Diagnosis of Bronchitis

How Is Bronchitis Diagnosed?

Your doctor usually will diagnose bronchitis based on your signs and symptoms. He or she may ask questions about your cough, such as how long you've had it, what you're coughing up, and how much you cough.

Your doctor also will likely ask:

  • About your medical history
  • Whether you've recently had a cold or the flu
  • Whether you smoke or spend time around others who smoke
  • Whether you've been exposed to dust, fumes, vapors, or air pollution

Your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen for wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe) or other abnormal sounds in your lungs. He or she also may:

  • Look at your mucus to see whether you have a bacterial infection
  • Test the oxygen levels in your blood using a sensor attached to your fingertip or toe
  • Recommend a chest x ray, lung function tests, or blood tests

Source: NHLBI (NIH)1

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Back to: « Bronchitis

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Acute bronchitis is diagnosed based on the signs and symptoms a patient has when they visit their healthcare professional.

Source: CDC2

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To diagnose acute bronchitis, your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and listen to your breathing. You may also have other tests.

Source: MedLinePlus (NIH)3

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References

  1. Source: NHLBI (NIH): nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/ health-topics/ topics/ brnchi/ diagnosis
  2. Source: CDC: cdc.gov/ getsmart/ community/ for-patients/ common-illnesses/ bronchitis.html
  3. Source: MedLinePlus (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ acutebronchitis.html

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.