John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
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.
Bronchitis is an acute inflammation of the air passages within the lungs. It occurs when the trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi (airways) within the lungs become inflamed because of infection or
irritation from other causes.
The thin mucous lining of these airways can become irritated and swollen.
The cells that make up this lining may leak fluids in response to the inflammation.
Coughing is a reflex that works to clear secretions from the lungs. Often
the discomfort of a severe cough leads
a person to seek medical treatment.
Both adults and children can get bronchitis. Symptoms are similar for both.
Infants usually get bronchiolitis, which involves the smaller airways and
causes symptoms similar to asthma.
Asthmatic bronchitis occurs when asthma and bronchitis coexist. Asthma is a
chronic inflammatory airway condition that leads to tightening of the muscles around the airways and swelling, both of which cause the airways to narrow.
The combination of inflammation of the inner lining of the airways and mucus production can lead to severe wheezing and shortness of breath.
Picture of the lung, bronchi, and airways of the lung
Symptoms of acute bronchitis usually begin 3 to 4 days after an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or influenza (flu). Symptoms usually include:
A cough, which is the main symptom of acute bronchitis. It may be dry at first (does not produce mucus) and after a few days may bring up mucus from the lungs (productive cough). The mucus may be clear, yellow, or green. Sometimes, small streaks of blood may be present.
A mild fever, usually less than 101 F. A higher fever may indicate pneumonia.
A general feeling of tiredness.
A sensation of tightness, burning, or dull pain in the chest under the breastbone that usually is worse when breathing deeply or coughing.
Whistling noises (wheezing) when breathing, especially during physical exertion.