Bronchitis is an inflammation in the lungs that frequently follows a cold or flu. It’s sometimes referred to as a chest cold and can range from a minor annoyance to a more serious condition that requires medical attention.

While the cough may feel like it’s coming from your throat, the condition is called “bronchitis”  because it is inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tubes. When these tubes become inflamed they produce extra mucus, which also works to clog airways. Coughing spells is the body’s way of trying to clear the passages.

Occasionally the coughing is likely to bring up mucus from the lungs. Other symptoms of bronchitis include fever, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and fatigue.

Acute bronchitis typically lasts fewer than 5 days. The cough, however, can sometimes linger for weeks afterward.

Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is diagnosed when you experience a cough with phlegm for more than three months out of the year for at least two years in a row.

The symptoms of bronchitis are similar to other conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia, allergies, and even lung cancer. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from your doctor.

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