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Bronchitis vs Bronchiolitis: A Comparative Overview

A lot of people will experience respiratory infections in a given year, especially during the colder months. Bronchitis and bronchiolitis are two respiratory infections with some distinct similarities and differences. If you’re prone to respiratory infections, then you should get a better understanding of these two common illnesses that can be diagnosed with urgent care services in Gainesville, GA. Here’s what you need to know about bronchitis and bronchiolitis so that you can get the proper medical care and treatment if you do get sick, or if someone in your family falls ill.

Bronchitis Symptoms

Both bronchitis and bronchiolitis affect the lungs, although in different ways. Bronchitis can be caused by a virus, such as the cold or flu, or exposure to cigarette smoke. This condition affects the bronchi, which are the main airways leading from your windpipe to your lungs. Bronchitis inflames the walls of the bronchi, narrowing the airways and producing more mucus. Common symptoms of bronchitis include wet or dry cough, fever, sore throat, head and body aches, and fatigue. Many of these symptoms cause discomfort and mild pain, but unless your condition is severe, you can recover from bronchitis at home. Remember that antibiotics won’t help with any virus, bronchitis included.

Bronchiolitis Symptoms

Compared to bronchitis, bronchiolitis is a lung infection affecting infants and young children. It’s particularly prevalent in babies less than a year old, and bronchiolitis leads to inflammation of the small airways called bronchioles. Little ones will experience symptoms much like the common cold, such as fever, nasal congestion, and nasal discharge. Infants may be less hungry than usual and they may have wheezing that can persist for a week even after the bronchiolitis disappears. There’s no cure for bronchiolitis but there are ways to make infants feel more comfortable as the virus runs its course, such as giving them lots of fluids and using bulb suctioning or saline nose drops. If your baby has a high fever, then you need to go to your local clinic where urgent care services are provided.

Bronchitis and Bronchiolitis Treatments

There are many ways to make yourself feel a bit better when you have bronchitis, and the same could be said for taking care of your infant with bronchiolitis. You may see an improved condition without going to urgent care if you take some easy steps at home. Proper sleep and lots of rest are so important, as well as adequate water. Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to avoid caffeine and alcohol when sick with bronchitis. A humidifier could make it easier to breathe and loosen up some of the mucus in your system, and most people will start to feel better as they keep coughing and clearing out their systems. Coughing can be uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary part of getting over bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses treated at your local urgent care walk-in clinic. With bronchiolitis in babies, it may take a few days for your child to start feeling better, and if they are over the age of six months, your healthcare provider may recommend medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease their discomfort.

If you aren’t feeling great or your loved one is sick with a cough and congestion, you may want to get checked out for bronchitis or bronchiolitis at your trusted urgent walk-in clinic in Gainesville, GA. Visit Lanier Urgent Care today to get your diagnosis and start feeling better soon.

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