Bronchitis is a condition that occurs when the bronchial tubes, which are responsible for carrying air to and from the lungs, become inflamed. The two main types of bronchitis are acute and chronic, and their causes can differ.
Acute bronchitis is typically caused by a viral infection, such as the common cold or the flu. It can also be caused by exposure to irritants such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, or chemical fumes. Bacterial infections can also lead to acute bronchitis in some cases.
Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is typically caused by long-term exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, or dust. This exposure causes ongoing inflammation in the bronchial tubes, which can lead to chronic bronchitis.
Other factors that can increase the risk of developing bronchitis include having a weakened immune system, having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and being exposed to secondhand smoke. People with asthma or allergies may also be more susceptible to bronchitis.