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What causes chronic bronchitis?

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With chronic bronchitis, the airways that carry air to the lungs are inflamed and produce a lot of mucus. The mucus and inflammation cause your airways to narrow or get obstructed, making it hard to breathe. Once your airways are irritated over a long period, their lining gets thicker. This leads to an irritating cough (which produces mucus), hampered airflow, and lung scarring. The damaged airways then become a breeding place for bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.

SOURCES: American Lung Association: ''Need Help For Treatment Decisions with COPD?'' and ''Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Fact Sheet.'' The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: ''COPD: Learn to Breathe Better.'' Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): GOLD Guidelines At-A-Glance Desk Reference.


Reviewed by Paul Boyce on March 15, 2019

SOURCES: American Lung Association: ''Need Help For Treatment Decisions with COPD?'' and ''Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Fact Sheet.'' The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: ''COPD: Learn to Breathe Better.'' Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): GOLD Guidelines At-A-Glance Desk Reference.


Reviewed by Paul Boyce on March 15, 2019

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What happens when someone with emphysema or chronic bronchitis catches a cold?

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