Get Bronchitis Treatment

With our same-day bronchitis treatment service, you can meet with an online doctor and treat your bronchitis within minutes. Instead of going to your doctor in person, you can conveniently meet with a top PlushCare doctor online and get diagnosed and prescribed any necessary medication.* An infection or irritating substance, such as inhaled smoke, can cause bronchitis. Common infections that lead to bronchitis are caused by respiratory viruses, like the type of virus that causes the common cold. Occasionally bronchitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection.

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Relief from discomfort and coughing

Personalized plans for chronic cases

Appointments available for Acute and Chronic Bronchitis*

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of bronchitis. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about bronchitis

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are part of your lower respiratory tract and carry air to and from the lungs. Due to the inflammation, the bronchial tubes produce too much mucus, causing people who have bronchitis to often cough up thickened mucus. There are two types of bronchitis:

  • Acute bronchitis - Acute bronchitis can be caused by an infection or irritating substance, such as inhaled smoke. Common infections that lead to bronchitis are caused by respiratory viruses, like the type of virus that causes the common cold. Occasionally, bronchitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection.

  • Chronic bronchitis - Chronic bronchitis lasts at least three months, with recurring bouts occurring for at least two consecutive years.

It is important to speak with a doctor for treatment as soon as possible to prevent its spread to others.

Bronchitis causes

  • Acute bronchitis

    Usually, the main cause of acute bronchitis (chest cold) is a contagious viral infection. The virus may enter through your nose or mouth and work its way down to your throat. As the infection enters the lining of the bronchial tubes, your immune system begins to fight back. As a result, swelling occurs and the body produces mucus. You then cough in response to try and expel the irritant and mucus.

    Common ways to catch a virus are from breathing in contaminated air. Spending time in close proximity to someone carrying the virus puts you at higher risk.

  • Chronic bronchitis

    The main cause of chronic bronchitis is long-term exposure and inhalation of lung irritants.

    • Cigarette smoke is the most common cause of chronic bronchitis.

    • Air pollution and dust are common in cities with dense populations, high-volume vehicular traffic, or industries nearby.

    • Toxic gases are common in industrial workplace settings.

Bronchitis symptoms

  • The key symptoms of bronchitis are observed in your chest and lungs. These symptoms, especially a cough, can last for several weeks. According to the American Lung Association, bronchitis symptoms can include:

    • Chest congestion / discomfort

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath

    Due to the inflammation, you may also have symptoms of acute bronchitis that can look like those of the common cold or flu:

    • Fatigue

    • Nasal congestion / stuffy nose

    • Sore throat

    • Low fever

    • Chills

    • Body aches


    If you visit a doctor's office in person, your doctor can perform the following to come to an official diagnosis:

    • Physical examination

    • Chest X-ray

    • Sputum tests

    • Pulmonary function test

    *Disclaimer: You should seek emergency attention immediately if you are experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

How to treat bronchitis

  • Acute bronchitis

    Typically, acute bronchitis recedes without treatment within a few weeks. Here are some additional treatment options that can help with the effects of coughing:

    • Over-the-counter cough medicine (cough suppressant) for relief and help with sleep

    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for pain relief

    • Drink fluids - some people experience relief after drinking warm water with honey and lemon

  • Chronic bronchitis

    For chronic bronchitis and ongoing cough, the treatment plan aims to improve breathing and manage symptoms with the following:

    • Quit smoking to reduce inhalation of tobacco smoke

    • Avoid exposure to air irritants

    • Medications such as inhalers to reduce the inflammation and open up the air passages in the lungs

    • Pulmonary rehabilitation, where a respiratory therapist will work with you to develop breathing techniques to help you breathe better

Bronchitis medication

As most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viral infections, your doctor typically will not prescribe any medications. Acute bronchitis mostly goes away on its own within a few weeks. A doctor may recommend cough suppressants for relief and help with sleep. However, if your doctor suspects that the bronchitis diagnosed is due to bacterial infection, then your physician can prescribe antibiotics as treatment.

For patients with asthma or chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe an inhaler and other medications to help you breathe better. These medications help to reduce the inflammation and open up the air passages in the lungs.

