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Bronchitis means swelling in your air passages (bronchi). Bronchi are the air passages that connect your windpipe (trachea) with tiny air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. The air sacs are where your body absorbs the oxygen you breathe in.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi. This inflammation means the walls of your bronchi are swollen and filled with extra sticky mucus. Airflow into and out of your lungs is partly blocked because of the swelling and extra mucus in your bronchi. This makes you cough.
There are two kinds of bronchitis:
Acute bronchitis, swelling in your bronchi, is usually caused by viruses — the same viruses that give you the common cold.
If you have acute bronchitis, you probably feel the symptoms of a cold or flu (upper respiratory tract infection).
Most of the time, acute bronchitis goes away on its own, as long as you take good care of yourself.