Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis

The first symptoms of acute bronchitis are similar to those of a cold or flu. These symptoms can include:

  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • tiredness
  • sneezing
  • wheezing
  • feeling cold easily
  • back and muscle aches
  • fever of 100°F to 100.4°F (37.7°C to 38°C)

After the initial infection, you’ll probably develop a cough. The cough will likely be dry at first, and then become productive, which means it will produce mucus. A productive cough is the most common symptom of acute bronchitis and can last from 10 days to three weeks.

Another symptom you may notice is a change of color in your mucus, from white to green or yellow. This doesn’t mean that your infection is viral or bacterial. It just means that your immune system is at work.

Emergency symptoms

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms in addition to the ones listed above:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • a deep, barking cough
  • trouble breathing
  • chest pain
  • a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
  • a cough that lasts longer than 10 days
  • swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs (edema)
  • Bluish color to the lips and face (from lack of oxygen)

It’s important to note that these symptoms may be similar to those of other respiratory illnesses, and a proper diagnosis can only be made by a healthcare professional.