Bronchitis means that the tubes that carry air to the lungs camera (the bronchial tubes) are inflamed and irritated. When this happens, the tubes swell and produce mucus. This makes you cough.
There are two types of bronchitis:
- Acute bronchitis usually comes on quickly and gets better after 2 to 3 weeks. Most healthy people who get acute bronchitis get better without any problems. See a picture of acute bronchitis camera.
- Chronic bronchitis keeps coming back and can last a long time, especially in people who smoke. Chronic bronchitis means you have a cough with mucus most days of the month for 3 months of the year for at least 2 years in a row.