Dr. Bob Arnot talks about bronchitis and treatment options.
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Dr. Barnott: I am Dr. Barnott. Bronchitis is one of the more common serious ailments to receive during cold and flu season and it comes on just as you think you are getting over a cold. There is cough, fever, and even pain in your chest. Now, this describes you or somebody in your family. It is really important to see your health provider, but your about to find out there may not be any quick fix. (Music Playing) Female: Many bronchitis patients get really frustrated because they come in and think they are going to get antibiotic to knock it right out and they do not understand why we do not give them one. The problem is that only about 10% of bronchitis cases are actually bacterial and will respond to antibiotics. Whether your bronchitis is bacterial or viral your mucus maybe quite yellow. The best way to tell is by having a healthcare professional evaluate you and listen to your lungs. Even if it is viral, there are some treatments we can provide to help ease your coughing and chest discomfort. For example, we can give Robitussin with codeine to control the cough and help you sleep better at night. If you are wheezing, but do not have a history of asthma we can prescribe an inhaler to relieve the inflammation of your bronchial tubes. Beyond that, you are going to want to drink lots of water. At least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses a day and use a cool water humidifier to help thin the mucus so it can be coughed up more easily. Take Tylenol or ibuprofen for your fever and get plenty of rest. You can go back to work or school once your fever is gone, but take it easy. Remember your body is still fighting a serious infection. If your fever shoots back up or if you start coughing up blood and mucus, have trouble breathing, feel nauseatic, or notice your lips or fingernails are turning blue you need to call your healthcare professional right away or going to the emergency room. Any of this could be signs that your bronchitis has turned into pneumonia. (Music Playing)