Bronchitis is an extremely common medical condition that routinely affects more than 3 million Americans each year. When people think of bronchitis they usually have a pretty accurate image of what this condition entails.
Typically, the term bronchitis is mostly used to refer to a short-term acute condition that results from some other infection. However, there are actually two separate types of bronchitis—acute and chronic. With acute bronchitis, the symptoms are generally caused by a respiratory infection, such as the common cold. Often referred to as a chest cold or chest infection. Most patients with acute bronchitis will begin to get better in around seven to 10 days. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is a far more serious, lifelong condition. In this case, the cause tends to be related to smoking or breathing in other harmful particles, which results in a near-permanent inflammation of the bronchial tubes.