Chronic Bronchitis Overview
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages within the lungs. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is defined as inflammation of the air passages that comes on quickly and resolves within two to three weeks. Bronchitis is considered chronic when a cough with mucus persists for most days of the month, for at least three months, and at least two years in a row. Bronchitis occurs when the trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi (airways) within the lungs become inflamed because of infection or irritation from other causes. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are forms of a condition characterized by progressive lung disease termed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Picture of the lung, bronchi, and airways of the lung
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014
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