Definition of Bronchitis
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Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the main airways to the lungs (the bronchi) that usually lasts for a brief period of time. It is not the same as chronic bronchitis, which often persists for a longer period of time. Alternative Names
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Acute bronchitis is one of the most common medical conditions seen in a doctor’s office. It is mainly caused by a virus that infects the respiratory system. There are many different respiratory viruses that can do this, including the rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.
You have a higher risk for getting bronchitis if you’ve had a recent illness or viral respiratory infection (which reduce your ability to fight off infections), or if you have chronic lung problems such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. You are also at higher risk for bronchitis if you smoke.
The classic symptoms of bronchitis may be like those of a cold. You may have a tickle in the back of your throat, which leads to a dry, irritating cough. As the infection gets worse, you may cough up thick, yellow mucus that may (rarely) be streaked with blood.