Cough & Bronchitis

Bronchitis results from inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. When you have bronchitis, you will likely experience a cough that may produce thick mucous. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Acute bronchitis typically results after you’ve had a cold or upper respiratory infection. Chronic bronchitis results from constant irritation of the lungs that results in inflammation of the bronchial passages. For example, the irritation and inflammation that is caused by smoking may lead to chronic bronchitis.

Signs of bronchitis include:

  • Cough
  • Production of mucous or sputum, which may be clear or colored
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever or chills
  • Tightness or pain in the chest

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Our healthcare providers can treat the discomfort of bronchitis and coughs that are both acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is often caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not usually needed. However, in some cases, your provider may suspect a bacterial infection that will require an antibiotic. Other treatments that may be necessary for bronchitis include:

  • Cough medicine
  • Inhalers
  • Steroids to reduce lung inflammation
  • Humidifiers
  • Avoid lung irritants and smoking
  • Chest x-ray

Acute bronchitis will typically resolve after about ten days. For symptoms lasting longer or recurrent episodes of bronchitis, see a healthcare provider for further evaluation.