Bronchitis is a common illness that occurs when the airways of the lungs are inflamed and filled with mucus. The body’s natural response is to cough to clear the mucus and the cough can linger for a few weeks. Most individuals contract acute bronchitis, meaning it doesn’t require treatment and goes away on its own after a few weeks. Chronic bronchitis occurs when an individual frequently contracts it and the cough lasts most days of the month for at least three months.
Those who smoke, have other lung conditions like asthma or COPD, or have an autoimmune disease are most at risk for bronchitis. Symptoms include coughing or wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, runny nose, and fatigue.
Bronchitis does not have a specific diagnosis test. Treatment varies depending on the individual and if there are any underlying medical conditions. Rest and plenty of fluids are recommended. If you or your child are ill and have a lingering cough, work with your primary care or pediatrics provider to understand your options.