Winter is here and ’tis the season for bronchitis. It is very common for Bronchitis, both acute and chronic, and pneumonia to share many of the same symptoms, and people with acute bronchitis are often at risk of pneumonia. Although acute bronchitis will usually dissipate away within a few weeks, pneumonia is a serious,and sometimes fatal illness, especially amongst the elderly, or those with compromised immune systems.

Preventing Bronchitis:

Both bronchitis and pneumonia are contagious, so it is vital to practice good hygiene;  to either wear a mask, stay away if at all possible,  or at the very least wash hands often and thoroughly if you are suffering from bronchitis or pneumonia and plan to be around a loved one who is either immune compromised, weak, or elderly. Also, be sure to cough into the crook of your arm rather than into your hand.

Treating bronchitis:

Bronchitis cannot be treated with antibiotics., as it is a virus, or sometimes a variety of different viruses. Over the counter cough syrups, or if there is wheezing or the cough is very aggressive or pro-longed, steroids such as Prednizone can be prescribed.

Beyond that, with the help of a cough suppressant, and possibly a sleep aid,  a few nights worth of a good nights sleep will usually help cure acute bronchitis.

Diagnosing and Treating Pneumonia:

Pneumonia, a much more serious condition than bronchitis, can be diagnosed with blood work and or a chest ex-ray. There is a vaccine for pneumonia called the Pneumovax 23 that can be used for people suffering from diabetes, emphysema or COPD.

Watch our AFC Urgent Care Medical Minute and if you feel you are suffering from either bronchitis or pneumonia, make sure to be seen by your doctor or here at AFC Urgent Care Bronx, located at 843 Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx, in the new Throgs Neck Shopping Plaza, across from Target. We are open 7 days a week from 8am-10pm Mondays- Fridays and from 8am-8pm Saturdays and Sundays.