Chronic Bronchitis


What is chronic bronchitis? Chronic bronchitis is a long-term swelling and irritation in the air passages in your lungs. The irritation may damage your lungs. This lung damage often gets worse over time, and it is usually permanent. Chronic bronchitis is part of a group of lung diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What causes or increases my risk of chronic bronchitis?

What are the signs and symptoms of chronic bronchitis?

What is an exacerbation of chronic bronchitis? An exacerbation is when your symptoms get much worse very quickly. Exacerbations of chronic bronchitis can be triggered by infections such as colds or the flu. Lung irritants such as air pollution, dusts, fumes, or smoke can also trigger an exacerbation. Exacerbations of chronic bronchitis can be serious, even life-threatening.

How is chronic bronchitis diagnosed? Caregivers will ask about your signs and symptoms. Tell caregivers about other medical conditions you have. Your caregiver will examine you and listen to your heart and lungs.

How is chronic bronchitis treated?

How can I care for myself when I have chronic bronchitis?

What are the risks of chronic bronchitis?

When should I call my caregiver? Call your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.