In general, bronchitis means that the tubes carrying air to the lungs have become inflamed and irritated. Coughing symptoms appear as the tubes swell and produce mucus.
The two main forms of bronchitis are acute and chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis comes on quickly and takes about two to three weeks for patients to recover. The onset of acute bronchitis follows three to four days after an upper respiratory tract infection. Most healthy people will recover from acute bronchitis without any further health problems.
Bronchitis which recurs or does not go away for a long time is called chronic bronchitis. A case of bronchitis is considered chronic when it persists most days of the month, three months out of the year. Smokers are most susceptible to chronic bronchitis.
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