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Bronchitis Specialist

The Sleep Lab

Jamil S. Sulieman, MD, FAASM

Sleep Medicine & Pulmonology located in Kaneohe, HI & Honolulu, HI

Each year, about 5% of Americans experience acute bronchitis, a contagious respiratory infection. At The Sleep Lab, sleep specialist Jamil Sulieman, MD, has more than four decades of experience diagnosing and treating both acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. To make an appointment, call the office in Kaneohe, Hawaii, or click the online booking feature today.

Bronchitis Q&A

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a respiratory infection that causes the lining of your bronchial tubes to become irritated and inflamed. It can occur because of a viral infection or as a result of chronic irritation related to smoking.

Acute bronchitis typically improves after 7-10 days. If you regularly experience bronchitis or your symptoms don’t improve, the condition might be chronic.

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

Symptoms of bronchitis include:

  • Cough
  • Increased mucus production
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever and chills

As your bronchitis gets worse, you might also experience chest pain or wheezing.

When should I see a pulmonary specialist about bronchitis?

Make an appointment at The Sleep Lab if you develop a cough that lasts for more than three weeks. That’s especially true if the cough prevents you from sleeping, produces discolored mucus, or occurs alongside a fever of 100.4 F or higher.

Who is at risk of bronchitis?

Anyone can experience bronchitis, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Smoking
  • Having a medical condition that compromises your immune system
  • Exposure to irritants like toxins or chemicals 
  • Acid reflux

You’re also more likely to experience bronchitis if you don’t practice good hand hygiene. Whenever you run errands or do other activities in public, always wash your hands afterward. 

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

To diagnose bronchitis, your provider at The Sleep Lab reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms, including when they first started and if they’re worse during activities like sleep or exercise.

Next, your provider listens to your lungs with a stethoscope and orders several tests, including a chest X-ray, a sputum test, and a pulmonary function test. 

A chest X-ray can rule out other similar conditions like pneumonia, while a sputum test can determine if your infection is viral or bacterial. A pulmonary function test assesses how well your lungs function.

How is bronchitis treated?

Treatment of bronchitis depends on several factors, including if your infection is viral or bacterial and the severity of your symptoms. Most cases of bronchitis resolve after a few weeks with a combination of prescription medication and rest. 

If you have chronic bronchitis caused by smoking or allergies, you might benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehabilitation teaches you breathing exercises that can strengthen your lungs and make it easier to exercise.

To receive treatment for bronchitis, make an appointment at The Sleep Lab by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.