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HomeHealthBronchitis: Treatment options and remedies that work

Bronchitis: Treatment options and remedies that work

Bronchitis is the name for a prevalent respiratory infection that results when the bronchial tubes (the passageways that carry air to your lungs) are inflamed.  When those tubes swell, breathing becomes difficult because the bronchi’s ability to transport air to the lungs is compromised.

Among the most typical signs of bronchitis are breathing difficulties, stuffy nose, wheezing or a whistling sound while breathing, coughing, chills, fever and low-grade pain in the chest. In addition to these typical symptoms, people with acute bronchitis may have experienced other symptoms like headache, sore throat, and runny nose

While you can’t speed healing, there are several effective treatments, including home remedies that can help ease symptoms of bronchitis and make you feel better.

In this article, we’ll explore effective management and treatment options.

Treatment options for Bronchitis

Some medications and treatments for chronic bronchitis may help to relieve symptoms of inflammation and coughing. They may also reduce mucus-production, prevent complications from developing and slow the progression of the condition. Here are a few of them: 

  • Cough suppressant
  • Antiviral medications
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Antibiotics (in case you have bacterial infections)
  •  Pain reliever
  • Bronchodilators

Home remedies and alternative therapies for Bronchitis

Indeed, there are things you may do to help control the symptoms while recovering from bronchitis at home. Among them are:

Have hot showers/ steam: 

Inhaling steam might assist release the mucus discharges in the lungs. This can be achieved by kneeling over a bowl of boiling hot water, covering your head with a towel, and inhaling the steam. Alternatively, you can do this in the shower.

Adding essential oils to steam therapy

To facilitate additional airway opening when steaming in a bowl, you can also add a few drops of antibacterial eucalyptus oil to the water. Other remedies that might be useful in reducing the symptoms of respiratory conditions (including bronchitis, colds, and flu) include tea tree oil, thyme oil, and peppermint oil (which contains the decongestant menthol).

Use a humidifier

In order to maintain moisture in the air and maybe help with sputum loosening, breathing, and coughing, you might also want to consider using a humidifier in your bedroom. If you use a humidifier, make sure to clean it carefully and on a regular basis to prevent the growth of bacteria or mould.

Remain hydrated

Drink plenty of water—at least eight glasses each day—to stay hydrated, as this may help reduce congestion. Although there isn’t any solid scientific proof that hydration can alter mucus viscosity, getting enough water is still beneficial to your general health.

Apply a neti pot or nose spray

To release thick mucus and open congested nasal passages to aid breathing, rinse out your nose and sinuses twice a day with a saline nasal spray (or use a neti pot and 6 ounces of warm distilled water combined with ½ teaspoon of salt).

Avoid things that can irritate your lungs

Avoid exposure to biological pollutants—such as animal dander, second-hand smoke, mould, pollen, dust mites, and cockroaches—that may trigger breathing problems, allergic symptoms, or the onset of bronchitis symptoms, particularly in individuals who are susceptible to such triggers. 

Drink fluids

Drinking liquids such as tea and other warm liquids might thin mucus and lessen persistent coughing. Studies verify that drinking liquids can facilitate coughing and provide nearly instant relief for symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, congestion, sore throat, and exhaustion caused by illness. Many varieties of herbal tea like echinacea, peppermint, chamomile, ginger, and elderberry offer anti-inflammatory or immune-supporting qualities.

Herbal remedies

Additionally, some herbs like mullein, astragalus, and echinacea have been shown to be helpful in easing the symptoms of bronchitis and building immunity. But it’s worth mentioning that the evidence for these remedies is not yet conclusive. Also, it’s always important to first check with your healthcare provider before trying herbs and natural remedies, as some can interfere with other medications you may be taking.

Closing thoughts

Most of the time, bronchitis often clears up on its own within a couple of days or weeks. However, if yours is caused by bacteria (which is rare), you may need antibiotics. Likewise, if you have asthma or allergies, or you’re wheezing, you may need an inhaler to open your airways. To ease your bronchitis symptoms, you can follow the above-mentioned tips to help thin out your mucus and make it easier to breathe.

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