This disease is the result of an inflammation of the bronchial lining tubes. This is where air is taken to the lungs. This health condition often develops from other respiratory ailments.
In many instances all you need is to rest and drink plenty of water. It also helps if you breathe in moist, humid air. You can also take acetaminophen or aspirin (aspirin is for adults only; children should not take them). Over the counter (OTC) cough suppressants will also help.
The goal of medications and other drugs is to reduce the symptoms and make breathing easier. Antibiotics have no effect if the illness is due to viral infection. But if the cause is bacterial, your physician will prescribe antibiotics. Discolored mucus is a sign the condition is bacterial in origin.
Antibiotics may also be given if you have lung disorder or a smoker. Antibiotics will be prescribed if there is a chance of secondary infection.
Use an OTC cough medicine only if it is keeping you awake. Do not take cough medication that stops cough from taking up the mucus. Cough with mucus gets rid of irritants so it is best not to prevent them. An inhaler may be prescribed if you have asthma.
Symptoms and Indicators
To administer the proper bronchitis treatment, you need to be aware of the symptoms. The indicators for acute and chronic cases are similar. They include cough, shortness of breath and wheezing. There is mucus, either green, yellowish gray or white.
Sometimes the mucus is clear. Patients will also tire quickly and feel discomfort at the chest area. There will be a fever with chills.
If the ailment is acute, cough will last for a few weeks long after the bronchitis is gone. Those with chronic cases will see these symptoms get worse from time to time.
When to Go to the Doctor
Acute cases clear up in a few days. But you should see your health provider if the fever lasts for more than 3 days or if it goes beyond 101 F. Coughing up green or yellow mucus with blood could be indicative of pneumonia.
Go to the doctor if the cough lasts three weeks or more. Consult your doctor if you have a heart condition or emphysema. Getting inflamed bronchial tubes may complicate your emphysema or heart ailment.
Cause of the Ailment
The virus behind the common cold is one source. You can also get the illness from contact with infected people. Pollution and smog may also bring the condition about. The ailment may also occur if stomach acids keep going to the esophagus and some get to the upper airway.
People constantly exposed to dust may develop this ailment. Chronic cases are mainly due to smoking. However, pollution has been identified as another culprit.
Rest and OTC medications remain some of the best bronchitis treatments available and they usually do the job. But if your condition does not improve, you should consult your doctor and get the appropriate treatment.