Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs. The tubes swell and produce mucus, or phlegm. The mucus and inflamed bronchial tubes make you cough. You may have trouble breathing.
Most cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses like those that cause colds. Antibiotics usually do not help and they may be harmful.
Bronchitis usually develops rapidly and lasts about 2 to 3 weeks in otherwise healthy people.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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