What is asthmatic bronchitis? Asthmatic bronchitis refers to the incidence of acute bronchitis in a person with asthma. Acute bronchitis is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation in the bronchi, the passageways that move air into and out of the lungs. This inflammation results in respiratory congestion and shortness of breath. Asthma is a disorder that causes inflammation of the airways, leading to shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest tightness, and wheezing. Acute bronchitis is a common respiratory disorder in the United States. Infants, young children, and elderly people have the highest risk of developing acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is commonly caused by upper respiratory viral infections. If you have asthma, your risk of acute bronchitis is increased because of an increased sensitivity to airway irritation and inflammation. Your risk of acute bronchitis is also increased if you smoke or are exposed to air pollution. The signs and symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis vary among individuals, depending on the severity of the infection. Treatment for asthmatic bronchitis includes antibiotics, bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pulmonary hygiene techniques such as chest percussion (medical treatment in which a respiratory therapist pounds gently on the patient’s chest) and postural drainage (medical treatment in which the patient is placed in a slightly inverted position to promote the expectoration of sputum). Healthy lifestyle practices, including good hand washing, drinking plenty of fluids, following a well-balanced diet, getting plenty of rest, and avoid smoking, can help prevent or improve asthmatic bronchitis. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have severe difficulty breathing, which may be combined with pale or blue lips, fast heart rate, and chest pressure. Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for asthmatic bronchitis but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.