Bronchitis is a viral infection that can last from 6 weeks to 2 years. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and a hacking cough that produces phlegm. Acute bronchitis may be accompanied by an upper respiratory infection. Chronic bronchitis, most often seen in heavy smokers, can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bronchitis is treated with rest, plenty of fluids, and avoiding smoking and fumes. In chronic cases, inhaled steroids and oxygen supplementation may be necessary. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage of how bronchitis is contracted, its symptoms, how to treat it, and much more.