Bronchitis is a very serious condition and some people have it chronically. This is why understanding bronchitis treatments is so important, because nobody should have to live with such a diminished quality of life. Read on to find out what can be done.
What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages. It has many different causes, including irritants in the air we breathe and smoke. Indeed, people with chronic bronchitis must stay away from cigarette smoke. The symptoms have been quite clearly defined, with five particular issues almost always being present. These are:
- A constant cough with thick mucus, sometimes even bloody
- Finding it hard to breathe, even when not taking part in strenuous activities
- Infections of the respiratory system
- Feeling weak after taking part in any kind of activity
- Constant headaches
When noticing these symptoms, doctors may order a batch of tests to confirm whether bronchitis is present or not. Treatment is then made available. If the bronchitis is deemed as chronic, then treatment is designed to relieve the symptoms only.
Understanding Bronchitis Treatments:
The key to understanding bronchitis treatments is that they are not technically designed to cure the condition, but rather to relieve the symptoms. Treatments include:
- Bronchodilators, which help to make breathing easier by opening the airways and eliminating wheezing. There are three types of bronchodilators:
- Beta2-agonists, which are designed to relax the airways. Terbutaline and Salbutamol are common beta2-agonists
- Anticholingerics, which is used in a similar way to beta2-agonists, but works slightly differently. Atrovent is the most common anticholingeric
- Xanthines, which helps lower swelling in the airways
- Corticosteroids, which stop the irritation and swelling of the airways. Usually, these are inhaled although some are in the form of tablets. Corticosteroids come with various side effects, however, including frequent urination and hazy vision.
- Oxygen supplements, which are usually provided to those who have chronic bronchitis and where permanent damage is found in the airways or people are unable to sustain oxygen levels. Oxygen is generally delivered through nasal prongs and an external oxygen supply.
- Pneumonia and flu shots, which are done as preventive measures more than anything. People with bronchitis are more at risk of developing these types of infections and should be protected.
- Antibiotics, which is offered only if there is a bacterial infection present. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics.
If you suffer from bronchitis, whether chronic or acute, it is very important that you know what you need to do to remain feeling well and improve your overall health. Some of the things you might want to consider are:
- To stop smoking. If you currently smoke, you really have to give up and if others in your household smoke, they need to do it away from you.
- To make healthy lifestyle changes, swapping to healthy foods, exercising plenty, and making sure you rest enough
- To join support groups for people with chronic bronchitis, if that is what you have, so that you can get help from those who truly understand how you feel.