What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis can either be classified as acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis – also referred to as a cold – often develops from a respiratory infection or cold and usually improves within a week to 10 days. Chronic bronchitis, a much more serious condition, is a persistent (lasting at least three months) inflammation or irritation of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.
What are the symptoms of bronchitis?
Symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis include:
- Production of mucus – mucus can be yellowish-gray, clear, white, or green. Rarely it might be streaked with blood.
- Slight fever or chills
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
Acute bronchitis might also present with headaches or other cold-like symptoms that usually improve in about a week. The cough might persist for several weeks. In cases of chronic bronchitis, sufferers will have extended periods of worsening symptoms.
When you should see a doctor.
You should seek medical care if you or someone you’re with has a cough that:
- Prevents sleep
- Lasts more than three weeks
- Produces blood
- Is accompanied by a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Produces discolored mucus
- Is associated with wheezing or shortness of breath
Bronchitis in Children
Acute bronchitis is the most common type of bronchitis found in children. Acute bronchitis in children usually develops after a cold or viral infection in the nose, mouth, or throat. Children most at risk for developing bronchitis are those with:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
Many of the symptoms of acute bronchitis in children are similar to that of adults. Some of the most common are:
- Dry or mucus-filled cough
- Runny nose, often before a cough starts
- Sore throat
- Chest congestion or pain
- Body discomfort
- Vomiting or gagging
- Back and muscle pain
- Slight fever
These symptoms can last up to two weeks, however the cough can persist for 3 to 4 weeks.
Had to go to for a simple emergency. The staff working that day were super great. They explained every procedure before they started it and made sure I was comfortable through everything– Sheila