Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes. The condition may be acute or chronic.
Chronic bronchitis is associated with constant irritation or inflammation of the bronchial tube lining, often due to smoking. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS of bronchitis include:
- Production of clear or yellowish-green mucus (sputum)
- Shortness of breath
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort
Before making a diagnosis, your doctor may order tests to rule out other conditions, such as pneumonia.
- If you have chronic bronchitis, you may benefit from a breathing exercise program to help you breathe more easily.
- Other measures that may help include avoiding air irritants and using a humidifier to keep air warm and moist. If cold air aggravates your cough and causes shortness of breath, wear a face mask before you go outside.
- A doctor may prescribe an inhaler to help open narrowed passageways in your lungs or cough medicine to help you sleep at night.