The common cold is nothing new, and it's prevalent nearly everywhere this time of year. Coming into close contact with those affected by the common cold and not washing your hands increase the chances of infection.
But what if you're recovering from a cold and start developing more symptoms like coughing with mucus, chest soreness, and a sore throat?
You may be experiencing a chest cold, also known as acute bronchitis. So how long does a chest cold last? When is it time to stop into an Atlanta urgent care to relieve symptoms?
Let's find out.
What Is A Chest Cold?
Also known as acute bronchitis, a chest cold is when you produce mucus in your airways.
Understandably, a buildup of mucus in your airways and lungs can become a major problem on your road to recovery.
Chest Cold Symptoms
Chest cold symptoms can include:
- Coughing, especially a persistent or productive cough
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches or headache
- Mild fever
- Chest discomfort or pain when coughing or breathing deeply
If symptoms persist or worsen, it is best to see an urgent care doctor in Atlanta for proper evaluation and treatment.
Is A Chest Cold Dangerous?
A chest cold is usually not dangerous.
However, it can be uncomfortable and cause symptoms such as coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.
If you have underlying chronic health conditions such as heart disease or lung disease, it can be more severe and potentially dangerous.
You must see an Atlanta urgent care doctor if you experience symptoms that persist for more than a week, if you have a high fever, or if you experience difficulty breathing.
How Long Does A Chest Cold Last?
A chest cold usually lasts 7 to 10 days, although some symptoms may persist for up to two weeks. The duration of a chest cold can vary depending on factors such as the underlying cause, your overall health, and the severity of your symptoms.
In most cases, a chest cold will resolve on its own with proper self-care measures. For example, getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, and using over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms can help.
If your symptoms persist or worsen, it is vital to seek medical attention to rule out a more serious underlying condition.
When Does A Cold Turn Into Bronchitis?
A cold can turn into bronchitis when a viral infection that starts in the upper respiratory system (nose and throat) spreads to the bronchial tubes in the lungs. Characterized by inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes, bronchitis causes symptoms such as cough, chest pain, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
The transformation from a cold to bronchitis can occur when the infection causes the air passages in the lungs to become inflamed and narrowed.
This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. This can lead to symptoms such as cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing, which are often indicative of bronchitis.
Are Chest Colds Contagious?
Yes, chest colds are contagious.
Chest colds are caused by viral infections, such as the common cold, and easily spread from person to person through droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking.
You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob, and then touching your face.
To reduce the risk of spreading the infection, practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and avoid close contact with others who are sick.
If you have a chest cold, it is also a good idea to stay home and avoid close contact with others until you have recovered.
Chest Cold Treatment
There are some key ways to treat a chest cold. Here are some of the best ways to do so.
Nebulizers are devices that convert liquid medication into a fine mist that people can inhale through a mask or mouthpiece. Nebulizers help relieve wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath caused by chest colds.
Inhalers are handheld devices that deliver medication directly to the airways as a fine mist or powder.
Inhalers are common and treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. They can help relieve symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness caused by chest colds.
These devices are often used with other treatments, such as oral medications or self-care measures, to help relieve symptoms and speed up recovery.
If you are using a nebulizer or inhaler for a chest cold, follow your doctor's instructions and use the device properly. Proper use ensures that you receive the maximum benefit.
Seeing An Atlanta Urgent Care Doctor
An urgent care doctor in Atlanta may help treat a chest cold in a few ways, depending on the severity of the case.
- Diagnosing the illness. The urgent care doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms to diagnose the illness. A doctor can take an urgent care x-ray to see if you're suffering from pneumonia or other conditions affecting the lungs.
- Prescribing medications. If the doctor determines that you have a chest cold, they may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medications to help relieve your symptoms. For example, cough medicine, decongestants, or antibiotics if there is a secondary bacterial infection.
- Providing self-care advice. The doctor may advise you on how to manage your symptoms at home. Classic examples are getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, and using a humidifier to help relieve congestion.
- Monitoring your symptoms. The doctor may advise you to return for a follow-up appointment if your symptoms persist or worsen or if they suspect a more serious underlying condition.
Remember, a chest cold is usually a viral infection that will resolve on its own within a few days to a week with proper self-care measures.
Recovering From Acute Bronchitis With Atlanta Urgent Care WestsideMed
Experiencing severe chest cold symptoms? Worried you may have acute bronchitis? There's no need to worry. Simply stop into WestsideMed. As a walk-in urgent care in Atlanta, we help patients deal with a wide range of medical issues that pop up.
Whether it's bronchitis or a bruised ankle, our medical team will help you get better in no time.