production of mucus or phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Tightness or discomfort in the chest
Bronchitis can be especially dangerous in very young children or older individuals. Seek medical attention immediately if coughing fits are causing shortness of breath or asthma-like symptoms. If bronchitis goes untreated, it can lead to pneumonia or more serious respiratory illnesses. This type of respiratory illness should always be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional to prevent complications.
Bronchitis Treatment in Tampa, Florida
Bronchitis treatment in Tampa is available at Urgent Care of Florida. Our walk-in clinics are staffed with experienced doctors and medical professionals who can offer fast, comprehensive care for bronchitis and other acute illnesses. With extended hours and convenient Tampa locations, it’s never been easier to get quality care that fits your busy schedule. Don’t let your cough put your life on hold another day – stop by Urgent Care of Florida today to get the treatment you need.