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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

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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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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