What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammation in the lining of your bronchial tubes, causing thick mucus to partially block your airways. There are two types of bronchitis:

  • Acute bronchitis: A virus, bacteria or allergen causes your airways to get red and swollen, producing yellow or green mucus that causes a severe cough.
  • Chronic bronchitis: This form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also characterized by inflammation of the airways and mucus, but the symptoms are long-term and not caused by an infection. Chronic bronchitis most often occurs among smokers.

Whichever type of bronchitis you may have, you are likely to have a cough that raises mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.