Your bronchial tubes, which carry air to your lungs, can get infected and swollen. When that happens, it’s called bronchitis. Symptoms of this condition include a nagging cough, and you might hack up mucus that’s yellow or green.

There are actually two types of bronchitis:

  • Acute bronchitis: This is the more common type. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.
  • Chronic bronchitis: This keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s more serious, and it’s one of the conditions that make up something called “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” or COPD. You are more likely to have this if you smoke.

Learn to watch for the signs of bronchitis and when to call a doctor.

Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between bronchitis and other conditions that affect your lungs and breathing. It often starts with the symptoms of a cold: your nose is runny, your throat sore, and you feel run down.


One of the hallmark signs of bronchitis is a hacking cough that lasts for 5 days or more. Here are some other symptoms:

  • Clear, yellow, white, or green phlegm
  • No fever, although you might have a low fever at times
  • Tenderness or soreness in your chest when you cough
  • You feel tired all the time
  • Whistling or wheezing while you breath
  • A rattling feeling in your chest
  • Chills