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Q. I am a smoker and have been coughing for longer period. Will it be chronic bronchitis?

Answered by
Dr. Amolkumar W Diwan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 26, 2019 and last reviewed on: Oct 28, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am 23 years female. For about three years or so, I have been coughing up phlegm consistently. It has almost become a routine. When I consulted an ENT doctor, they did not see anything wrong and just said that my nostrils look little swollen, so he prescribed me Flonase. I am still coughing and spitting. The color of the phlegm is generally white, but sometimes it is slightly yellow. I need to know, should I consult a pulmonologist? I fear that I may have chronic bronchitis since I have been smoking from the age of 15.

Dr. Amolkumar W Diwan

Allergy Specialist Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)


Welcome to

You said that you smoke since, from the age of 15, so the diagnosis goes more in favor of chronic bronchitis. The symptoms are also typical of chronic bronchitis.

But you have not mentioned any associated allergic symptoms like running nose or frequent sneezing as it suggests bronchial asthma.

The best test to differentiate between both is to do a spirometry test, also called PFT (pulmonary function test). It will give a definitive final diagnosis.

Regarding treatment, if it is bronchitis, the first and most important thing is to quit smoking. If it is asthma, then you need to take a controller inhaler regularly.

Also, you should get done with your chest x-ray. I hope after reading this, you will take the initiative for quitting smoking and quit it ultimately.

I hope this helps.

The Probable causes:


Investigations to be done:

Chest x-ray PA (posetroanterior) view. Spirometry PFT (pulmonary function test).

Differential diagnosis:

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Treatment plan:

Stop smoking.
start with inhalers.

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