Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes that carry air to your lungs. Bronchitis can either be acute or chronic.
Acute bronchitis comes on quickly, and lasts for a few days. The cough may continue for a few weeks.
Chronis bronchitis is a long-standing inflammation of your major airways that can cause congestion, breathlessness, wheezing and a cough that brings up discolored sputum. Most people with chronic bronchitis are current or former smokers.
For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color — rarely, it may be streaked with blood
- Shortness of breath
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort
If you have acute bronchitis, you may have a nagging cough that lasts for several weeks. Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts at least three months, with recurring bouts occurring for at least two consecutive years.
If you have chronic bronchitis, you’re likely to have periods when your signs and symptoms worsen. At those times, you may have acute bronchitis on top of your chronic bronchitis.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if your cough:
- Lasts more than three weeks
- Prevents you from sleeping
- Is accompanied by fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
- Produces discolored mucus
- Produces blood
- Is associated with wheezing or shortness of breath
Urgent Care When You Need It:
- Walk-in friendly
- Open 7-days a week 8am-8pm
- In-network for most Arizona insurers
- Open extended hours
- Has X-Ray and Lab onsite
- Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners.