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Exacerbation of chronic bronchitis is characterised by cough enhancement with abundant purulent secretion and dyspnoea.
Exacerbations of chronic disease process may also sometimes result from viral infections or allergen exposure. However, the most frequent causes of disease exacerbations are bacterial infections.

In result of prolonged inflammatory condition, the inflammation process moves deeper and deeper into the bronchial lining and the patient becomes more susceptible to subsequent infections. During periods, when the disease reveals more aggravated course, intensive cough and sputum expectoration may occur. Micro-organism containing secretion can be eliminated by expectorant agents. However, they do not reach deeper regions of bronchial walls affected by localised inflammation.

Therefore, when the disease is aggravated, the affected patient has to receive antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment is continued until sputum does not lose its purulent character.