Bronchitis : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

The symptoms of either type of bronchitis may include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Cough that produces mucus; if it’s yellow-green, you are more likely to have a bacterial infection
  • Fatigue
  • Fever — usually low
  • Shortness of breath worsened by exertion or mild activity
  • Wheezing

Even after acute bronchitis has cleared, you may have a dry, nagging cough that lingers for several weeks.

Additional symptoms of chronic bronchitis include:

  • Ankle, feet, and leg swelling
  • Blue-colored lips from low levels of oxygen
  • Frequent respiratory infections (such as colds or the flu)

Diagnosis & Tests

The health care provider will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Abnormal sounds in the lungs called rales or other abnormal breathing sounds may be heard.

Tests may include:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Lung function tests provide information that is useful for diagnosis and your outlook.
  • Pulse oximetry helps determine the amount of oxygen in your blood. This quick and painless test uses a device that is placed onto the end of your finger. Arterial blood gas is a more exact measurement of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, but it requires a needle stick and is more painful.
  • Sputum samples may be taken to check for signs of inflammation or bacterial infection.


Review Date : 9/24/2008
Reviewed By : Benjamin Medoff, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Tags: , , , .

Leave a comment