The main symptom of acute bronchitis is a hacking cough, which may bring up clear, yellow-grey or greenish mucus (phlegm). Other symptoms are similar to those of the common cold or sinusitis, and may include:
If you have acute bronchitis, your cough may last for several weeks after other symptoms have gone. You may also find that the continual coughing makes your chest and stomach muscles sore.
Some people may experience shortness of breath or wheezing, due to inflamed airways. However, this is more common with long-term (chronic) bronchitis.
Most cases of acute bronchitis can be easilytreated at home with rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)' and plenty of fluids.
You only need to see your GP if your symptoms are severe or unusual for example, if:
Your GP may need to rule out other lung infections, such as pneumonia, which has symptoms similar to those of bronchitis. If your GP thinks you may have pneumonia, you'll probably need a chest X-ray, and a sample of mucus may be taken for testing.
If your GP thinks you might have an underlying condition, they may also suggest that you have a lung function test. You'll be asked to take a deep breath and blow into a device called a spirometer, which measures the volume of air in your lungs. Decreased lung capacity can indicate an underlying health problem.
The main symptom of acute bronchitis is a hacking cough, which may bring up clear, yellow-grey or greenish mucus (phlegm). Other symptoms are similar to those of the common cold or sinusitis
In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or flu. The virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes.
Pneumonia is the most common complication of bronchitis. It occurs when the infection spreads further into the lungs, causing the tiny air sacs inside the lungs to fill up with fluid.
Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), causing them to become irritated and inflamed. Most cases of bronchitis develop when an infection irritates and inflames the bronchi, causing them to produce more mucus than usual.