There is a group of lung conditions known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These are conditions that can cause breathing difficulties. Over 15 million Americans are affected by COPD, with over 150,000 deaths yearly. Bronchitis is among this group.

The 2 Types of Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a condition where you have swollen bronchial tubes. That is dangerous because these tubes carry air to your lungs. It leads to the production of too much mucus.

There are two main types of bronchitis:

1. Chronic bronchitis

This is the more severe type because it can keep coming back. The coughing can persist for up to three months each year for two consecutive years. The cause of the inflammation can include illness, respiratory infection, exposure to tobacco smoke, or other irritating elements inhaled through the air.

2. Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is also known as short-term bronchitis. It is the more common type caused by a viral infection instead. Episodes are usually related to smoking or made worse by it. It could last for two weeks, with symptoms lasting up to three.

Symptoms of Bronchitis

Both chronic and acute bronchitis symptoms can include:

  • Coughing with clear, white, green, or yellow mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or feeling that it is full or congested
  • Wheezing sound when you breathe

For acute bronchitis, symptoms can include:

  • Feeling overly tired
  • Low fever
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Runny and stuffy nose

In the case of acute bronchitis, the cough can last for weeks, even after all other symptoms are gone. The bronchial tubes need more time for the swelling to go down and heal. But if the cough continues to persist, something else might be causing it.

With chronic bronchitis, the cough can last three or more months and come back each year.


Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Chronic bronchitis usually is not contagious since it is a condition that develops through long-term irritation of the airways or bronchial tubes.

Acute bronchitis can be contagious because a bacteria or viral infection causes it. If the cause is viral, it can last for as long as a week. You usually stop being contagious 24 hours after taking antibiotics for your bronchitis.

The way acute bronchitis spreads is similar to the common cold. The germs can travel through the air after coughing or sneezing. Other people who are close enough can breathe this in and get infected.

Infection by touch is highly likely too. If the germs land on a door handle, for example, and you touch it, they can transfer from your hands to your face, then into your nose, mouth, or eyes.

Bronchitis Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for bronchitis depends on the type you have and its severity. Some people with acute cases may not even need any treatment. They can take over-the-counter medication to help with the fever, mucus, and pain. Bacterial infection, though, will most likely need antibiotics.

Chronic bronchitis is different. It is considered to be COPD, which is technically not curable. The symptoms can be treated through drugs, surgery, rehabilitation, or oxygen therapy.

One of the best ways to prevent bronchitis is to avoid cigarette smoke. Getting a flu vaccine can help prevent it too. Wash your hands often and wear a mask around potentially irritating things for your lungs, like paint fumes or smoke.

Get Treatment at PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care

PRESNow Urgent & Emergency Care

If the condition feels like an emergency, call 911. If you’re experiencing severe bronchitis symptoms, seek medical attention and visit PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care.

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.