DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.
Often developing from a cold or other respiratory infection, acute bronchitis is very common. Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.
Acute bronchitis usually improves within a few days without lasting effects, although you may continue to cough for weeks. However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Treatment for bronchitis focuses on relieving your symptoms and easing your breathing.
- Bronchitis (chest cold). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/GetSmart/antibiotic-use/URI/bronchitis.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Shoemaker DM, et al. Bronchitis. In: Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-4/0/1481/0.html#. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- File TM. Acute bronchitis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Rennard SI. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Definition, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and staging. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Acute bronchitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec05/ch051/ch051a.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- What is bronchitis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/brnchi/brnchi_all.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Ferri FF. Acute bronchitis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8, 2011.
- Symptom relief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Ferguson GT, et al. Management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.