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How Does Bronchitis Affect the Body?


Bronchitis is defined as an inflammation of the bronchial airways usually following a viral infection such as a cold or the flu.  It can also be caused by bacteria, and lung irritants such as fumes and dust.

Depending on the cause and the type, the effects of bronchitis on the body can include:

  • Lingering or productive cough
  • Sputum
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Chest Discomfort
  • Wheezing


Viral bronchitis: The effects of acute bronchitis on the body following an upper respiratory tract or sinus infection will generally cause nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, and fever. [2]

Bacterial bronchitis is not common and is often secondary to viral bronchitis.  It will likely produce yellow or greenish phlegm.

Chronic bronchitis produces a productive cough and is diagnosed when the coughing lasts for three or more months over a two-year period. [1] Additional effects of chronic bronchitis on the body can include feet, ankle, and leg swelling, frequent respiratory infections, and bluish lips from oxygen deprivation. [3]



[1] “Bronchitis: Symptoms –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

[2] Cunha FACOEP, John P. “Bronchitis Symtpoms.” N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

[3] “Bronchitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2012.

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