Most bouts of bronchitis are caused by a virus, and the past year and a half has basically been one long virus season. Like other viruses, COVID-19 can cause bronchitis, and if you have chronic bronchitis or other underlying health problems, you’re more likely to become severely ill if you catch the coronavirus.

So, how worried should you be about getting bronchitis this year? Our AFC Urgent Care NC team answers that question and provides more helpful information below.

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus, and there are two main types of this infection: acute and chronic.

Acute bronchitis is often caused by a virus, while chronic bronchitis is usually developed over time by a habit of smoking and is a type of COPD. We will be focusing on acute bronchitis in this post, as anyone can catch it at any time. We’ve listed the common signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis below.

Acute Bronchitis Symptoms

  • Chest congestion or tightness
  • Cough that brings up clear, yellow or green mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches

When Am I Most at Risk of Getting Bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis risk is highest when viruses are most active, which is typically during the fall and winter. Your risk of developing acute bronchitis also increases when engaging in close contact with someone who has a cold or acute bronchitis, if you haven’t had age-appropriate immunizations or are frequently exposed to tobacco smoke, fumes, dust and air pollution.

There are things you can do to lower your risk of getting acute bronchitis, though, and we’ve listed them below!

Ways to Lower Acute Bronchitis Risk

  • Wash hands with soap often to kill any contagious, lingering viruses and germs.
  • Quit or refrain from smoking.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when using lung irritants. These could include paint, paint remover or varnish.
  • Get a flu shot every year, and get your COVID-19 vaccine and any applicable boosters.
  • Ask your doctor if you should get a pneumonia shot, especially if you are over age 60.

Have further questions about bronchitis? Don’t hesitate to reach outtoday!