Bronchitis may be acute or chronic and is characterized by inflammation of the airways whereby excessive mucous is produced, resulting in airway obstruction.  This leads to symptoms of cough and may include fevers and thick, difficult to clear mucous.

Acute bronchitis is caused by either bacteria or viruses and can be treated with antibiotics for bacterial or self- limited if viral.

Chronic bronchitis is a condition resulting in ongoing inflammation of the airways, usually a result of cigarette smoke exposure.

Exacerbations recur several times each year and become more frequent and less responsive to antibiotic therapy over time resulting in long term cough and mucous production symptoms.