More severe than a common cold, bronchitis leads to a wet cough, fever, and wheezing with serious breathlessness. If you’re experiencing symptoms of bronchitis, book an evaluation with Morteza Mirkarimi, MD and the exceptional team at The Doctors Office & Walk-In Clinic in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, California. While you’re welcome to schedule a visit online or by phone, you can walk in if you need immediate bronchitis care.

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What causes bronchitis?

When your bronchial tubes, which are responsible for transporting air to and from your lungs, become inflamed, you have bronchitis. In most cases, bronchitis stems from a cold or respiratory infection.

Acute bronchitis, which tends to last less than two weeks, stems from a viral or bacterial infection. But if you have chronic bronchitis that persists for three or more months out of the year for at least two years, irritating substances are usually to blame. Chronic bronchitis is usually caused by tobacco smoke, pollution, or other irritating airborne substances.

In either case though, your risk of bronchitis is higher due to:

  • Gastric reflux
  • Weakened immune system
  • Family history of bronchitis

Plus, if you have a personal history of asthma, your risk of bronchitis also increases.

How does a doctor diagnose bronchitis?

When you come to The Doctors Office & Walk-In Clinic for a bronchitis evaluation, the doctor conducts a series of tests and screenings to confirm bronchitis and rule out related issues. He may request that you have an on-site X-ray or in-house laboratory testing. He also needs to know about all of the symptoms you’re experiencing, including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wet cough that produces mucus
  • Whistling or wheezing while breathing
  • Fatigue and overall feeling of being unwell

In some cases, but not all, bronchitis also leads to a fever. If left untreated, bronchitis can develop into pneumonia, which is much more complex to treat and can become very serious. Because of this, it’s important to come to the Doctors Office & Walk-In Clinic as soon as bronchitis symptoms begin.

Which bronchitis treatment do I need?

Which bronchitis treatment you need depends on the underlying cause. Acute bronchitis that stems from a bacterial infection, for instance, may require a course of antibiotic medications. For both acute and chronic bronchitis, the doctor may recommend:

  • Warm, moist air with a humidifier
  • Prescription-strength cough medicine
  • Inhaled medications to open up your airways

The doctor also counsels you about how to avoid irritants. If air pollution is triggering your bronchitis or worsening your symptoms, for example, wearing a mask on high-pollution days can be beneficial.

If you have bronchitis, the expert physicians at The Doctors Office & Walk-In Cliniccan treat you. Book your evaluation online or by phone, or walk in during normal business hours.