What are the Common Signs of Bronchitis?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2018
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There are several common signs of bronchitis that most people experience when suffering from an infection. The primary symptom indicating inflammation of the bronchial tubes is a cough; this may be accompanied by wheezing or shortness of breath. Though the cough sometimes starts off dry and may not always become productive, most people with bronchitis will bring up mucus from the lungs. Patients will usually feel some level of tightness or discomfort in their chests. Many people develop a low grade fever and feel an overall level of tiredness due to the infection as well.

The most common of the signs of bronchitis is a persistent cough. When the infection sets into the lungs, the bronchial tubes become irritated and inflamed, triggering a repetitive, ongoing cough. The tubes also become narrower, which may also lead to wheezing and shortness of breath; this can become worse if the patient engages in physical exertion. Patients may notice their voices becoming hoarse due to irritation in their throats as the cough persists. Most people can expect this symptom to last several weeks, even after the infection itself has resolved.


One of the signs of bronchitis that most patients experience is production of mucus with their cough. Inflammation of the bronchial tubes causes them to produce secretions, and the body uses the cough to clear it from the lungs so they do not become clogged up. It may be clear or white, or it may be discolored with a yellow or green hue. Those with particularly severe irritation in the lungs may have some bleeding and they may sometimes notice small amounts of blood in their mucus as well.

Another of the common signs of bronchitis is a feeling of discomfort in the chest from the difficulty of moving air through the narrowed bronchial tubes. Some people feel tightness or heaviness, as if their lungs were constricted. Others may experience sensations of burning or dull pain under the breastbone.

A mild fever is another one of the signs of bronchitis that a majority of patients have. Typically the fever does not go higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius); a fever that goes above this often indicates a more severe condition such as pneumonia. Sometimes patients may experience symptoms associated with the fever, such as chills or body ache. Most people with bronchitis will also generally feel tired and require lots of rest until they are better.



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