Bronchitis generally refers to an acute inflammation of the air passages within your lungs. It occurs when your trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi (airways) in your lungs become inflamed because of infection or other causes.
The thin mucous lining of these airways can become irritated and swollen.
The cells that make up this lining may leak fluids in response to the inflammation.
Coughing is a reflex that works to clear secretions from your lungs. Often the discomfort of a severe cough leads you to seek medical treatment.
Both adults and children can get bronchitis. Symptoms are similar for both.
Infants usually get bronchiolitis, which involves the smaller airways and causes symptoms similar to asthma.