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Chronic bronchitis is inflammation inside of the main airways (bronchi) that come off the windpipe (trachea) in the lungs. The swelling causes the airways to narrow and make more mucus than normal. This can make it hard to breathe and may cause coughing or noisy breathing (wheezing). This condition is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic bronchitis is often associated with other chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema, asthma, bronchiectasis, or cystic fibrosis.
People with chronic bronchitis are more likely to get colds and other infections in the nose, throat, or airways.
Your health care provider may diagnose this condition based on your signs and symptoms, especially if you have a cough that lasts a long time or keeps coming back.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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