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Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis in Adults


You have a progressive and persistent cough, with or without the production of mucus, no matter what over-the-counter medication you seem to take your cough is not improving, in fact it has become worse. You go through periods of chills and when you try to do even simple activities, you find yourself becoming short of breath. You wonder what is going on. Did you know that these are all symptoms of chronic bronchitis?

The Full Range of Symptoms with Chronic Bronchitis

To get a more objective view of the symptoms of chronic bronchitis, listed below is the typical presentation of this disease identified by most physicians and hospital organizations:

  • Cough (persistent)
  • Mucus (sputum) which may be clear, yellow, or even green in its appearance
  • Shortness of breath (particularly upon exertion)
  • Wheezing
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Chills and/or low-grade fever (a body temperature of 99.5 – 100.8 degrees)
  • Chest tightness or chest discomfort
  • Chronic asthma, congestive heart failure, or lung difficulty

Etiology of Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms

With the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis come a number of factors to weigh in regard to treatment. One consideration is due to the extended inflammation of the bronchi, which leads to scarring within the bronchial tubes; subsequent to this is excessive mucus production. In time, the lining within the bronchial tubes begins to thicken, and airway constriction from scarring may begin to occur. While severe, this exacerbation of chronic bronchitis is treatable. It is in your best interest to see your family doctor as soon as the symptoms of chronic bronchitis begin to appear to prevent progression to its more severe stages.

When to Visit Your Family Doctor

If you have a cough lasting greater than two weeks in duration, that is worse in the morning and with exposure to humidity, and you experience frequent colds or flu like symptoms with unrelieved worsening productive cough, experience a cough preventing you from restful sleep, along with persistent low-grade fevers lasting greater than one week, or have discolored mucus, you may have chronic bronchitis.



“Bronchitis.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2010.

“Bronchitis –” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2010.

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