Chronic Bronchitis

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: George Schiffman, MD, FCCP
    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Understanding COPD

Quick GuideBronchitis Symptoms and Treatments

Bronchitis Symptoms and Treatments

What is the outlook (prognosis) for chronic bronchitis?

Although the disease is chronic and progressive, affected individuals that are diagnosed early before much bronchial damage occurs stop smoking (or avoid airborne dust, chemicals, or other situations that lead to bronchial irritation), they often have a good prognosis for many years.

Approximately half of smokers with chronic bronchitis will stop coughing after 1 month of smoking cessation. Most patients will no longer cough with continued abstinence from smoking. If airflow obstruction has occurred, this can improve but the improvement level depends on the duration of injury and the compliance with therapy. Obviously, the more impaired patients will have a lesser recovery of lung function.

Conversely, those individuals that have continued bronchial irritation have only a fair to poor prognosis, since repeated bouts with the disease usually get worse, with affected individuals having more frequent incidents of coughing and dyspnea over time and further progression of lung function abnormalities.

Medically reviewed by Martin E. Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery

REFERENCES:

Gotfried M, Grossman R. Short-course fluroquinolones in acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. Expert Rev Respir Med, 4(5):661-672, 2010

Medscape Reference. Bronchitis.

National Institutes of Health. Chronic Bronchitis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2016

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