HomeHealth Topics A to ZWhat is Chronic Bronchitis?
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What is Chronic Bronchitis?

By DuPage Medical Group Pulmonary Medicine

Bronchitis in a condition where the lining of your airways becomes inflamed. This makes it more difficult to breathe as less air is able to flow to and from the lungs.

Chronic bronchitis differs from acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis generally accompanies a cold and clears up after a week or two. Chronic bronchitis is diagnosed as a mucus-producing cough that occurs for three months of a year and happens for at least two years in a row (without other underlying disease to explain the cough).

Symptoms of bronchitis include:

  • Cough
  • Mucus production (which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray, or green)
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

Chronic bronchitis is most commonly caused by smoking cigarettes, but air pollution, duct, or toxic gas can also contribute to the condition. If you are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, there are different medications your doctor can prescribe to help manage your symptoms. Antibiotics, cough medicine, and certain inhalers can help manage chronic bronchitis and open narrowed lung passages. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition that continues to come back and never goes away completely. 



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