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COPD in a Nut Shell


Chronic BronchitisAcute Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation (thickening and/or swelling) of the lining of the bronchi and increased mucus production. Inflammation can be caused by: smoke, infections, chemicals, pollution, and/or acids from your stomach (gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD).

Many people have had a brief attack of bronchitis, often after you have had a cold. The attack usually lasts for about a week, but the cough may last up to three weeks. During a bout with bronchitis, you may experience cough with large amounts of mucus production, and sometimes, a fever. 

This brief type of bronchitis is called Acute Bronchitis—each attack does not last long and does not come back again and again. Lung function returns to normal after the bronchitis infection has ended.

Acute bronchitis is not COPD.

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© 2005 American Association for Respiratory Care

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