How to prevent bronchitis

  • There are a few steps you can take to help prevent contracting bronchitis. It is easiest to avoid viral infections by practicing good hygiene. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap kills and removes contagious viruses from your hands, and should be done before eating.

    If you smoke tobacco products, the best way to lower your chances of developing chronic bronchitis is to quit smoking. Smoking damages the bronchial tubes and slows down the healing process.

When to see a doctor for bronchitis

In general, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if your persistent cough does not go away in a few days or is getting worse, consult a doctor about your treatment options. In addition, see a doctor if you exhibit these other symptoms:

  • Cough with bloody mucus

  • Temperature of 100.4 °F or higher

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing



Your bronchitis may be bacterial, in which case you will need an antibiotic prescription. A doctor can also prescribe medication for symptom management and recommend options for self-care at home. A PlushCare doctor can diagnose and treat your condition online. They can write you a prescription if you qualify, and will electronically send your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice.

Related Conditions to bronchitis

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that cause blockage in the lung airways, causing breathing issues. Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD.

  • Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is a lung condition with symptoms similar to bronchitis, such as fever, cough, fatigue, and chest congestion. However, pneumonia is a lung disease that affects the alveoli (air sacs in the lungs), while bronchitis affects the bronchial tubes.

  • Other lung infections

    Some other lung diseases share similar symptoms as bronchitis include:

    • Asthma

    • Tuberculosis

    • Upper respiratory infections

    • Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs)

Bronchitis treatment FAQs

  • What is the best treatment for bronchitis?

    Due to its viral nature, acute bronchitis mostly goes away on its own within a few weeks. Some home remedies and over-the-counter medications (e.g. pain relievers and cough suppressants) can help to lessen the symptoms of bronchitis.

  • Is bronchitis contagious?

    Bronchitis is contagious if caused by a viral illness, like the flu, or bacterial infection. If bronchitis is caused by environmental factors and not an infection, then bronchitis is not contagious. Since the majority of cases are contagious, it is important to take necessary precautions to prevent getting others sick.

  • How can I treat bronchitis at home?

    Some good remedies to lessen the painful symptoms of bronchitis include drinking plenty of fluids to optimize the abilities of your immune system, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, both of which dehydrate your body, getting plenty of rest, and considering taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Some popular brands include Tylenol and Advil. These drugs reduce inflammation, lower your fever, and relieve pain. Use a humidifier in your home to reduce the intake of dry air, and cough up mucus, as this type of cough helps clear your bronchial tubes.

  • Does bronchitis go away by itself?

    Most of the time, acute bronchitis due to viral infections go away on its own within a few weeks. However, if your persistent cough does not go away in a few days or is getting worse, consult a doctor about your treatment options. In addition, see a doctor if you exhibit these other symptoms:

    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

    • Cough with bloody mucus

    • Temperature of 100.4 °F or higher

  • Will bronchitis go away without antibiotics?

    The need to prescribe antibiotics will depend on whether the cause of the bronchitis is bacterial or viral. Most cases of acute bronchitis due to viral infection will go away on their own and will not respond to antibiotics treatment.

  • Can I take over the counter meds for bronchitis?

    While over-the-counter cough suppressants and expectorants can help manage bronchitis symptoms, a proper diagnosis is crucial. Bronchitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria, and the best treatment depends on the type. Our board-certified physicians are available 24/7 for online doctor consultations. Within an hour or less, you chat with a doctor and discuss treatment options (including any over-the-counter medications). Your doctor can also help you decide whether any diagnostic tests are needed to determine if your symptoms are caused by a viral infection, bacterial infection or some other cause. Your doctor will also decide if an antibiotic prescription or any other prescription medication is necessary for faster recovery.

3 simple steps to request treatment for bronchitis today 

Step 1

Book a bronchitis treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your bronchitis symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up a prescription to treat bronchitis.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy

Bronchitis treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request bronchitis treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits

Paying with insurance

Membership

$16.99/month

First month free

Visits

Copay

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance

Membership

$16.99/month

First month free

Visits

$129

30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.