It’s a common scenario, especially for smokers. A cough that just doesn’t go away. Chronic bronchitis. It’s defined as a cough that persists for more than two years and the victim has been coughing up phlegm for at least three months. Inflammation is what makes you cough, and there are a variety of underlying causes. Smoking, a sinus infection, acid reflux and asthma are some of the more common culprits.
So what do you do about chronic bronchitis? After your health care provider determines the cause, he or she can tailor treatment. If you smoke, stop. If you have an infection, you may need antibiotics. If it’s acid reflux, your health care provider can help determine the best way to control it. The same goes for a diagnosis of asthma.
Sound bites with Kaiser Lim, M.D., and animation are available in the downloads above
Expert title for broadcast cg: Dr. Kasier Lim, Mayo Clinic Allergist and Pulmonologist