Is My Cough A Sign of Bronchitis?

March 7, 2024

Coughing is a common occurrence, often because of various factors such as allergies, colds, or irritants. However, when your cough becomes persistent and accompanied by specific symptoms, you might start to wonder if that cough is actually a sign of bronchitis.

If you are experiencing a cough that just won’t go away, schedule an appointment at AFC Urgent Care Cedar Mill for a thorough evaluation of your symptoms.

Common Bronchitis Symptoms 

Bronchitis, marked by inflammation of the air passages, manifests through several key symptoms. If you're wondering whether your cough aligns with bronchitis, consider the following common signs:

  1. Persistent Cough - Bronchitis often presents with a nagging, prolonged cough that may linger for several weeks.
  2. Mucus Production - The cough may be accompanied by the production of mucus (sputum), which can vary in color – clear, white, yellowish-grey, or green. In rare cases, it may be streaked with blood.
  3. Fatigue - Feelings of tiredness and general fatigue are common in individuals with bronchitis.
  4. Shortness of Breath - Bronchitis can lead to difficulty breathing and a sensation of shortness of breath.
  5. Slight Fever and Chills - A mild fever and chills may accompany bronchitis, indicating an underlying infection.
  6. Chest Discomfort - Some individuals with bronchitis may experience discomfort or tightness in the chest.

Are There Different Types of Bronchitis?

If you find yourself wrestling with some of, or all, of these symptoms, it might be a warning sign that you have contracted bronchitis. It is important then, to look at the two main types of bronchitis that could be affecting your wellbeing – acute and chronic.

Acute Bronchitis 

Acute bronchitis is like a temporary roadblock in your airways, often caused by viruses like the common cold or the flu. It brings along a persistent cough, sometimes with yellow or clear mucus, wheezing, and a bit of chest discomfort. The good news is, with some rest, fluids, and over-the-counter meds, it usually clears up on its own within a few weeks. But if things start getting worse or hanging around longer than you'd like, it's a good idea to check in with your local AFC Urgent Care just to be sure.

Chronic Bronchitis 

Chronic bronchitis comes with a nagging cough that sticks around for at least three months in a row, for two years straight. Smoking or being around lung irritants is usually the culprit. This one's a bit more serious as it can mess with your airflow and make breathing a bit of a challenge. These chronic conditions often can lead to the deterioration of your airway function. Kicking the smoking habit and avoiding lung irritants are key, and sometimes you might need some medical help, like bronchodilators or rehab, to keep things in check and improve your breathing for the long term.

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