To diagnose acute bronchitis, your health care provider will ask about your medical history, especially whether you recently have had an upper respiratory infection. Your doctor also will listen to your chest with a stethoscope to try to detect sounds of wheezing and airways clogged with mucous. The level of oxygen in your blood may be tested using a small device that closes gently over a finger. If your health care provider hears any suspicious lung sounds during the physical examination, or if your oxygen level is lower than normal, he or she may order a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia.
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