Bronchial Infection Symptoms

The bronchial tubes are the main air passages into the lungs. The bronchial tubes swell and become inflamed with the presence of an infection. A bronchial infection occurs after an upper respiratory infection, usually following a cold or occurs from irritants in the environment. Symptoms generally depend on the causative factor and often resolve on their own.

Woman with a chronic cough and fever is in bed, holding her forehead. (Image: eldinhoid/iStock/Getty Images)

Cough

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a cough occurs with a bronchial infection. An infection of the bronchial tubes that causes inflammation and swelling, results in the condition called bronchitis. With bronchitis, the bronchial tubes swell and create mucus, which causes coughing. The cough generally produces mucus--either clear or white or yellowish--gray or green in color. Although, mucus may not be present the first few days of the infection. The cough may become severe enough that it interferes with or prevents sleep.

Chest Discomfort

Coughing causes chest soreness and the nagging cough may linger for several weeks after the bronchial infection resolves, reports the Mayo Clinic. Patients may feel a burning sensation in the chest if they have an infection of the bronchial tubes.

Fever

A bronchial infection displays the symptoms of a low-grade fever--less than 102.F, and chills accompany the fever, reports the CDC. A bronchial infection usually follows a viral upper respiratory infection of the nose, sinuses and throat before spreading into the lungs.

Shortness of Breath

Medline Plus reports that individuals with a bronchial infection experience a shortness of breath, usually worsened by exertion or mild activity. Swollen and inflamed bronchial tubes allow for less air movement into the lungs, resulting in fatigue and a decrease in normal physical activities.

Duration of Acute Infection Symptoms

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, acute bronchial infections are caused by a virus and typically resolve on their own. The symptoms usually last a few days but the cough may linger on for a few weeks even after the infection resolves.

Duration of Chronic Infection Symptoms

If a bronchial infection continues for more than three months, it may be chronic, states the Mayo Clinic. Smoking and irritants from pollution or dust, cause the chronic form of infection. A chronic infection usually lasts a long time and symptoms generally fluctuate. Both acute and chronic forms of bronchial infections display the same symptoms but the duration time for the infection varies.

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