COVID-19 has affected millions of people around the world and continues to run rampant throughout the U.S. While vaccinations can prevent severe symptoms, it’s important to note that pre-existing lung conditions can worsen the effects of COVID.
That’s why patients who have chronic bronchitis are recommended to receive proactive treatment to avoid the risks of severe reactions from COVID-19. Let’s discuss what chronic bronchitis is, how it can increase your risk of severe symptoms of COVID-19, and where you can go in Weatherford and the greater Dallas area to see an excellent lung doctor for preventive treatment.
What Is Chronic Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a lung condition that is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the small pathways that carry air to and from the lungs. Bronchitis can either be acute (sudden, and usually temporary) or chronic (long-lasting).
Acute bronchitis is common and typically occurs as a result of a cold or illness. Acute bronchitis generally resolves on its own within a few weeks. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, persists over a period of three months or more, and it can last in patients for several years.
Symptoms of bronchitis include:
- Coughing fits
- Clear, white, yellow, or green mucus coming from the lungs
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness or discomfort in the chest
If you find that your coughing fits and the production of mucus within your chest have been lasting for several months or more, you may have chronic bronchitis. It is in your best interest to see a lung specialist at your earliest convenience. A lung doctor can provide you with treatment for your chronic bronchitis, allowing you to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
How Does Bronchitis Affect COVID-19 Symptoms?
Bronchitis and COVID-19 are both conditions that affect the lungs in a negative way. When patients have chronic bronchitis, the inflammation in the bronchial tubes causes damage – making it harder for air to travel to and from the lungs. COVID-19 compounds that damage, causing the potential for permanent harm to the lungs, and difficulty breathing.
Mucus production from chronic bronchitis can become worse when combined with COVID-19. Rather than the virus and other debris being transported away from the lungs through healthy, open bronchial tubes, the mucus traps the germs and debris inside the lung. This creates a longer-lasting illness that may cause irreparable damage.
Chronic Bronchitis Treatments
Treatment for chronic bronchitis is essential for preventing long-term lung damage, especially if you are exposed to COVID-19. Treatments your lung specialist may recommend for chronic bronchitis include:
A cough suppressant is often recommended for patients who are experiencing frequent and intense coughing fits as a result of their chronic bronchitis. These cough suppressants can help patients get better sleep, strengthening their immune system so they can better fight off the infection.
Inhalers and Other Medications
Inhalers and anti-inflammatory medicine may be used to help reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes, making it easier and more comfortable to breathe. Opening the narrow pathways to the lungs can also help to prevent a virus like COVID-19 from lingering.
Ways to Avoid COVID-19
If you have chronic bronchitis, there are further precautions you can take to prevent contracting COVID-19. Some of the best practices include:
- Wash your hands often.
- Sanitize surfaces that may be touched regularly, like tables or pens.
- Stay well-rested.
- Stay hydrated to allow your system to flush out toxins easily.
- Do not touch your face, especially around your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you must touch your face, cover your fingers with a Kleenex.
Lung Specialist in North Texas
If you’re suffering from chronic coughing fits and you are in or near Weatherford, Texas, come visit us at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. Pulmonary physician Dr. Olusegun Oseni can evaluate your symptoms, provide a diagnosis, and explain your best treatment options that would work for you.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oseni, call our friendly staff today at (817) 594-9993 or fill out our convenient online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you maintain healthy lungs!