Bronchitis - Symptom
Inflammation - bronchi; Acute bronchitis
The symptoms of either type of bronchitis may include:
- Chest discomfort
- Cough that produces mucus; if it's yellow-green, you are more likely to have a bacterial infection
- Fever -- usually low
- Shortness of breath worsened by exertion or mild activity
Even after acute bronchitis has cleared, you may have a dry, nagging cough that lingers for several weeks.
Additional symptoms of chronic bronchitis include:
- Ankle, feet, and leg swelling
- Blue-colored lips from low levels of oxygen
- Frequent respiratory infections (such as colds or the flu)
Signs and tests:
The health care provider will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Abnormal sounds in the lungs called rales or other abnormal breathing sounds may be heard.
Tests may include:
- Chest x-ray
- Lung function tests provide information that is useful for diagnosis and your outlook.
- Pulse oximetry helps determine the amount of oxygen in your blood. This quick and painless test uses a device that is placed onto the end of your finger. Arterial blood gas is a more exact measurement of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, but it requires a needle stick and is more painful.
- Sputum samples may be taken to check for signs of inflammation or bacterial infection.
- Reviewed last on: 4/27/2010
- Allen J. Blaivas, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, UMDNJ-NJMS, Attending Physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Braman SS. Diagnosis and management of cough: ACCP Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2006;129:1S-23S.
Gwaltney JM. Acute bronchitis. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2005:chap 58.
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