Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs.

Types

Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.

Chronic bronchitis is a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.

Acute bronchitis  also known as a chest cold, is short-term inflammation of the bronchi (large and medium-sized airways) of the lungs.

Symptoms

For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:

Cough

Fatigue

Shortness of breath

Fever

Chest discomfort

Sore throat

Preventions

To reduce your risk of bronchitis, follow these tips:

Get vaccinated

Quit smoking

Keep surrounding clean

Washing hand regularly

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of bronchitis include:

  • Cigarette smoke. People who smoke or who live with a smoker are at higher risk of both acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
  • Low resistance. This may result from another acute illness, such as a cold, or from a chronic condition that compromises your immune system. Older adults, infants and young children have greater vulnerability to infection.
  • Exposure to irritants on the job. Your risk of developing bronchitis is greater if you work around certain lung irritants, such as grains or textiles, or are exposed to chemical fumes.
  • Gastric reflux. Repeated bouts of severe heartburn can irritate your throat and make you more prone to developing bronchitis.