We will be closing at 4pm on Easter Sunday 4/17

COVID-19 Testing Information »

All About Acute Bronchitis

Bronchitis treatment at Brea Urgent Care in Brea

Acute bronchitis is a respiratory infection that typically affects the bronchi, which are the two tubes that allow air to travel from your mouth to your lungs. You may experience this condition if you have an upper respiratory tract infection (URI) which  causes inflammation and irritation in your airways. This means that they are producing more mucus than usual to protect themselves from irritation.

Acute bronchitis generally lasts for a short time – most people get over the worst of it in a few days, although the cough can linger for weeks. This condition is distinct from chronic bronchitis, which is caused by constant irritation such as that caused by smoking.

The symptoms of acute bronchitis include:

  • coughing (often worse during the night and can last for up to three weeks)
  • chest discomfort
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • hoarseness/loss of voice
  • wheezing

While bronchitis caused by a bacterial infection is treated with antibiotics, many cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses and cannot be treated with antibiotics.  In some situations, people develop complications from bronchitis, such as pneumonia, which may require hospitalization.

How to Avoid Acute Bronchitis

One of the best ways to avoid this condition is by getting your flu shot every year and keeping up with the latest CDC recommendations for Covid vaccination. This will help you avoid getting a URI in the first place. But, if you do begin to come down with bronchitis, be sure to treat your URI right away.

Bronchitis and Covid-19

Bronchitis is a secondary infection – meaning it usually follows an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus (such as influenza, RSV, or a coronavirus). Bronchitis will not cause you to get Covid, but since Covid is a viral respiratory illness, it can cause bronchitis. Getting bronchitis following a Covid infection will increase your chances of developing complications that could require medical care.

If you have Covid symptoms, please consult with your doctor and consider a Covid test. If you develop symptoms of bronchitis following a Covid diagnosis, you should monitor for the symptoms listed above and begin treatment for your bronchitis.

How to Treat Acute Bronchitis

Usually, the infection will go away on its own. To help ease the symptoms, you should:

  • Get lots of rest
  • Stay hydrated (make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol)
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Try over-the-counter cough medicine
  • Use a humidifier when you sleep or sit in a steamy bathroom

When to See a Doctor

Call your doctor if you:

  • Have a cough that:
    • Brings up blood or mucus that thickens or darkens
    • Keeps you awake at night
    • Lasts more than 3 weeks
    • Causes chest pain
    • Has a barking sound and makes it hard to speak
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Have foul-tasting fluid in your mouth
  • Have a fever over 100.4 F
  • Experience wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Have unexplained weight loss

If you have symptoms of bronchitis or COVID-19, head to the nearest Brea Urgent Care for convenient testing and treatment. We’re here to care for you.

Stress, Headaches, and the Holidays

​​woman drinking holiday coffee - stress and headaches

Rein in seasonal stress to prevent painful headaches

Each December, our schedules fill up with errands, gatherings, and year-end celebrations. And while the season is meant to be a time of joy, all the hustle and bustle can take a toll on your health. Whether it’s waiting in long shopping lines, hosting the in-laws, or scrambling to finish work tasks before vacation, stress can be difficult to avoid.

This seasonal stress, alongside a busy social schedule, is particularly troublesome for those who suffer from headaches. The general pressure of the holidays combined with changes in sleep patterns and diet can trigger terrible tension-type headaches and migraines. Fortunately, a little discipline can go a long way towards preventing pain.

Learn how to manage stress and avoid headaches this holiday

  1. Plan ahead. Now is the time for to-do lists and time management strategies. You’ll want to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping, when lines are longest and stores are crowded. Similarly, if you’re traveling, allow extra time to get to the airport and anticipate delays. Making a plan, staying organized, and tackling tasks one at a time will help put your mind at ease.
  2. Be consistent. If you’re not careful, the seasonal hubbub can lead to late nights, missed meals, and subsequent headaches. Be strict about your sleep, aiming for at least 8 hours a night, and make a point to eat nutritiously and regularly.
  3. Know your triggers. Aged cheese, red wine, caffeine, and chocolate are heavily featured around the holidays. Unfortunately, they’re also common headache triggers. Limit or avoid foods that tend to coincide with your headaches, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  4. Make time for relaxation. Don’t let stress consume you. Take time each day to reset and relax. You can listen to music, dance, play a sport, practice yoga, meditate, read, or go for a daily walk.
  5. Have medication at hand. Keep your meds in stock and on hand to head off pain right when it starts. If you’re traveling, be sure you have a sufficient amount packed.

For more help managing stress this season, check out the American Psychological Association’s Holiday Stress Resource Center.

We hope these tips help you stay healthy this holiday season. If a headache or migraine does strike, know you can find fast care and relief at our clinic.

