Bronchitis is an inflammation of the main airways of the lungs called the bronchi. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic.

  • Acute Bronchitis can develop from a common cold or other respiratory infection and usually improves within a few days; however coughing may last for several weeks.
  • Chronic Bronchitis is a constant irritation of inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes and requires medical attention. Coughing may last for up the three months and reoccurrence may appear.



The signs and symptoms for either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis may include:

  • Cough
  • Yellow-grey mucus (phlegm)
  • Tiredness
  • Inability to breath
  • Chest pains
  • Slight fever and chills


More severe or unusual symptoms that might require immediate medical attention may include:

  • A cough that lasts several weeks
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Constant fever for more than three days
  • Yellow-grey mucus streaked with blood
  • Wheezing or inability to breath
  • Association with a heart or lung condition



Acute bronchitis is often caused by viruses contracted from a cold or flu; while the main cause for chronic bronchitis is smoking. Air contamination and chemical fumes around the environment can contribute to this condition.


Risk Factors

Factors associated with an increased risk of contracting bronchitis include:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to toxic gases
  • Low immune system/vulnerability to infection



Although bronchitis isn’t a reason for panic and can improve within a few days, more severe cases can lead to pneumonia and further reoccurrence of bronchitis may also develop into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).



Treatment of bronchitis is most cases can be done at home with supportive care. Many of these treatments include:

  • Taking cough medicine to help remove irritants from the lungs and air passages
  • Taking antibiotics to help remove a bacterial infection
  • Taking other medications such as an inhaler to help reduce inflammation and widen constricted passages in the lungs
  • Taking a breathing exercise program



A few recommendations for preventing bronchitis may include:

  • Avoiding cigarette smoke
  • Washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizers
  • Wearing a surgical mask around a large number of people
  •  Getting vaccinated