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Inflammation of the airways that may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Acute bronchitis usually follows a viral respiratory infection.
Chronic bronchitis is usually caused by smoking. Treatment depends on the type and duration of bronchitis. For acute bronchitis, simple measures include resting, drinking fluids, taking aspirin or Tylenol to reduce a fever, and using a humidifier. For chronic bronchitis, inhaled medicines may be needed to open the airways and clear mucus. Other drugs may be prescribed to treat an infection or reduce inflammation. Sometimes, home oxygen is required to treat low oxygen levels in the blood.
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