I'm a 33 yr.old female, and started to get a good head cold last Monday. By Friday I was coughing just a bit, but had a low-grade fever. A trip to the local walk-in clinic resulted in chest xrays and the dr. throwing a script at me for a Z-pack and saying "Congrats, you have pneumonia". On Sunday I wasn't feeling any better, so I went to urgent care facility that is farther away. Dr. there listened to my lungs, said they were pretty clear, and said he thought I had bronchitis, not pneumonia and repeated the chest xrays. The xrays he had done were completely normal, showing no pneumonia, but did reveal hyperinflation of both lungs, therefore he concluded that I did indeed have bronchitis. He put me on a regimen of Mucinex DM, albuterol inhaler, and a cough med if I needed it at night. I'm not really coughing a lot though at all. My most bothersome symptom is tightness in my chest, which does go away for the most part with albuterol. I'm concerned about the hyperinflation. Is that normal with bronchitis? How long until this tightness should go away in my chest? Is there anything else I can do to bring the mucus up and out? Also, I've been monitoring my O2 saturation with our portable finger pulse oximeter. What are normal O2 levels with bronchitis? Sometimes mine goes down to 95. What number should spark a concern? Thank you very much.
It is possible that this is asthma which can produce tightness in the chest, hyperinflation and coughing. It is probably a good idea to get a lung function test to get a better idea of what is going on. I would speak to your physician about this test. It is simple and easy.
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