Bronchitis is the inflammation of the passages that carry air to and from the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. It can result from a virus or bacteria—in either case, patients are contagious as long as their bronchitis is present. Coughing is the most obvious sign of bronchitis, especially coughing up sputum (a thick, yellow mucus).
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is also called a chest cold. In most cases, the severe symptoms go away within three weeks, but patients may continue to cough for two months or more. Acute bronchitis treatment may require an antibiotic, a cough suppressant, or an expectorant.
If you experience two or more cases of bronchitis every year, you may have chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. Doctors associate chronic bronchitis with long-term medical conditions like emphysema and COPD. Treatment for chronic bronchitis may involve taking bronchodilators or steroids.
Every year, doctors diagnose over 9 million adults with acute or chronic bronchitis. According to statistics gathered by the National Institutes of Health, the total cost of bronchitis treatment for Americans is nearly $12 billion per year.
There are many potential symptoms that may point to bronchitis. It’s wise to see a doctor for a bronchitis diagnosis when you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Severe coughing
- Coughing up sputum (yellow mucus)
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Headaches and body aches
The Importance of Seeking Treatment for Bronchitis
If you think you or your family members may have bronchitis, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Here are some reasons why neglecting treatment can be risky:
You May Be Contagious
Both viral and bacterial bronchitis are easy to spread to others, especially considering the amount of coughing bronchitis patients do. The longer you delay seeking treatment, the more you put your family, friends, and coworkers at risk.
Bronchitis Symptoms May Mask Serious Health Issues
Serious medical conditions like emphysema, influenza, and lung cancer may cause symptoms similar to bronchitis. The coughing, wheezing, and body aches you attribute to bronchitis may actually be related to more severe problems—getting a professional diagnosis is the only way to be sure.
Your Symptoms Could Get Worse
Most cases of bronchitis go away on their own within a few weeks, but they can get worse or develop into more serious issues without treatment. A doctor can prescribe medication, if necessary, to relieve your symptoms and accelerate your recovery.
Unfortunately, not everyone who knows they should seek medical attention is able to do so. It may take a long time to schedule an appointment with a doctor, and urgent care visits for bronchitis can be expensive even with insurance. Someone without access to convenient, affordable healthcare solutions may choose to forgo treatment, living with uncomfortable bronchitis symptoms longer than they should have to and putting their community in danger.
Remedy Can Help
Remedy’s goal is to eliminate the roadblocks that prevent people from getting the care they need. Our medical services are faster than doctors’ offices, less expensive than an emergency room visit, and more convenient than most urgent care clinics.
If you need to consult with a physician right away, you can schedule an on-demand video visit on your smartphone, computer, or tablet anytime, day or night, seven days a week. One of the providers in our network will diagnose you and recommend treatment via videoconferencing, and if necessary, they can send prescriptions to your preferred pharmacy electronically or refer you to a specialist for a more in-depth examination. You can also schedule a same-day house call if you prefer to see a provider in person.
Our low-wait visits are covered by insurance, but if you’re uninsured, you’ll still find our rates very reasonable. We stand by our services with a 100% satisfaction, money-back guarantee.
Not everyone knows when to go to urgent care for a cough, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t—it’s just faster and easier to bring an urgent care visit to you. Contact Remedy today to receive bronchitis treatment in your home or office on your own schedule.