Chronic Bronchitis (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
George Schiffman, MD, FCCP
Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Bronchitis Facts
- What is bronchitis?
- What is acute bronchitis?
- What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?
- What is chronic bronchitis?
- What are the causes of chronic bronchitis?
- What are the risk factors for chronic bronchitis?
- What are the symptoms of chronic bronchitis?
- When should an individual seek medical care for chronic bronchitis?
- How is chronic bronchitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for chronic bronchitis?
- What are the complications of chronic bronchitis?
- Can chronic bronchitis be prevented?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for chronic bronchitis?
- Bronchitis FAQs
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
What are the symptoms of chronic bronchitis?
The major symptoms of chronic bronchitis are as follows:
- Cough and sputum production are the most common symptoms; they usually last
for at least 3 months and occur daily. The intensity of coughing and the
amount and frequency of sputum production vary from patient to patient. Sputum
may be clear, yellowish, greenish, or occasionally, blood-tinged. Since cigarette smoke is the most common cause for chronic
bronchitis, it should not be surprising that the most common presentation is so called smoker's cough. This is characterized by a cough that tends to be worse upon arising and is often productive of discolored mucus in the early part of the day. As the day progresses, less mucus is produced.
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath) gradually increases with the severity of the
disease. Usually, people with chronic bronchitis get short of breath with
activity and begin coughing; dyspnea at rest usually signals that COPD or
emphysema has developed.
- Wheezing (a coarse whistling sound produced when airways are partially obstructed) often occurs.
In addition, symptoms of fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, nasal congestion, and headaches can accompany the major symptoms. Severe coughing may cause chest pain; cyanosis (bluish/grayish skin coloration) may develop in people with advanced COPD. Fever may indicate a secondary viral or bacterial lung infection. When symptoms worsen or become more frequent, this is often referred to as an exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. These exacerbations often require antibiotics, and may need steroid medication and an increase in respiratory inhaled medications.
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