Bronchitis is a common infection of the lower respiratory tract. Typically, the same viruses that cause the common cold cause bronchitis.
Bronchitis causes irritation and inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the airways that carry air to the lungs. This inflammation produces excess mucus, which can lead to coughing. Mucus and coughing are the two main symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis comes on quickly and lasts for a few days or weeks. Some people refer to this type as a chest cold. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition that may flare up throughout a person’s lifetime.
This article outlines the symptoms of bronchitis and how to differentiate them from other illnesses. We also provide information on the causes of bronchitis, the treatment options available, and when to see a doctor.
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