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What Is Bronchitis?
Health 31.10.19 

What is Bronchitis?

What is Bronchitis?

What is Bronchitis? Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), which can result in them becoming irritated and inflamed. The main airways branch off on either side of your windpipe lead to smaller and smaller airways inside your lungs called bronchioles.

The walls of the main airways produce mucus to trap dust and other particles that could otherwise cause irritation. Most cases of bronchitis happen when an infection irritates and inflames the airways, causing them to produce more mucus than usual. Your body tries to shift this extra mucus through coughing.

Types of Bronchitis

Bronchitis can be described as being either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is temporary inflammation of the airways that causes a cough and mucus. It lasts up to 3 weeks.  It can affect people of all ages, but mostly happens in children under the age of 5.  It’s more common in winter and often comes on after a common cold, sore throat or the flu.

However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Cigarette smoke and the chemicals in cigarettes make bronchitis worse and increase your risk of developing chronic bronchitis and COPD.

Symptoms of Bronchitis

The main symptom of acute bronchitis is a hacking cough and also green phlegm.

Other symptoms are similar to those of the common cold or sinusitis, and may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Blocked nose
  • Stiffness/aching muscles

You may also find that the continual coughing makes your chest and stomach muscles sore.  Some people may have shortness of breath or wheezing as a result of inflamed airways, which is more common with long-term (chronic) bronchitis.

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