Bronchitis Symptoms

Symptoms of Bronchitis

Cough and expectoration are the most prominent symptoms of bronchitis. If the bronchitis is infectious, the patients often have a fever. Acute bronchitis is often initiated with the upper respiratory infection symptoms (e.g. runny nose, sore throat). If the bronchi are affected by spasmodic bronchitis, they also feel shortness of breath and chest tightness; These two symptoms are more common in asthmatic bronchitis, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.

Reduced general state

Bronchitis occur more frequently in children, smokers, older people and people with weakened respiratory defense or immune state; However, it also involves the healthy adults. In many cases, before the bronchitis symptoms, the patients have symptoms of upper respiratory infection (infections in nose, pharynx, larynx, tonsils), and thus they may get headache, fever, runny nose, sore throat, hoarse voice, or even watering of the eyes.

The bronchitis symptoms of acute form can be directly caused by risk factors, or comes from upper respiratory infections (e.g. cold) or flu. When the patients have the acute bronchitis symptoms, the upper respiratory tract infections have already been self-healing. Therefore, they usually have no symptoms from the nose, throat or eyes. However, headache (forehead pain), fever (38 Degrees Celsius) and fatigue can still exist due to infectious substances (viruses, bacteria).

Cough and expectoration

Cough and expectoration are the main "bronchitis symptoms" in acute form. Initially, the patients have a dry cough, sometimes with a little mucoid sputum. A few days later, they have a productive cough. The mucus is white due to virus infection, which is the leading cause of acute bronchitis. Still later in the course of bronchitis, when bacteria join together, the quantities of mucus are significantly increased, and the patients have a coughing up white mucus. Pyogenic bacteria infection produces copious purulent mucus (pus) in bronchi, the patients can cough up yellowish-greenish purulent sputum. The purulent sputum is very frequent in the advanced stage of acute bronchitis. Occasionally, severe coughing can cause a blood tinged sputum. Cough and expectoration can last for 2 to 3 weeks and then subside. Sometimes, the acute bronchitis symptoms are marked by painful cough, especially when there is hypersensitivity of the airways, that leads to spasmodic bronchitis.

If acute bronchitis is complicated, especially accompanied by other pre-existing lung diseases (e.g. asthma, bronchiectasis), the bronchitis symptoms will come again and again; A few years later, the acute bronchitis progresses to chronic bronchitis. In chronic bronchitis, the bronchitis symptoms are mainly a frequent or chronic cough. The sputum is always copious, characterized by whitish foamy or thick mucus. If with pus, the mucus turns yellow, sticky and smells foul-smelling. Cough and expectoration reach a peak in the early hours of the morning and in the evening or before bedtime.

Gasping for breath, shortness of breath, trouble breathing

These symptoms are more common "bronchitis symptoms" in chronic forms and spasmodic bronchitis, as well as often seen in COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, inlcuding chronic obstructive bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema), asthma, bronchiectasis, a serious tuberculosis and pneumoconiosis.

The patients with bronchitis may have bronchospasm, that often results in gasping for breath, accompanied by wheezing sound. The two "bronchitis symptoms" occur in acute and chronic, as long as there are bronchial spasm and contraction. In advanced and late chronic bronchitis, the patient have shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. That's a result of COPD (chronic obstructive bronchitis or obstructive pulmonary emphysema). Short of breath is noted initially only after heavy exertion; With the progress of chronic bronchitis, it occurs even if mild activity.

If you have severe bronchitis symptoms in chronic form, it is often complicated by emphysema. At this point, you have difficulty breathing even at rest. In combination with emphysema, the patients have either pink complexion and dyspnea, or bluish purple complexion (Cyanosis, decreased PO2, increased PCO2 in blood).

Due to frequent exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, it is difficult to take care of their lives by themselves. That leads to absence from work and eventual disability.

Bronchitis symptoms in advanced stage and end stage

With the development of chronic bronchitis, patients often have complications: Spontaneous pneumothorax, pulmonary acute infection, chronic cor pulmonale.

In the advanced stage and late stage, patients are often diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cor pulmonale. Their respiratory function and heart function is damaged, become weak. Therefore, the patients have symptoms of hypoxia (insufficient levels of oxygen in blood), respiratory failure, pulmonary hypertension, enlarged heart and heart failure.


If you have upper respiratory tract infection, you should try to avoid its further development. Acute bronchitis symptoms are usually self-healing within a week. If you are a high-risk groups or susceptible populations, you should be actively treated under the guidance of a physician.

Chronic bronchitis symptoms gradually progress. Therefore, you have enough time to block the development of the disease and bronchitis symptoms. You should stay away from the causative factor, and stop smoking, do breathing exercise and walking to improve your pulmonary function, and improve your cardiovascular fitness. In this way, your bronchitis symptoms will get controlled and alleviated.

Bronchitis can be dangerous if not identified and treated properly. If you're interested in learning more about how to help with bronchitis, consider a career in healthcare with a nursing degree from Benedictine University online.

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Disclaimer: We provide health information about the Bronchitis and Bronchitis symptoms. These articles in does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, even if they are professional and trustworthy. Only your doctor can properly diagnose and treat your Bronchitis. The user understands that contents contained herein are not intended as health guidance, are not as a substitute for the advice of your doctor.

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Last update: 2013-07-13