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What is chronic bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a condition in which the tubular passages that bring air into your lungs (your bronchial tubes) become irritated and inflamed. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Chronic bronchitis is diagnosed when your bronchial tubes experience nearly constant inflammation; it is typically caused by smoking or other regular irritation rather than a short-term illness. Eventually, chronic bronchitis can cause your bronchial tubes to become permanently scarred, which can lead to several respiratory problems. Chronic bronchitis is considered a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Chronic bronchitis is characterized by chronic cough and sputum production, intermittent wheezing with variable degrees of shortness of breath on exertion, recurring and continuing for months. Chronic bronchitis results from inflammation and swelling of the cells lining the bronchus. This inflammation causes the production of excessive mucus. Both the swelling and excess mucus contribute to the narrowing of the bronchi, making air exchange more difficult and increasing the risk of lung infections.

Chronic bronchitis is characterized by inflamed airway tissue and excessive mucus production. This leads to a persistent, productive cough for several months each year. The inflammation causes the large and small airways of the lungs to become narrowed, and the lining of the passageways may become scarred. This makes it hard to move air in and out of the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath.

Continue Learning about Chronic Bronchitis

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.