A description of bronchitis as the inflammation of the bronchi

Exposure to irritants, such as smoke, dust, or fumes.

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Complications Although a single episode of bronchitis usually isn't cause for concern, it can lead to pneumonia in some people. Cigarette smoke and the chemicals in cigarettes make bronchitis worse and increase your risk of developing chronic bronchitis and COPD.

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These could include acetaminophen 1 brand name: Tylenol or ibuprofen 1 brand name: Advil. Read more about the causes of bronchitis.

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Repeated bouts of bronchitis, however, may mean that you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. You may also need oxygen therapy. Complications Although a single episode of bronchitis usually isn't cause for concern, it can lead to pneumonia in some people. Your body tries to shift this extra mucus through coughing. If your GP thinks you might have an undiagnosed underlying condition, they may also suggest a pulmonary function test. Less often, it's caused by a bacteria. You may also want to consider vaccination that protects against some types of pneumonia. Bronchitis may be acute or chronic: Acute bronchitis Acute bronchitis is a shorter illness that commonly follows a cold or viral infection, such as the flu. It is also important to avoid smoking and smoky environments, as this can make your symptoms worse. Diagnosis of bronchitis The doctor will ask about the symptoms and in particular the cough.

A lasting cough may signal another problem, such as asthma or pneumonia. Breathing in air pollution, fumes, or dust over a long period of time may also cause it.

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Prevention Although it is not always possible to prevent acute or chronic bronchitis, there are several things that can reduce the risk: Do not start smoking; quit smoking if you already smoke.

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Bronchitis symptoms & treatments