Chronic Bronchitis
 

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Bronchitis occurs when the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. This inhibits airflow to and from the lungs, causing heavy mucus or phlegm to be coughed up. Many people have experienced acute bronchitis as a symptom of a severe cold with a mucus-producing cough. Chronic bronchitis, however, is a prolonged mucus-producing cough that occurs without an underlying disease.

Often a chronic bronchitis sufferer will first notice that his/her cough symptoms do not go away as quickly as other cold symptoms. The cough will eventually diminish, but return more often and more severely with each subsequent cold until the cough is virtually full-time. Symptoms are generally worse in the morning and on cold, damp days.

Inflammation of the bronchial tubes eventually scars the tube lining, causing it to thicken. Air flow will become hampered and the lungs scarred. More and greater infections are likely as the damaged bronchial tubes breed bacteria. When paired together, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are known as COPD.