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How Do I Treat The Symptoms Of Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a medical condition that occurs when the mucous membranes of the bronchial passages in the respiratory tract become inflamed. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. The common symptoms of either type include an ongoing cough, increased mucus secretion, wheezing and difficulty breathing normally. Most sufferers can treat themselves at home, but you must never ignore it. If left alone, either type of bronchitis can turn into pneumonia.
Treating The Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is caused by both viruses and bacteria, but it is more commonly caused by viral-based sicknesses such as the common cold or flu. There a number of ways to treat the symptoms.
Do not start with antibiotics. The majority of acute bronchitis cases are caused by viruses; and a select few are caused by bacteria. Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. In fact, when used in viral-based illnesses, antibiotics have been known to promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which increases risk to health. Only use antibiotics to treat bronchitis if you have medical proof that it is caused by bacteria.
The following is a list of safe and inexpensive ways to treat acute bronchitis.
Menthol and Eucalyptus
Ointments which use menthol or eucalyptus can be rubbed into the chest and will help loosen mucus secretions, which will ease breathing. Vaporizers can also help.
Humidifier or a Humidifier Substitute
Humidifiers keep the air moist and easier to inhale. If you do not have access to a humidifier, it is fairly simple to improvise one. Two of the best recommendations are: keep a shower running with hot water, or boil a pot of water. The warm, moist air from the shower will promote breathing. If you prefer not to deplete your hot water tank, boil a large pot of water on the stove. Once it starts steaming, lean over it about a foot and a half away. Drape a towel over your head so that most of the steam goes towards your face instead of escaping into the atmosphere (avoid fire hazards by making sure the cloth is not touching the heating elements).
Sleep at an Angle
Lying flat on your back can put pressure on your respiratory tract. Sleeping at an angle can relieve that pressure so you can have a more comfortable night.
Simply relaxing is a good way to heal you in a lot of illnesses, including bronchitis.
Drink Clear Liquids
Keeping hydrated is very important for curing bronchitis. The best liquids in this case are water, apple juice, non-caffeinated herbal tea, and clear broth. They have the added benefit of helping to force out mucus. Remember that hot liquids will loosen mucus secretions far better than cold ones will.
Do not smoke anything while you are recovering.
Treating The Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is a result of constant injury to or irritation of the air passages, and is most commonly caused by smoking, air pollution or prolonged inhalation of other kinds of irritants. A diagnosis of chronic bronchitis can generally be arrived at if the cough has persisted for three months or more.
Most of the remedies that apply to acute bronchitis will work, but there are two additional remedies here.
The best way to stop chronic bronchitis is to get away from the toxins that cause it. Stop smoking, work on changing any chemicals you use that lead to respiratory pain and stay away from smoke of any kind. If it is not possible to remove yourself from toxic environments, wear a face mask to reduce the amount of toxins you inhale.
Take Cough Medicine
Cough medications suppress coughing and ease congestion. However, this is a temporary solution at best.
If none of these remedies work, then it is time to see a doctor. Doctors have the means to determine if your infection is bacterial rather than viral. They can prescribe appropriate corticosteroids and/or antibiotics.
Posted by: Michelle Germann
Created on: Wed 15 August 2012 00:41
Last modified: Tue 09 October 2012 12:11
This article was posted in Bronchitis