ask: Allergies or Bronchitis in the Works?

By samiam October 14, 2008 - 6:32pm
Rate This

After a long, hot summer, we're going into a humid Fall. I've been fighting ragweed and other pollen-induced allergic reactions, plus the junk that blows through the air vents at work. For the past couple of days, I've had a sort of scratchy feeling in my chest and the slight difficulty in breathing makes me feel tired.

How do you know if it's just allergies, or bronchitis in the works?

Add a Comment1 Comments

Diane Porter

Samiam, you didn't say if you had a cough or not? A cough is one of the primary symptoms of bronchitis.

There's a lot of crossover between allergy symptoms and bronchitis symptoms, and in fact, the former can lead to the latter.

You're well aware of allergy symptoms -- sneezing, congestion, watery and/or itchy eyes and, if you have severe allergies, occasional difficulty breathing.

Symptoms of bronchitis do include shortness of breath and chest tightness, but also a dry cough that tends to worsen throughout the day and that later often brings up phlegm. Fatigue and wheezing are also symptoms.

There are two kinds of bronchitis; acute, and chronic. Both indicate inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which lead to the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is most often present in people with another underlying condition, and can come and go for years. Acute bronchitis lasts generally for a few weeks and often begins after a respiratory infection. Smoking or exposure to smoke can also be factors.

If you have a cough, here's a web page that helps you evaluate the differences between coughs in colds, flu, allergies and bronchitis:

If you haven't had a cold, a cough or a respiratory infection, chances are you're still dealing with allergies alone. However, allergies can easily lead to sinus or respiratory infections, which in turn can lead to bronchitis. Here's a Mayo Clinic page explaining bronchitis:

The treatment page suggests extra rest, plenty of liquids and a nonprescription cough medicine. If you develop that troublesome cough, however, you might want to see your doctor, especially now with temperature changes and winter on the way.

October 15, 2008 - 8:35am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.


Get Email Updates

Bronchitis Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!


4090 Health


2627 Lives


2414 Lives
3 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you joined the IUD trend? What kind of birth control do you use? :
View Results