Acute Bronchitis - Symptoms

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What symptoms did you experience with acute bronchitis, and how long did they last?

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What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?

Coughing is the most common symptom of acute bronchitis. The coughing begins early in the disease and usually lasts about 10 to 20 days as it gradually subsides. About 50% of individuals have a productive cough with either clear, yellow, greenish, or occasionally blood tinged sputum. The other symptoms may include:

  • sore throat,
  • nasal congestion,
  • headache,
  • muscle aches, and
  • fatigue.

Children may also have a runny nose and mild fever and gag or vomit mucus. If a person develops fever, shortness of breath, cyanosis or chest pain, they likely have another problem but not acute bronchitis.

Return to Bronchitis (Acute)

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Comment from: Barb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I knew a lot of stuff was going around at work, and that several of my coworkers had strep throat and other undiagnosed symptoms. I worked with one of them 13 days ago. She was suffering with a sore throat and fever. Within three days I had a sore throat. I went on to work because it was Labor Day weekend and I didn't feel like figuring how to get medical help. I didn't think it was bad enough to go to the emergency room. Anyway, the sore throat morphed into a cough plus a sore throat over the next few days. Four days ago, I saw a doctor who diagnosed me with acute bronchitis and a little sinus infection. She told me not to go back to work for 5 days and put me on an antibiotic. She also prescribed benzonatate capsules for the cough. I can't tell they do much. She said I could take over the counter medications. The cough has been terrible. I am sore in my ribs now from coughing. I have been able to get to sleep by taking a cough syrup with dextromethorphan and guaifenesin. But I would wake up when the cough suppressant wore off and cough up a bunch of white phlegm from the expectorant. The urge to cough has been much worse when lying down. Hot drinks have helped a lot. I love the OTC flu remedy that makes into a hot lemony drink. I'm getting past the worst of the symptoms, I think. I'm not sure the antibiotic has done much. I'm being pretty gentle with myself. Thankful for sick days! Hope this helps someone!

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Comment from: ken, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 27

I got sick the day after Christmas, coughing and feeling rough. That night I coughed my head off, ribs and stomach muscles sore, etc. It was hard to get phlegm up but if I do it was clear then yellow back to clear. I had 6 different aggressive shots and 4 rounds of antibiotics. If I did much of anything I would cough, sweat a lot and be tired very easily. It is now the 25th of January and I still tire easily, and it is easy to get started coughing. I went to the doctor 4 times and once just for a pair of shots. It seemed every time I tried to do anything it whipped me again. I am an active person and never get down like this. I am not at all sure for a period I didn't have pneumonia. I feel better now but am not going to push myself very hard, which is hard because it makes me feel like a wimp. The bronchitis going around this winter 2014/15 is a cast iron bear.

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