Preventing Holiday Heartburn

thanksgiving foods - heartburn relief

Come November, fall celebrations switch from spooky to festive, and we look ahead to the feasting frenzy of Thanksgiving. And while many of us will indulge in familiar favorites like gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce without too much consequence, this heavy holiday fare can wreak havoc on those who suffer from acid reflux.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, up to 20% of the US population has GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). If you suffer from reflux symptoms, learn how you can prevent holiday heartburn with just a few simple steps.

How to avoid holiday heartburn

  1. Enjoy in moderation. Overeating is a surefire way to trigger that awful acidic sensation in the chest. Instead of gorging on fatty, reflux-inducing foods, stick to small samples and skip the second helping.
  2. Slow your roll. Eating too quickly can contribute to heartburn. Be sure to pace yourself and savor your meal.
  3. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Having a celebratory drink is probably OK, but the more you drink, the more likely you are to experience acid reflux. The same goes for coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
  4. Know dessert dangers. Chocolate, citrus, and peppermint are common holiday dessert ingredients—and acid reflux triggers. Know what sets off your heartburn and try to avoid it. If it’s too hard to stay away, limit your portion and enjoy it slowly.
  5. Keep moving. After a big turkey day meal, it might be your instinct to crash out on the couch and watch football or a movie. But, lying down too quickly ups your chances of heartburn. Try a walk around the neighborhood or a flag football game with the family. Activity will aid in digestion.
  6. Plan ahead. If you frequently experience heartburn, it’s a good idea to keep medication on hand over the holidays.

We hope these tips help you find relief from holiday heartburn. We’re here when you need acid reflux care.

Navigating a Negative COVID-19 Test

negative covid-19 test swab

Everyone in your household is coughing, sneezing, aching, and feeling downright under the weather. You automatically assume COVID-19, and head for your swab tests. But to your surprise, the results come back negative–leaving you with more questions than answers.

How to navigate a negative COVID-19 test result while suffering symptoms

Here, we walk you through false negatives, other possible causes of illness, and what to do next.

Is it possible to receive a negative test result when you actually have COVID?

As with all diagnostic testing, false negative test results are possible. The risk of a false negative depends on the timing and sensitivity of the COVID-19 diagnostic test.

Always follow CDC guidelines on when to get tested, and consider choosing a PCR test. Highly sensitive PCR tests are the most accurate testing option available and can reduce the risk of false negatives.

A rapid antigen test may not detect the virus in your system during early stages. If you have COVID-19, and get an antigen test too soon, your result could come back negative, even though you are infected. If you are experiencing symptoms, continue isolating away from others and talk to a doctor about follow up testing.

Consider other illnesses with similar symptoms

During the ongoing pandemic, it’s natural for the mind to jump right to COVID at the first sign of respiratory symptoms. But, there are plenty of other viruses and bacteria that can contribute to coughs, congestion, and fevers.

If you test negative for COVID-19, but still aren’t feeling well, talk to your doctor about the possibility of flu, RSV, adenovirus, allergies, and strep. You may need additional testing and treatment to heal. Remember to stay home when you’re sick, and to give your body plenty of rest and fluids.

If you’re unsure about a negative COVID-19 test result, visit our clinic for expert care and advice.

Reduce Your Risk of Respiratory Illnesses

young boy washing hands to prevent respiratory illnesses

This fall, as students head back to in-person learning and football fans gather en-masse to kick off the new season, public health fears of COVID-19 and flu season loom large. Diminished mask mandates, colder temps, and more time spent indoors will almost certainly lead to an uptick in respiratory illnesses. Here’s what you should know regarding the spread of COVID-19, colds, flu, and RSV.

COVID-19 Outlook

Over the course of the pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has evolved. The highly contagious Delta variant is now the predominant variant in the US, and it’s causing more severe infections than previous forms of virus. People who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including young children, are most at risk.

The best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community is to get vaccinated. Though not perfect, the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States are highly effective against the Delta variant. The CDC recommends that everyone aged 12 years and older get a vaccine as soon as possible. Practicing additional prevention strategies, such as masking indoors in public places is also advised.

Colds, Flu, and RSV Risks

Last year’s public health measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission, such as masking, physical distancing, and remote learning/work, dramatically reduced instances of cold and flu. Unfortunately, that makes the incoming flu season all the more unpredictable. With hardly any immunity against influenza or rhinoviruses, we will likely be more vulnerable to illness. Take, for example, the unseasonal surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) over the summer. This respiratory virus usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can lead to severe illness and complications in infants and older adults.

Take steps to prevent respiratory illnesses this fall:

  • Everyone aged 12 years and older should get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible
  • Every adult and child who is 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine in September or October
  • Wear a mask in public places
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, not your hand
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing utensils
  • Clean high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and mobile devices
  • Stay home when you are sick

For cold-like symptoms or COVID-19 exposure concerns, head to our walk-in clinic for convenient testing and treatment. We’re here to care for you.