Will My Bronchitis Turn into Pneumonia?
As winter drags on, chronic coughing is a common complaint. But you may have questions about your cough. Is it bronchitis or pneumonia? If I have bronchitis, can it turn into pneumonia? When should I see the doctor? It’s questions like these that the board-certified physicians at Medco ER in Plano, TX, have answered. Check out the discussion.
Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia
Upper airway or lung infections can start out as the cough that accompanies a common cold and can leave your defenses down. It can then morph into bronchitis where the bronchioles fill with mucus that is sometimes coughed up. Bronchitis, then, can turn into pneumonia, a more serious virus or bacterial infection. Pneumonia attacks the alveoli in the lungs with inflammation and mucus. It can then build up fluid, increase bacteria in your system or create a lung abscess.1
“Whether your nonstop coughing is bronchitis, pneumonia or something else,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan, “You should come in right away and let us take a look. It can quickly deteriorate into a more serious condition if left untreated.”
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Bronchitis can show up with the following symptoms:1
- Unrelenting cough
- Coughing up yellow-green mucus
- Wheezing breath
- Body aches
- Low fever
Pneumonia has these symptoms:1
- Unrelenting cough, often deep in chest
- Coughing up yellow-green mucus
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- Body aches, chest pain
- High fever (up to 105˚F)
- Sweating, chills
The best thing to do to prevent pneumonia or bronchitis is to stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of becoming sick from a lung infection.
Pneumonia shares bacteria and viruses with other conditions. If you get the flu, measles, whooping cough or pneumococcal (bacterial pneumonia) vaccines, you may decrease your risks of getting pneumonia. Talk to our doctor about getting other vaccines when you get the flu shot each year.
Healthy practices such as frequent hand washing, keeping hands away from face, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and monitoring any chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma are all great preventive measures.2
When to See the Doctor
“Since bronchitis can become pneumonia in some cases, it is important to come see us at Medco ER when you have a cough that just won’t stop,” said Dr. Khan. “A cough that produces mucus, or a wet cough, is especially important to check out. We can do a chest X-ray or rapid results test to help us quickly diagnose your condition and start treatment right away.”
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
If you have a lingering cough with a fever, come to Medco ER. You will be seen quickly and your doctor will carefully diagnose your condition. Our in-house pharmacy will get you started with the right treatment to help you on the road to recovery. We are open 24/7, so you can come in any time, day or night.
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
Is it Appendicitis?
A sharp, piercing side pain is obviously appendicitis—or inflammation of the appendix—but what if your pain is more of a general throbbing, vague abdominal pain, or upset stomach? One of the greatest emergency room challenges is figuring out what is causing your abdominal pain. At Medco ER & Urgent Care of Plano, TX, we are experienced in pinpointing the source of your abdominal pain and finding the treatment that’s right for you.
“Appendicitis doesn’t always manifest in a simple way,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “But our board-certified emergency medicine physicians are able to use our in-house diagnostic tools to find the root of the pain.”
Causes of Appendicitis
While the cause of appendicitis may not always be clear, here are some common reasons:1
- Blockage of the opening of the appendix
- Enlarged wall tissue in the appendix caused by an infection in gastrointestinal system
- Disease such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Growths in the appendix
- Matter that clogs the appendix
- Abdominal trauma
Symptoms of Appendicitis
- Pain or discomfort in abdomen, often near the belly button
- Pain localized on lower right side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal tenderness
- Loss of appetite
- Stiff abdomen
Diagnosis of Appendicitis
To diagnose your abdominal pain to determine if it is appendicitis, your physician will do a physical exam including checking for abdominal stiffness and the tendency to guard or react when pressed. A rectal or pelvic exam may be performed to locate the source of the pain. A blood test may show an elevated white blood cell count which may mean you have an infection. A urine test will eliminate a urinary tract infection or kidney stone that would be causing pain. Finally, an imaging exam, such as a CT scan, X-ray or ultrasound may be used in diagnosis.2
Treatment for Appendicitis
“There is really only one treatment for appendicitis – an appendectomy,” said Dr. Khan. “If the appendix hasn’t ruptured, it is a straightforward procedure that can be done as a minimally invasive surgery to remove the appendix. Recovery should be rapid and antibiotics may be prescribed to ward off infection. However, if the appendix ruptured, the surgery and recovery will be more extensive.”
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Appendicitis is a serious medical condition. If left untreated, sepsis may occur, which is life-threatening. If you are experiencing pain or have any of these symptoms, come to Medco ER & Urgent Care right away:
- Abdominal pain or back pain
- Intense pain on your right side
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
Get help fast at Medco ER & Urgent Care
With little-to-no wait time, you can get right into an exam room and be seen by a board-certified physician within minutes. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we offer you top-quality care from physicians rather than PAs, CNPs or assistants. Our ER is equipped with the imaging and lab equipment needed to quickly diagnose and to treat your abdominal pain. Open 24/7 every day of the year, we’re here when you need us.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000