Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I keep getting bronchitis?"
I have gotten bronchitis the last four years around cold and flu season. Why do I keep getting it?? It is getting so frustrating to have to deal with this every year!
That does sound frustrating. While I won't be able to tell you for sure why you get bronchitis each year, I can give you some information that may be helpful. The vast majority of cases of bronchitis are caused by a virus. Only a very small number of them are caused by a bacteria. I only mention this because many times people end up taking antibiotics for these types of infections and they don't work. Most of the time they start off as a cold and move down into the chest. The infection itself usually doesn't last more than a week, but the coughing afterward can last for a month. People get bronchitis for a variety of reasons, but for the most part the infection is caught in the same way that the common cold is caught. Thus, avoiding people that are sick, and frequent hand washing are great ways to help prevent bronchitis. If you are a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do to prevent this infection. Despite measures that you take to prevent the infection, you are bound to get bronchitis at least every once in a while. When you do, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can provide you with prescriptions for medications that will make you feel better during your recovery.
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