Bronchitis is a fairly common condition that can be particularly unpleasant. It involves the inflammation of your airways between the lungs and your trachea. There are two kinds of bronchitis – chronic and acute. The acute version of bronchitis is a single event that will go away over time, whereas chronic bronchitis will reoccur quite frequently and serious impact a person’s life.
There are lots of symptoms of this condition, affecting much more than just the windpipe. It results in excessive mucus production that can occur as much as three weeks every year for at least two years.
Not sure if you have bronchitis, or just want to learn more about what defines it? Take a look at these 11 common symptoms and signs of bronchitis. If you experience any of these symptoms, simply head down to your doctor and ask for advice. There are lots of treatment options available, regardless of whether you suffer from chronic or acute bronchitis.
1. Yellow/gray/green mucus
Mucus, or sputum, is produced in excess when you have bronchitis. You will regularly experience a mucus cough, where mucus comes up from the respiratory tract and into your mouth. When you spit it out, it will have an odd color, ranging from anything between white to yellow, gray and green.
The production of mucus is a natural response. The body produces it to engulf microbes and stop them from reproducing and causing further problems in the body.
In some instances, you might find some traces of blood, but this is rare outside of chronic bronchitis.
2. Discomfort in your chest
General discomfort is pretty much expected with bronchitis. The inflammation in your airways will make your chest feel sore and obstructed. Your airways will literally be obstructed, meaning that air cannot properly pass through as it normally does. It will feel like you have to make an extra effort to breathe.
The discomfort comes from the abdominal muscles, along with the muscles found between the ribs, which help the lungs contract and expand, pulling the air in and out.
A common symptom of bronchitis is inflamed bronchial tubes. If a doctor thinks that you might have bronchitis, they will do a number of tests to see what could be causing the problems. A check for inflamed bronchial tubes is one of the many tests they perform, including chest x-rays, which allow them to eliminate pneumonia from the realm of possibilities.
Tests will also be done to ensure that you are not suffering from whooping cough or asthma. Inflamed bronchial tubes can be detected in a series of tests and when discovered will usually be taken as a sign that you have bronchitis.