Acute bronchitis, also known as a chest cold, inflames airways in the lungs called bronchi, causing tightness in the chest and a cough. The cough can last for weeks, often accompanied by mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and sometimes fevers and body aches. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a virus such as the common cold or flu, which you can catch from the air or skin contact.
Acute bronchitis can share symptoms with other illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma and strep throat. A physician’s examination can rule out such causes and diagnose bronchitis. The illness is rarely caused by a bacteria, which can be treated with antibiotics. However, there are some medicines that can help with the healing process.
Acute bronchitis can also develop into pneumonia, especially among people with weaker immune systems such as young children or adults over 65. It is important to manage the symptoms and follow the advice of your healthcare provider.
If you have a cough that won’t go away or gets worse, we can help. A trip to your local GoHealth Urgent Care center can get the illness diagnosed and put you on the road back to health. Stop by or select your location below to save a spot online.