All medical disorders usually have symptoms and signs including bronchitis, which is a respiratory disorder that affects the lives of many across the globe. Many persons normally mistake the symptoms and signs of bronchitis to common cold. However, accurate diagnostic of the condition are made by many doctors worldwide based on the signs their patients describes and tests carried out in medical labs.
The two types of bronchitis (acute and chronic) has similar symptoms however; chronic bronchitis is more severe, last for an extended period of time and requires careful medical attention and treatment. Acute bronchitis on the other hand is a bit milder and short term.
In some cases, the symptoms of bronchitis are very similar to other respiratory disorders such as chronic sinusitis. In order, to effectively diagnose the condition and implement the appropriate treatment plan to keep the disorder under control the signs and symptoms must be recognized. Consequently, neglecting these signs, may lead to future complication such as chronic bronchitis or asthmatic bronchitis.
Physicians can easily distinguish between the varieties (Chronic and Acute Bronchitis) on the basis of the different signs of bronchitis in the patient.
If the cough stays steady or gets worse for 10 days - 2 weeks
If coughing gets worse at night
If your cough has mucus in it
If cough has blood in it (in rare cases); see a doctor if this occurs
- Shortness of breathe
- Chest discomfort, soreness, and tightness in the chest
- Slight fever and chills
- General ill feeling (malaise)
- Tickle feeling in back of throat that leads to soreness
- Poor sleep
- Chills (uncommon)
- Whooping cough and sinusitis may cause bronchitis-like symptoms. .
- Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color
- Blocked nose and sinuses
- Aches and pain
- Acute bronchitis is contagious.
- Asthmatic bronchitis symptoms include a combination of wheezing and shortness of breath, in addition to the other symptoms of bronchitis.
- Spit or cough up mucus tinged with blood
- Nasal congestion
- Dyspnea and cyanosis (only seen with underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] or another condition that impairs lung function)
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (rare)
The symptoms of bronchitis listed above are usually not that severe, therefore you may not need to see your doctor. However, some symptoms may be much similar to the symptoms of pneumonia. Therefore, be very careful and look out for changes.
Importantly, wheezing, chest discomfort and if the coughing produces large amounts of mucus are usually Symptoms of chronic bronchitis. This type of cough is often referred to as smoker’s cough.
Consult with your doctor as soon as possible if the following occurs :
- cough get very severe or lasts for an extended period of more than three (3) weeks
- If you are coughing up mucus that is streaked with blood it is usually a bad sign.
- if you are experiencing constant fever that extends for more than three days.
- if you begin to breathe really quickly (Thirty (30) or more breathes per minute) or if you are experiencing extremely painful pains in your chest.
- confusion or drowsiness.
- If you have experienced repeated bouts of bronchitis
- if you have a lung or heart condition for example; emphysema, asthma, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
During the winter season the symptoms of chronic bronchitis are usually worse. Importantly, it is usually common to have two or flare-ups annually. A flare-up is usually when the symptoms gets really bad.
Additionally, If you try to exercise while you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD ( chronic bronchitis and emphysema combined) it may result in breathlessness so be extremely careful.
How to prevent bronchitis learn more here.
How to treat bronchitis learn more here
Who is at risk for bronchitis learn more here.
Watch a video of a respiratory therapist as he gives more explanation about bronchitis here.
Chronic Bronchitis and Smoking learn more here.