Bronchitis Types

Bronchitis is a contagious respiratory disease that often occurs after a person gets over a cold or other types of illnesses. Bronchitis affects the inner lining of the airways and causes inflammation. Bronchitis can be identified most often by symptoms of coughing and mucus that is gray, yellow or green in color. Chest and throat soreness, fever, chills and general discomfort often occur with bronchitis.

Bronchitis is generally caused by a viral infection, but bacteria are sometimes to blame. While bacterial bronchitis infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics, in most cases, bronchitis is caused by a virus and, therefore, is treated by focusing treatment on minimizing the symptoms. The cough that accompanies bronchitis may go on for a few weeks, however.

The two main types of bronchitis are acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis lasts under six weeks, while chronic bronchitis can go on recurring for years. Most people who develop chronic bronchitis are smokers or people who have had a great deal of exposure to secondhand smoke. Chronic bronchitis is a more serious condition than acute bronchitis, and medical help is essential for treating chronic bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis sufferers may not need to see a doctor, as the illness will most often clear on its own after running its course.

Dyspnea, another type of respiratory issue associated with bronchitis, is a condition characterized by shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Dyspnea is often a sign of a serious medical condition of the lungs, heart or airways.

Our articles cover all aspects of the different types of bronchitis. Explore this section for more information on the causes, symptoms and treatments for bronchitis.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis, as generally mild condition, will most often run its course and disappear without needing treatment. While the cough that accompanies acute bronchitis can last for a few weeks, other symptoms typically disappear within a few days.

Learn about the symptoms, causes, treatment options, risk factors, types and more of acute bronchitis.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a serious condition that can endure for years. This illness most often occurs in smokers and people who are exposed to secondhand smoke, which can damage lung function.

Symptoms of chronic bronchitis will not clear on their own and may recur for years. Medical care is crucial to treating chronic bronchitis, as this condition can lead to other serious health problems. Read on for more information on the symptoms, causes and risk factors, treatment options and more associated with chronic bronchitis.


Dyspnea is a very serious condition that can indicate serious health problems of the airways, lungs and/or heart. Dyspnea symptoms include shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Any person who suspects that he is suffering from dyspnea should seek immediate medical attention.

Dyspnea can often be experienced by cancer patients, but symptoms are manageable and can be eliminated or lessened by treating symptoms directly or addressing any underlying causes. Learn about the symptoms, causes and risk factors, treatment options, complications and more of dyspnea.


Cancer Symptoms (2006). Dyspnea. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from the Cancer Symptoms Web site:

Mama’s Health (2007). Bronchitis. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from the Mama’s Health Web site:

Mayo Clinic (2007). Bronchitis. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: