What happens if you leave bronchitis untreated?

If left untreated, acute bronchitis usually goes away on its own within 7 to 10 days. However, in some cases, it can lead to complications such as pneumonia, especially in people who have underlying health conditions. Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can be life-threatening.

Chronic bronchitis, if left untreated, can lead to serious long-term complications. The inflammation and damage to the airways can lead to:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased risk of lung infections
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a progressive and irreversible lung disease
  • Heart failure, as the heart has to work harder to pump oxygen-poor blood through the body.
  • It can also affect a person’s quality of life and ability to perform daily activities.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you have bronchitis, as they can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to prevent further complications.