Bronchitis is an infection of the intricate network of airways both within and connecting to the lungs. Usually striking when the immune system is low, bronchitis commonly develops as a progression of an upper respiratory infection and will normally clear within a couple of weeks although chronic cases may last for months. A small percentage of bronchitis cases are bacterial in nature and will respond to antibiotic treatment however in most cases the bronchitis is caused by a virus and so antibiotics will have little effect.
Although the bronchitis virus which causes the more common acute bronchitis infection needs to run its course, the coughing and wheezing symptoms can be eased by following a few simple guidelines such as:
1. Stop Smoking
Smoking is directly linked to the vast majority of chronic bronchitis infections either from being a smoker or breathing passive cigarette smoke. If you smoke then the only solution for complete recovery from chronic bronchitis is to quit and if you are a non-smoker then it is wise to consciously avoid areas where others are smoking.
2. Drink More Water
Drinking plenty of water will loosen up the phlegm and mucus and make it much easier for the body to eliminate it when coughing. Warm clear drinks are also good but stay away from mucus producing drinks such as milk as this will only make things worse.
3. Avoid Diuretics
It is a good idea to avoid diuretic type drinks such as alcohol and coffee as these have the effect of lowering fluid levels within the body because they make you urinate more. To assist the body to fight the bronchitis infection you need to maintain good fluid levels to break up the mucus.
4. Use a Vaporizer
Using a vaporizer to deliver warm moist air into the lungs will also help to break up the mucus and assist your recovery. If you don’t have access to a vaporizer then you can either run a hot shower with the bathroom door closed or perhaps place some boiled water in a pan and place your head above it and breathe the steam.
5. Liquorice Tea
The liquorice herb is a good treatment for assisting recovery and preventing bronchitis. When treating bronchitis three cups of liquorice tea can make a big difference to the length and severity of the infection.
6. Regular Flu Needle
If you suffer from chronic bronchitis then it is wise to have a regular flu injection to be on the safe side. This is especially important for the elderly as bronchitis can progress to pneumonia quite easily.
7. Forego the Cough Suppressors
It is sometimes best not to take cough suppressing medicines as the action of coughing actually helps to loosen up the phlegm and move it from the lungs. Cough suppressing medicines tend to dry the mucus which slows its elimination.
Bronchitis should not be taken lightly as it can progress to more serous health problems such as pneumonia if left untreated. In most cases antibiotics are not the answer so the simple measures outlined above along with plenty of rest will help to reduce the time it takes to recover from the infection and make life a little easier while you have the condition. Follow these bronchitis treatment tips and you’ll be back to health in no time.
Copyright © 2007 Colin Wolfenden