Many people experience bronchitis every year. This common infection of the airways that lead to the lungs is most common among those over age 65, but it can happen to anyone at any age.

But what about COPD? It’s often used in the same breath as bronchitis, but is it the same thing? Our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team answers that question and provides more helpful info below.

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is when the airways in your lungs, your bronchi, become inflamed. This irritation can cause severe coughing spells that bring up mucus, wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath. Additionally, there are two main types: acute and chronic.

We’ve listed some common signs and symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis below.

Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color—rarely, it may be streaked with blood
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

What Is COPD?

People with chronic bronchitis have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a large group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis. These diseases can block air flow in the lungs and cause breathing problems. The two most common conditions of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

There are a number of treatments available to help control symptoms and ease breathing problems, and we’ve listed a few of them below.

Ways to Treat Chronic Bronchitis/COPD

  • Quit smoking.
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke and other lung irritants.
  • Take oral medicines to open airways and help clear away mucus.
  • Take inhaled medicines, such as bronchodilators and steroids.
  • Get oxygen from portable containers.
  • Have lung reduction surgery to take out damaged areas of the lung.
  • Get a lung transplant, in rare cases.
  • Humidify the air.
  • Participate in pulmonary rehab to help you learn how to live with your breathing problems and stay active.

If you believe you may have COPD or have been dealing with breathing problems for an extended period of time, don’t wait to visit our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team today to get the treatment you need.