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Acute Bronchitis.

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I've had bronchitis for 3 weeks. I do not smoke. It started in sinus and moved to the chest. I have been using an albuterol inhaler when needed and advair twice a day. My question is I seem to be getting worse. I have shortness of breathe with any activity or from walking indoors to outside cooler weather to my car. I get short of breathe and cough and get very fatigued and weak. Is this a sign to go back to my primary physician? I'm concerned because these episodes of coughing and being short of breathe and chest and back pain are lasting longer and becoming more frequent. Is this typical for bronchitis? I haven't had a chest x ray yet. And last Sunday my cbc was normal. I haven't had a fever. I will get hot when having difficulty breathing and it might be over 99.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 19 Doctors Online


Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

I will require some additional information from you so that I can provide my best and learned opinion.

1. Do you have breathlessness at rest (I understand you have breathlessness with activity)
2. Is there any swelling of legs ?
3. Are you comfortable at sleep ?
4. Do you have sputum ? (with the cough)
5. Ever had a similar episode in the past ?

You can reply as a followup
Thank you

Patient replied :

I do have breathlessness at rest but not continuously. Usually when I'm having a short of breathe coughing episode. I do not have swelling in my legs. I'm somewhat comfortable at sleep. I had a rough night last night due to wheezing and coughing. And sorry for typo. I meant cherratussin didn't work. And yes I have sputum. I haven't looked at it for color. And no I've never had anything like this. I've had a bad cough before but not short of breathe. This time I mostly only cough when I get short of breathe and have back pain.

Thank you.

I was concerned about a cardiac cause for breathlessness. But you symptoms are NOT suggestive of a Cardiac cause. However this is not simple Bronchitis, especially since you have prominent breathlessness. I suspect a mild Pneumonia. You will need to get in touch with your Doctor.

The best course of action would be to get a Chest Xray done. You will need a course of antibiotics like Azithromycin / Amox-Clav / Cefixime. Even if the Xray is normal it is better to take a course of antibiotics. Most likely the bacterial infection is causing the breathlessness and sputum production. In mild case of lung infection you need not get fever.

You can continue the inhaler. But cough syrups are only symptomatic measure and since we suspecting an infective cause you should not take it. Steam inhalation through mouth twice daily can give good relief. Keep me posted. I will keep this consult open.

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followups
Thank you.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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