What is Bronchitis?

Q: Is bronchitis included in COPD?

A: Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main forms of COPD, with the former being the most common.

Q: What is chronic bronchitis?

A: Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which bring air to and from your lungs. When the bronchial tubes are inflamed, the lining, or mucous membrane, of the airways swells and grows thicker. It also produces an excess amount of mucus. The narrowing and increased blockage of the bronchial tubes from the mucus causes airflow to decrease and phlegmy cough to develop.

Acute bronchitis typically results from temporary infections and lung irritants. Most cases of acute bronchitis clear up within a few days, though the phlegmy cough may persist for weeks.

Q: What are the symptoms of chronic bronchitis?

A: The first symptoms of either type of bronchitis is typically a dry cough. Shortness of breath, tight felling in the chest, wheezing or whistling sound when breathing, coughing up thick yellow or greenish mucus, chills, mild fever and headache are also common symptoms of chronic bronchitis.

Q: What’s the main cause of chronic bronchitis?

A: Long-term smoking of cigarette or other forms of tobacco is one of the causes of chronic bronchitis. Other causes include heavy exposure to industrial dust and fumes in the workplace, indoor air pollution, and secondhand smoke and other air pollutants. Long-term, uncontrolled asthma is another reason. If you have frequent childhood respiratory infections, you may have chronic bronchitis.

Q: Is chronic bronchitis contagious?

A: Chronic bronchitis isn’t contagious, but it’s a serious health problem that requires a doctor’s care.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.