It is usually caused by a bacterial infection in the bronchi (air passages of lungs), but viruses can also be the trigger.
It produces cough, phlegm, chest pain, fever, and malaise.
If bronchitis is recurrent, you should be looking for the cause. Smoking or second-hand smoke and obesity are often linked to bronchitis. Mold growth in the house, or place of work, or school, dust and pets are among common causes as well.
Contact your physician, if your cough does not clear up in a week or if it is associated with severe coughing, persistent fever, or malaise. Cough suppressant medication may be prescribed if frequent cough interrupts sleep and cause chest pain.
For recurrent episodes, you need to find the cause. If you smoke, you should quit. If it is from secondhand smoke, ask the person not to smoke indoors. If the cause is dust and molds or pets, take measures to minimize the contact. Often, allergy testing is needed to figure out the triggers and provide immunotherapy (allergy injections).