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Cough Keeping You Up and Tired? It Could be Bronchitis

Bronchitis occurs when the airways of the lungs swell and produce mucus. That’s what makes you cough. Acute bronchitis, often called a “chest cold,” is the most common type of bronchitis. The main symptom of bronchitis is coughing with or without mucus production, and this lasts less than three weeks.

You may also experience:

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

See a health care professional if you have:

  • 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

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a virus and often occurs after an upper respiratory infection. Bacteria can sometimes cause acute bronchitis, but even in these cases antibiotics are NOT recommended and will not help you get better.

Acute bronchitis almost always gets better on its own—without antibiotics. Using antibiotics when they aren’t needed can do more harm than good.


If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms now, see a Mercyhealth health care provider at Virtual Visit Now.

Mercyhealth Virtual Visit Now gives you remote access to the best of health care from your phone, tablet or computer. Our Virtual Visit Now team can help you feel better from the comfort of your own home. After assessing your symptoms, they’ll recommend treatments that can include simple comfort measures, prescription medicine or an office visit.

Virtual Visit Now is not available for emergency care. If you need emergency care, please call 911.

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