One of the most common question/comment we have received is this:
How Do You Know You Have Bronchitis?
Virtually everyone at some time or another has had a cold and many times, people will contract at least one cold a year. However, there are times when a cold may become something worse, so the question of the day is how do you know you have bronchitis instead of a lingering cold.
Often, a cold is the first step in developing bronchitis so it stands to reason that some cold symptoms will also be present in bronchitis. Identifying that cough as something more than part of a cold is the biggest part in how you know you do have bronchitis. With colds, your cough may be rather dry with no expulsion of phlegm or mucus. However, with bronchitis, the coughs become moist and you may expel mucus in various colors.
Another symptom that might show how you know you do have bronchitis is wheezing and chest pain. When your bronchial tubes are inflamed, that means they are producing mucus which creates a rattling, wheezing noise when you breathe. Of course, the pain in the chest occurs from repeated coughing as well as from the bronchial tube inflammation.
Fatigue and fever are two additional signs that can show how you know you do have bronchitis. Chronic coughing can take a toll on your body causing tiredness while fever is common when you body is fighting an infection. Of course, these two symptoms are also prevalent in pneumonia as well. Therefore, how you know you do have bronchitis instead of pneumonia, you must get chest x-rays at the hospital or doctor’s office. The chest x-rays will reveal clear lungs with bronchitis sufferers while infection is easily recognizable in the lungs of a pneumonia patient.
Once you have figured out how you know you do have bronchitis, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics only if they feel that a bacterial infection is behind it. A blood test and sample of the phlegm can show how you know you do have bronchitis caused by bacteria.
If its due to a virus, you have to wait and let the illness run its course. However, you could still employ some ways to ease your symptoms like the inhalation of steam, consuming plenty of fluids and taking a pain reliever for those body aches.
Of course, the best defense is always a good offense, so preventative maintenance like hand washing and avoiding sick people is essential. A healthy diet and exercise are boost the immune system so that your body can fight off infection.