Symptoms of bronchitis include a persistent cough, wheezing, chest tightness or pain and a low-grade fever, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Severe bronchitis may be accompanied by shortness of breath.
There are generally two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is caused by an infection that develops as the result of a cold or the flu. Coughing may produce clear mucus, but if the mucus is yellow or green, it may indicate the presence of a bacterial infection.
Chronic bronchitis is characterized by a persistent cough that may produce large amounts of mucus, wheezing and chest pain or pressure. Chronic bronchitis is sometimes called smoker's cough.
To correctly diagnose bronchitis, a doctor will listen to the chest to pick up any abnormal sounds such as wheezing. he may also look at the color of the mucus and recommend a chest X-ray.
Treatment options for acute bronchitis include plenty of rest and fluids and taking an over-the-counter fever reducing medication. Because acute bronchitis is caused by a virus, regular antibiotics do nothing to cure the ailment, states the NIH. Those suffering from chronic bronchitis may be prescribed a medication to open the airways and reduce the amount of mucus in the lungs.