Acute bronchitis

Lungs in chest showing bronchial tubes in left lung, with detail of healthy airway and airway inflamed by bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is inflammation of the tubes that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes). When these tubes are inflamed, they swell and produce mucus. Acute bronchitis usually develops rapidly and lasts 2 to 3 weeks in otherwise healthy people.

Current as of: June 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Steven J. Atlas MD, MPH - Internal Medicine

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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