SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort
If you have acute bronchitis, you may have a nagging cough that lingers for several weeks after the bronchitis resolves. Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts at least three months for two consecutive years. If you have chronic bronchitis, you're likely to have periods when your signs and symptoms worsen. At those times, you may have acute bronchitis on top of your chronic bronchitis. In some cases, the cough may disappear only to reappear later.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if your cough:
- Lasts more than three weeks
- Prevents you from sleeping
- Is accompanied by fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
- Produces discolored mucus
- Produces blood (hemoptysis)
- Is associated with wheezing or shortness of breath
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