Bronchitis Symptoms - Causes & Treatment

If you’re congested and have difficulty breathing, BayCare Urgent Care can provide diagnoses and treatments for your respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis. With bronchitis, your breathing tubes, or airways called bronchi, are inflamed, which causes an increase in mucus production and other changes. There are several different types of bronchitis, but the two most common are acute and chronic.

You may get acute bronchitis after a bout with the common cold or other viral infections in your upper respiratory tract. People with chronic sinusitis, allergies, or those with enlarged tonsils and adenoids may also get acute bronchitis. For people with pulmonary or cardiac diseases, it can be serious.

Symptoms for acute bronchitis may include:

  • Early: dry, nonproductive cough
  • Later: abundant, mucus-filled cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Malaise
  • Slight fever
  • Sore throat
  • Back and muscle pain

The treatments for acute bronchitis will depend on factors like your age, medical history, overall health and severity of the bronchitis. Most acute bronchitis infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotic treatment is not necessary. However, if it has progressed to pneumonia, then antibiotics might be appropriate. Most treatments are designed to deal with the symptoms. These include taking cough medicine, analgesics for fever, and drinking more fluids.