Viewer Comments: Bronchitis - Length Symptoms Lasted

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Bronchitis:

Bronchitis - Length Symptoms Lasted

How long did the symptoms of your bronchitis last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?

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Comment from: whitemtnhiker, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I am now dealing with bronchitis combined with an acute asthma episode. It is hard to sort out what symptoms are causing what, and I am grateful that my doctor erred on the side of caution and prescribed Zithromax and Advair. Advair provided relief instantly. The combination of Zithromax, Advair and albuterol as needed has been essential to my recovery. I also drink lots of water, as many hot drinks as I can stand and find that rest is absolutely essential. It has only been 24 hours since I started this course of treatment and I am now seeing a positive trend for the better. I concur with all those who say "don't wait" for treatment. I also disagree with the doctors who withhold antibiotic treatment since I think bronchitis, particularly for those with asthma or other respiratory ailment, requires aggressive treatment as fast as possible.

Comment from: 45-54 Female Published: September 11

When I had bronchitis, I couldn't stop coughing and was unable to sleep more than two hours at a time, even with sleeping aids. I put hand towels in my dryer at moderately high heat and then wrapped a towel against my chest (over my top) and zipped up in my down vest. I wrapped another dryer-warm towel loosely around my neck and covered my ears with the warm cloth. The warmth felt wonderful but what was more important was that the coughing stopped almost immediately. I think the warmth helped my lungs to expand. The towel in the vest will stay warm for a long time; repeat as desired.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I have had bronchitis three times in my life, twice in the last two years. The last two bouts began right before Thanksgiving and lasted until New Year's (about six weeks). This seems consistent with what I have read. ("Acute" bronchitis can last up to six weeks ...) I got better as the weeks progressed, but it took me about six weeks to get fully "well." Things that I found helpful were: Mucinex, drinking a "healthy" amount (about two liters for me) of water, and an albuterol inhaler. I have been prescribed codeine and Tessalon Perles, but these have not worked for me. The Mucinex (which is OTC) seemed to thin the mucus and decrease the coughing. Drinking water also helped. It seemed to make my cough more wet/productive (which may not seem desirable), but it also seemed to decrease the frequency and extent of my coughing fits, especially those dry ones that just won't end! My doctor prescribed the albuterol inhaler (often used for asthma) when I went to see him about the bronchitis. It seemed to help me breathe and decrease my coughing somewhat. One final note: My brother swears by Celestial Seasonings Echinacea wellness tea with a spoonful of honey. I didn't find out about this until my last bout was almost over, so I can't really comment. But he says this helps him when he has respiratory infections.

Comment from: carrie_anng, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I am having my first bout with Bronchitis; the cough started a week ago, then things just kept getting worse. Went to the doctor two days later and found out it was the flu and Bronchitis. Was prescribed an antibiotic and cough med. I was called back two days later because I was steadily getting worse, and was prescribed a different antibiotic. The morning after that, I was so sick I could barely move, so I had my husband take me to urgent care so we could make sure that I didn't have pneumonia. I didn't, but the bronchitis had gotten pretty severe. They prescribed a much, much stronger antibiotic, plus they gave me a shot of the antibiotic in the office to give a jump start. Also was given stronger cough medicine, and a steroid. That was yesterday, and so far, I feel a little bit better, just worn out and disappointed that I am missing so many things right at Christmas. I am hoping that it clears up soon... I haven't really found much in over the counter medications that have done anything or given any relief, and today, I have a very sore throat. Here's to hoping the medications work!

Comment from: Laurie T., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

It started as a dry cough and I was given cough medication with codeine. A week later it was worse. I couldn't sleep or stop coughing (no fever). I was out of town and went to urgent care. They told me the virus had turned into Bronchitis and gave me Zithromax "Z-pack", an inhaler and more cough medication. I woke up the next morning, coughed and my airway was completely blocked. This had never happened to me (I'm not a smoker and I don't have asthma). I was scared, so I called the front desk, but could not get a word out. They rushed to my room and called 911. Luckily I started breathing before the paramedics arrived. They told me I had a "mucus plug" and I'm on the correct medications. If this happens to anyone else, they advise to try and cough and start moving around to loosen this up (AFTER you call 911 because you could pass out). I'm on week 5 and feel 90% better.

Comment from: pear, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I have COPD and frequent bouts of bronchitis. My pulmonologist has directed an antibiotic course when symptoms start as it always goes into severe exacerbation. My doctor was out on medical leave at last bout so I saw an internist for a prescription for antibiotic, but was also told that they no longer treat bronchitis with antibiotics. I continued to get worse, much worse, so went to another Dr. who prescribed antibiotics and said I should not have waited so long to start them. I believe the new anti antibiotic policy can be a dangerous one for people with serious and/or pre existing disease and I urge anyone who has serious symptoms and breathing distress to continue to seek treatment. I know the new policy is the result of concern about antibiotic overuse, but there are times when it is really needed to prevent lung damage and pneumonia. Be your own advocate and persevere when you know you are in trouble with this illness. Even with the antibiotic course that was eventually prescribed. I am now in my fifth week of bronchitis. It does last a long time, but antibiotic treatment, when needed, can save you from pneumonia or other worse complications. Seek medical care before this happens.

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Bronchitis - Diagnosis

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