Chronic bronchitis

Along with emphysema, chronic bronchitis is one of the main conditions of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

If you have chronic bronchitis, your airways are inflamed and narrowed. The narrowing of the airways affects how well and how easily air is emptied out of your lungs.

Bronchitis can be short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic). In COPD, bronchitis is chronic. You can more about acute bronchitis inflammation on the NHS website.

Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include:

  • a continuous cough that produces phlegm (mucus) – according to the NHS, this is defined as a daily cough for three months of the year, for two or more years in a row
  • breathlessness
  • wheezing.

People with chronic bronchitis often develop emphysema – when the air sacs in the lungs are damaged.

Read more about COPD, the treatment of chronic bronchitis and what you can do to manage your bronchitis at home.

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