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Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus, as well as shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. There are two main types of bronchitis: acute and chronic.
Chronic bronchitis is one type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The inflamed bronchi produce a lot of mucus. This leads to cough and difficulty getting air in and out of the lungs. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause. Breathing in other fumes and dusts over a long period of time may also cause chronic bronchitis. Treatment will help your symptoms, but chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition that keeps coming back or never goes away completely.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Bronchitis (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Available in Spanish
- Chronic Bronchitis (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Chronic Bronchitis (National Jewish Health)
- Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work - Bronchitis (Chest Cold) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Understanding Chronic Bronchitis (American Lung Association)
- Blood Gases Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- Chest X Ray (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Cough (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Spirometry (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- What Are Lung Function Tests? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
Treatments and Therapies
- How Is Bronchitis Treated? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Living Well with COPD: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema (American College of Chest Physicians) - PDF
- Living with Chronic Bronchitis (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- MedlinePlus: Pulmonary Rehabilitation (National Library of Medicine) Available in Spanish
- Humidifiers: Air Moisture Eases Skin, Breathing Symptoms (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Statistics and Research
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Includes: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema (National Center for Health Statistics)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Bronchitis, Chronic (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Respiratory symptoms, spirometric respiratory impairment, and respiratory disease in middle-aged...
- Article: Clinical characteristics and airway inflammation profile of COPD persistent sputum...
- Article: Beraprost, a stable analog of prostacyclin, enhances cough reflex sensitivity...
- Chronic Bronchitis -- see more articles
- Bronchitis and Pneumonia (California Childcare Health Program) - PDF