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Bronchitis - Symptoms

Benjamin Franklin had quoted, 'Love, Cough and a Smoke can't well be hid'. Indeed you can't hide it if you have bronchitis for what you will be evidently doing is coughing. Cough is the primary symptom of both acute as well as chronic bronchitis though the rest of the presentation significantly varies.

Acute bronchitis usually starts with an attack of common cold - it's often caused by the same viruses that cause a cold. The attack usually gets over within a span of 6 weeks. To start with, the symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Fever
  • Body pain
  • Fatigue
  • Later the symptoms may progress to the development of:
  • Cough with clear mucus to start with
  • Patient may develop yellow or green mucus (phlegm) during the further course (indicates a bacteria infection)
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest or pain
  • Excessive and forceful coughing may even lead to soreness of the abdominal muscles
  • Low grade fever
  • Sometimes, even after the infection has cleared up, the patient may still have a dry cough that lingers on for some time

Chronic bronchitis has symptoms that last a prolonged period of time and come on repetitively:

  • Cough - commonly known as 'Smoker's cough' this lasts for at least 3 months in a year for at least 2 years in succession
  • Patient produces a lot of sputum (phlegm) which may occasionally be blood streaked
  • There may be shortness of breath that may be worsened on exertion
  • A weakened immune system may make the patient more prone to an acute infection
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing