What is Bronchitis?

By albert
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
Mar 6, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. These are the airways that carry air to the lungs. The condition is characterized by a cough that often brings up mucus. Bronchitis is one of the leading conditions for which patients seek medical care. It is categorized as either acute or chronic bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis lasts a few weeks and usually goes away on its own. Chronic bronchitis is a more serious and long-term condition, lasting longer than 3 months a year for more than two consecutive years. Persons with bronchitis can experience difficulty breathing. They may also find it difficult to clear the heavy mucus or phlegm from their airways. Chronic bronchitis is part of the conditions collectively referred to as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

1. Symptoms of Bronchitis

Bronchitis usually manifests with a cough. Occasionally, this cough becomes productive. The sputum produced can be any color from clear to white, yellowish-green, gray, or green. Less common symptoms include malaise, muscle aches, sore throat, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, and chills. Patients with acute bronchitis can experience persistent cough that can last up to 20 days. In chronic bronchitis there is an excess production of mucus by mucus-producing glands in the mucosa of the airway, which causes a progressive airflow limitation. Patients with chronic bronchitis exhibit a productive cough lasting at least 3 months with recurring bouts for longer than 2 consecutive years.


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