Mercy Pulmonary Specialist Dr. Albert Polito Discusses Acute Vs. Chronic Bronchitis
Around this time of year, it seems like many people have a cough or nasal congestion. Sometimes, it's a simple cold that will go away quickly, but other times the viruses that cause the colds can trigger an additional problem -- bronchitis.
Tina Lintz lives with a pretty uncomfortable cough.
"You'll know it. You'll feel it. You can't breathe. You keep coughing and coughing and coughing. You can't catch your breath," Lintz said.
At one point, it was so bad, she was admitted to a hospital.
"They put me on steroids, oxygen, medicines," Lintz said.
Her experience brought her to Dr. Albert J. Polito, Medical Director of The Lung Center at Mercy, where she learned she has chronic bronchitis.
"Chronic bronchitis falls under the title of what we call COPD -- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Most of the people who have that are or have been smokers," Dr. Polito said.
Lintz stopped smoking 22 years ago.
Chronic bronchitis doesn't go away, but it can be managed.
"We put people on inhaler medication, maintenance inhalers, something they will take every day for the rest of their lives," Dr. Polito said.
Chronic bronchitis is often confused with acute bronchitis.
"It's an infection. You feel like you're well one day, and then after a few days, you start coughing, you have nasty phlegm coming up and you just don't feel well," Dr. Polito added.
Acute bronchitis has to run its course.
When it comes to chronic bronchitis, Lintz said don't wait to get a persistent cough checked out.
"You got that cold, you better get it checked. You don't know if it's a cold or the bronchitis," Lintz said.
View Mercy pulmonary specialist Dr. Albert J. Polito’s interview regarding acute versus chronic bronchitis.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.