Chronic Bronchitis (COPD)

What is it?

Chronic bronchitis is an ongoing illness that can cause serious long-lasting lung problems.

Risks and symptoms

A cough with mucus production that lasts for at least three months and a productive cough that is present for at least two years are the main symptoms of chronic bronchitis. Those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will often begin to notice symptoms of shortness of breath when they reach their mid-40s. Chronic cough and increased mucus production may also be present, but are usually not bad enough to cause concern.

What causes COPD?

  • Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD
  • Smoking a pipe, cigar, marijuana, hashish and other types of smoking materials
  • Exposure to second–hand smoke
  • Exposure to certain kinds of chemicals and breathing in the fumes for many years
  • Working in a dusty area for many years
  • Chronic exposure to air pollution
  • Having a history of frequent childhood lung infections
  • Having the genetic disorder: Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency


COPD has no cure. However, there are treatments that can decrease the effects of COPD.  Treatment focuses on quitting smoking, avoiding lung irritants, slowing down the damage to the lung, relieving symptoms, building body fitness (link), and decreasing flare-ups.