Facebook Tweet Email Share
Print the content on this page Decrease the font size of content Increase the font size of content

Main Content

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is inflammation and irritation of the airways (bronchial tubes) of the lungs. Symptoms include a persistent cough that often produces mucus (sputum), fever, mild wheezing, and chest pain.

Bronchitis is usually caused by infection from a virus (less commonly with bacteria or a fungus). It can also develop after exposure to chemicals or air pollution, including tobacco smoke.

There are two types of bronchitis.

  • Acute bronchitis develops suddenly. It generally lasts less than 2 to 3 weeks. Most healthy people who develop bronchitis get better without any complications.
  • Chronic bronchitis recurs and becomes long-term (chronic), especially in people who smoke. A cough that produces too much sputum and is present most days during a 3-month period for at least 2 years in a row suggests chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).