Many might know the term bronchitis, but not everyone knows that bronchitis
can be acute, which lasts for 10 days or less, or chronic, recurring on
and off for several weeks. Acute bronchitis is spread through the same
viruses that lead to the flu and cold. From risk factors to symptoms,
here are the
basics on bronchitis:
How Does Bronchitis Occur
Your bronchial tubes are what deliver airflow from your trachea into your
lungs. Bronchitis occurs when these tubes become inflamed and mucus begins
to build. The most common warning signs include:
- Shortness of breath
- Low fever
The first symptoms are similar to those of a cold or flu and may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
When a dry cough becomes productive, or begins to produce mucus, acute
bronchitis may be present—and the cough may last for up to three
weeks and subside on its own. The diagnosis will first start with a physical exam.
Causes of Bronchitis
Bronchitis can occur due to lung conditions, infection (viral or bacterial),
or environmental factors. However, a viral infection is the most common
cause in adults. The virus that leads to a cold or flu can also lead to
Exposure to certain irritants can lead to an increase in inflammation,
ultimately causing acute bronchitis. Exposure to cigarette smoke, a weakened
immune system, and your age can all put you at risk for acute bronchitis.
Caused by a short-term infection carried by mucus droplets discharged through
a cough or sneeze, acute bronchitis is contagious.
When inflammation becomes long-term, chronic bronchitis can occur. Since
the initial source is an irritant, such as cigarette smoke, it is not
When to See a Doctor
If your bronchitis symptoms are accompanied by chest pains, trouble breathing,
or barking cough, it’s time to see your doctor. If you can’t
get in to see your primary care physician, the
Walk-in Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming, is here to help.
We can provide you with the personal and quality care you need.
Save your spot in line or walk-in today! Learn more at