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How is acute bronchitis diagnosed?

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Your doctor usually can tell whether you have bronchitis based on a physical exam and your symptoms. They'll ask questions about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it and what kind of mucus comes up with it. They'll also listen to your lungs to see whether anything sounds wrong, like wheezing.

In some cases, your doctor may:

  • Check the oxygen levels in your blood.
  • Do a lung function test.
  • Give you a chest X-ray.
  • Order blood tests.
  • Test your mucus.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Bronchitis.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Acute Bronchitis.”

American Lung Association: “What Is COPD?,” “Acute Bronchitis Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors,” “Diagnosing and Treating Acute Bronchitis,” “Managing and Preventing Acute Bronchitis,” “Emphysema.”

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Acute Bronchitis.”

CDC: “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.”

NHS: “Bronchitis.”

PubMed: “Bronchitis.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Pertussis.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on April 02, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Bronchitis.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Acute Bronchitis.”

American Lung Association: “What Is COPD?,” “Acute Bronchitis Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors,” “Diagnosing and Treating Acute Bronchitis,” “Managing and Preventing Acute Bronchitis,” “Emphysema.”

Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School: “Acute Bronchitis.”

CDC: “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.”

NHS: “Bronchitis.”

PubMed: “Bronchitis.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Pertussis.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on April 02, 2020

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