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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Bronchitis

During normal respiration, air travels through the nose, down the trachea, and into smaller and smaller airways called bronchi. The bronchi divide into bronchioles and finally into tiny grape-like clusters of thin, fragile sacs called alveoli.

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or bronchi. When the cells of the bronchial-lining tissue are irritated beyond a certain point, the tiny hair cells, (cilia) which normally trap and eliminate pollutants, stop functioning. In response, a heavy secretion of mucus develops, which causes the characteristic cough of bronchitis.

The inflammation may be caused by viruses, bacteria, smoking or inhalation of chemical pollutants or dust.