Cough keeping you up at night? Soreness in your chest and feeling run down? You could have bronchitis.

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis occurs when the airways of the lungs swell and produce mucus. That’s what makes you cough. Bronchitis, often called a “chest cold,” is the most common type of bronchitis. The symptoms last less than 3 weeks.

If you’re a healthy person without underlying heart or lung problems or a weakened immune system, this information is for you.

Symptoms of Bronchitis:

  • Coughing with or without mucus production

You may also experience:

  • Soreness in the chest
  • Fatigue (feeling tired)
  • Mild headache
  • Mild body aches
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat


Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus.

When to Seek Medical Care

See your physician if you or your child have any of the following:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4 °F
  • Cough with bloody mucus
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Symptoms that last more than 3 weeks
  • Repeated episodes of bronchitis


To Feel Better:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer
  • Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water or shower
  • Use lozenges (do not give lozenges to children younger than 4 years of age)
  • Ask your physician about medications that can help you feel better

Your physician will most likely prescribe antibiotics for a diagnosis of whooping cough (pertussis) or pneumonia.


  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Keep you and your child up to date with recommended vaccines
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke, chemicals, dust, or air pollution
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Make sure you and your child are to up-to-date with all recommended vaccine