What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?

The main symptom of acute bronchitis is coughing. The cough usually brings up mucus, but not always. In addition, you may experience:

  • Wheezing
  • Tightness of chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fever
  • Tiredness

These symptoms usually clear up in five to ten days.

A person who smokes and coughs and who keeps coughing up mucus long after a cold is over may have chronic bronchitis. The cough is often worse in the morning and in damp, cold weather.

Coughing up mucus nearly every day for several months, with no other known cause, can mean you have chronic bronchitis. If you have signs of chronic bronchitis, you should see a doctor.

To learn more:

Symptoms of Bronchitis
This gives a list of symptoms of chronic bronchitis and details of what happens if someone develops these symptoms.
Bronchitis: Signs and Symptoms
The Mayo Clinic gives a description of bronchitis symptoms, including what to look for in children. It also describes chronic bronchitis.
(American Lung Association)
An excellent overview of chronic bronchitis and its causes.

next » What are the major risk factors for chronic bronchitis?

Written by: Lillian Trettin, Ph.D.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Last Modified: Thursday October 31, 2019 10:02 AM