In chronic bronchitis, exposure to tobacco smoke and other lung
irritants over time can lead to inflammation in the airways that deliver air
into the lungs (bronchial tubes). As a result, the airways produce more mucus
than they would normally. Inflammation and extra mucus reduce air flow and
cause coughing. Mucus production and inflammation over many years may lead to
progressive and permanent lung damage.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology