Chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition that is one kind of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.) When airways are inflamed, they make a lot of mucus. This leads to coughing and trouble breathing. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. Other causes of chronic bronchitis can be breathing in air pollution, fumes, or dust over a long period.
To diagnose the condition, your doctor will observe your signs and symptoms and listen to your breathing. You may also need additional tests so your doctor can be sure of the diagnosis. Treatment often includes medicines to open your airways and help clear away mucus. Other treatments may include oxygen therapy and/or pulmonary rehabilitation.