When you hear a medical term that ends in ``itis'' it means something is inflamed. Tracheobronchiti...
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When you hear a medical term that ends in ``itis'' it means something is inflamed. Tracheobronchitis is inflammation of the trachea - your main airway-- and bronchi - the smaller branching airways going into your lungs. There are many airborne organisms, such as viruses, that can cause infection and inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. If you breathe in virus particles that are floating in the air, they can bind to hair-like structures on the surface of cells lining the airways. They can then enter the cells and begin to multiply. Eventually the cells they have invaded die and redness and inflammation develop. As your immune system tries to fight the inflammation and infection, the lining of the bronchi swell and more mucus is produced. Less air is able to flow to and from the lungs, and mucus can accumulate in your airways. This can result in a cough with green sputum, as your body tries to clear the accumulated mucus, as well as soreness in the chest, and sometimes mild shortness of breath.