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Symptoms, causes, and treatments for

Bronchitis

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Symptoms of

Bronchitis

Bronchitis, sometimes called a chest cold, is an infection of the lungs and bronchial tubes. Usually, bronchitis appears after you've had a cold or flu illness for an extended period. If those underlying illnesses aren't adequately treated, they can creep into your chest and create a more severe infection.

Symptoms common to bronchitis include:

  • Cough
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Excess mucus in your chest
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Nasal drip
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezy breathing

Causes of

Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a short-lived viral infection of your lungs, and it usually progresses from a previous cold or flu. Acute bronchitis may last up to three weeks, and your coughs will produce a lot of mucus. That's a good thing: doctors call that a productive cough, and it's better to get the excess mucus out.

Chronic bronchitis is a repeated bronchial infection generally caused by smoking or inhaling harsh or dangerous chemicals and particulates. Chronic infections are resistant to treatment. While less common, a chronic episode of bronchitis is something to be aware of. If your cough hasn't cleared up after more than three weeks, see a doctor for treatment options. Untreated, chronic bronchitis leads to conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Should I be worried?

Bronchitis has a chance of occurring from a viral infection. While it's not generally something to worry about, there are specific symptoms that suggest you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Blood accompanying coughing
  • Constant shortness of breath and/or wheezing
  • Cough and/or chest mucus lasting more than three weeks
  • Fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

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Bronchitis

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