Diagnosing & Treating Bronchitis Online

Bronchitis is a fairly common condition for which patients log on to TelaCare and see a doctor. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis sets in quickly and usually lasts for two to three weeks, whereas chronic bronchitis causes recurring symptoms that can last for several weeks or months.  Bronchitis is not contagious, however, the disease that causes the bronchitis symptoms may be. Since bronchitis is usually caused by a virus, antibiotics are generally not helpful and are not frequently prescribed. However, a doctor can make a treatment plan including other over-the-counter and prescription medications to help you feel better. 

During a video consult on TelaCare your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to bronchitis. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Depending on the cause and severity of the illness, your treatment plan for bronchitis may include:

  • Over the counter (OTC) medication to relieve cough symptoms
  • Home remedies that help with coughing and relieve discomfort

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Got Questions? We've got answers.

See below for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-317-0280 to speak to a medical professional about your symptoms or conditions.



 Is bronchitis contagious?

Chronic bronchitis isn't contagious, but it's a serious health problem that requires a doctor's care. Acute bronchitis, which can last for 1 to 3 weeks, is usually caused by cold or flu viruses. Since these viruses are contagious, acute bronchitis usually is, too.

 What is the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia?

Both are respiratory conditions in which inflammation is present. Although, for bronchitis it is inflammation of the bronchi and pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs. The bronchi are airways in the respiratory tract that conduct air into the lungs. Generally speaking, pneumonia is a more serious condition that bronchitis. Both conditions can affect a person’s ability to breathe, but pneumonia has been found to reduce breathing function more than bronchitis. Furthermore, a fever in pneumonia is often more severe than a fever in bronchitis.

 Is my online doctor visit private and secure?

Yes, we feel it is of utmost importance to maintain patient privacy and keep information secure. TelaCare is designed to be a private, secure, HIPAA-compliant tool that allows you to safely and confidentially consult with a doctor online.


 Can I get a prescription online?

Yes, in general you can get a prescription online. There is support for this nationwide, however there are several exceptions. 


 How long does bronchitis last?

Acute bronchitis usually improves within a few days without lasting effects, although you may continue to cough for weeks. However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention and can last much longer.


 Will I be charged more if I talk to a doctor on weekends, holidays or at night?

No. TelaCare offers 24/7/365 access no matter when you visit with the doctor, therapist or medical specialist.

 If my condition cannot be treated through TelaCare, can I still discuss it with a doctor?

If it is not an emergency condition, yes. Doctors at TelaCare are able to provide medical advice, counsel you about your condition, and help you work through your treatment options.

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