Bronchitis occurs when the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. Bronchial tubes carry air to and from the lungs. When they become inflamed, the body often produces thick dark mucous, and you can develop a cough. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. It may develop as a result of a chest cold but usually resolves on its own within a week or ten days. Acute bronchitis is also referred to as a chest cold. However, recurring or chronic bronchitis requires medical attention and is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
Bronchitis can develop for a variety of different reasons. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by the same virus responsible for colds and the flu. However, chronic bronchitis is usually the result of smoking. Air pollution, as well as other environmental factors, can also contribute to developing chronic bronchitis. People with compromised immune systems, acid reflux conditions, and those exposed to toxic fumes and cigarette smoke are at increased risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
Although bronchitis is fairly common, there are still preventative measures you can take to avoid it, such as steering clear of cigarette smoke and receiving an annual flu vaccine. Wearing a mask when around toxic or unhealthy fumes can also prevent this viral infection.
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