Often brought on after a cold or upper respiratory infection, bronchitis wake forest nc causes the bronchial tubes (the tubes that carry air to the lungs) to get irritated and inflamed. Characterized by a nagging cough that produces mucus, bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is temporary and generally resolves itself within a few weeks while chronic bronchitis is much more serious and can be permanent. While some bronchitis cases clear up on their own, other cases require treatment so in this article, we will discuss the most common and effective bronchitis treatment options. Heritage providers are highly trained in providing the most appropriate bronchitis treatment.
- Cough suppressants: If the patient is still coughing, but no longer producing mucus when they do, cough suppressants may be used to manage the symptom. Common cough suppressants used include dextromethorphan and codeine. These treatments options should be discussed with one of your Heritage providers to be sure its the correct option for you.
- Pain relievers: In addition to a cough, other symptoms of bronchitis are like a cold and include headaches, body aches, and a mild fever that pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, can treat.
- Bronchodilators: A group of inhaled medications that relax and open the muscles around the airways, bronchodilators help the patient move more air and breathe easier. Once the airways are open, mucus is able to more freely move and is easier to cough up. Albuterol is the most common bronchodilator used which is quite helpful during acute episodes.
- Antibiotics: In some cases, bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection. When acute bronchitis is bacterial in nature, antibiotics, such as azithromycin, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin, are powerful medicines that can be used to treat the infection. Patients that are prescribed antibiotics, should ensure they finish the full amount of medicine to ensure the infection is fully eliminated. However, bronchitis is typically caused by a viral infection and unfortunately, antibiotics do not help kill viruses.
- Use of an inhaler: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or allergies can all have their airways narrow. Should the patient have any of these underlying conditions, they may need to use an array inhalers to control their bronchitis symptoms.
- Rest and fluids: Since acute bronchitis tends to heal on its own in a couple of weeks, getting ample rest and drinking plenty of fluids are two of the best steps patients can take to expedite recovery.
- Gargle with salt water: To help remove mucus coating and irritating the throat, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in warm water, gargle, and spit. Can be repeated several times throughout the day to relieve throat irritation.
- Honey: Honey, either eaten on its own or stirred into warm tea, has been used throughout history to help treat coughs and soothe irritated throats. Because it can cause a serious form of food poisoning (infant botulism) in infants, honey is not appropriate for children under one year of age.
- Using a humidifier or steam: Adding moisture to the air can help loosen mucus in the lungs and make it easier for the patient to breathe. Sleeping in a room with a humidifier or sitting in a steam room, are both methods for adding moisture to the air. It is strongly recommended to avoid the use of Vicks or any menthol type products in a humidifier, this can trigger a bronchitis type event.
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