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What tests are used to diagnose bronchitis?

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Here are some of the tests your doctor might order:

  • Chest X-ray. If you have a fever or had one recently, this can help rule out or confirm pneumonia.
  • Sputum culture. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor might get a sample of the mucus you cough up (sputum). A lab test can tell whether the mucus is caused by an allergy or whooping cough (pertussis), which is a very contagious bacterial infection. Serious symptoms may also mean another test.
  • Spirometry. This is a test of your lung function. It measures how much air your lungs can hold and how quickly you can blow it all out. The test can help your doctor find out whether you have asthma or another breathing problem, along with your bronchitis.

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health -- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?” “What is bronchitis?” “Living with bronchitis?”

American Lung Association: “Diagnosing and Treating Acute Bronchitis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bronchitis: Test and Diagnosis,” “Bronchitis: Treatment.”

National Council on Aging: “Acute Vs. Chronic Conditions: What’s the Difference?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on December 06, 2016

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health -- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?” “What is bronchitis?” “Living with bronchitis?”

American Lung Association: “Diagnosing and Treating Acute Bronchitis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bronchitis: Test and Diagnosis,” “Bronchitis: Treatment.”

National Council on Aging: “Acute Vs. Chronic Conditions: What’s the Difference?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on December 06, 2016

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How is bronchitis treated?

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