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Bronchitis (cont.)

Chronic Bronchitis Causes

Chronic bronchitis can occur any time during the year, but it occurs most often during the cold and flu season, usually coupled with an upper respiratory infection.

  • Smoking is one of the leading causes of chronic bronchitis.
  • Inhaled irritants from either the workplace, pollution, or secondhand smoke are another common cause of chronic bronchitis.
  • Inhaling irritating fumes or dust can also cause a worsening of chronic bronchitis. Chemical solvents have been linked to worsening chronic bronchitis.
  • Several viruses can cause chronic bronchitis, including influenza A and B, commonly referred to as "the flu."
  • A number of bacteria are also known to cause chronic bronchitis, such as staph, strep,and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which causes so-called "walking pneumonia".
  • People at increased risk of both getting chronic bronchitis and of having more severe symptoms include the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, smokers, individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and anyone with repeated exposure to lung irritants.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Bronchitis »

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or bronchi.

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