Authored by Revere Health

Don’t Ignore These Signs of Bronchitis

November 8, 2017 | Pulmonology

Bronchitis develops when the bronchial tubes, which are in charge of carrying air to the lungs, become infected and swollen. There are two types of bronchitis: Acute (the more common type, where symptoms last for a few weeks and then diminish) and chronic (when bronchitis never goes away or keeps coming back).

Recognizing the symptoms and signs of bronchitis is important, as is knowing when to call a doctor.

Acute Bronchitis Symptoms

In some cases, it can be hard to tell the difference between a case of bronchitis and other conditions that may affect breathing and the lungs. Bronchitis often begins with symptoms similar to that of a cold: a runny nose, a sore throat and a feeling of being run down. Other symptoms may include:

  • •A hacking cough that lasts for five days or more—one of the most well-known signs
  • •Clear, yellow, white or green phlegm
  • •No fever (some people have a low fever at times)
  • •Tenderness or soreness in the chest during coughing
  • •Constant fatigue
  • •Whistling or wheezing while breathing
  • •Rattling in the chest
  • •Chills
  • •Chest discomfort
  • Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms

Symptoms that last longer than three months may indicate a chronic case of bronchitis. Signs here can include:

  • •A stubborn cough with phlegm for at least three months of the year, and for more than two years in a row.
  • •Wheezing
  • •Chest discomfort


High Risk Factors

There are a few factors that may increase your risk of bronchitis:

  • •Cigarette smoke
  • •Low resistance (due to an acute illness or a chronic condition that compromises the immune system, •common in older adults, infants, and younger children)
  • •Exposure to irritants while working (common in grain and textile factories or areas with chemical fumes)
  • •Gastric reflux (severe heartburn can irritate the throat and make bronchitis more likely)

When to See a Doctor

See your doctor if:

  • •You have symptoms of acute bronchitis along with ongoing heart, lung, or other medical problems.
  • •You’re infected with HIV.
  • •Your cough is so severe that you can’t sleep well or do normal daily activities.
  • •Your cough produces blood or mucus.
  • •Your cough lasts over a week.
  • •Your mucus becomes darker, thicker or more voluminous.
  • •Your cough has a barking sound and makes it difficult to speak.
  • •You also experience unexplained weight loss.
  • •You have a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and a loss of appetite, wheezing, shortness of breath and general achiness. In this case, see your doctor right away—pneumonia might be causing these symptoms rather than bronchitis.

If you think you or your child is showing signs of acute or chronic bronchitis, your doctor can offer diagnosis and treatment options.

Revere Health Imaging offers the most advanced imaging technology in Utah Valley with convenient locations and reduced-cost exams. We even offer our imaging services at night for your convenience. Contact us today at 801-812-4624 for an appointment!


“What Are the Symptoms of Bronchitis?” WebMD.

“Bronchitis.” The Mayo Clinic.


The Live Better Team

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.