Bronchitis is a term that means inflammation of the mucus membrane of the bronchi in the lungs.
Treatment for an attack of Acute Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is commonly caused as a result of viral infections such as cold and influenza. Hence while treating the case of acute bronchitis, the health care professional will also focus on treating the associated symptoms of the viral infection. The following options are taken into consideration while treating an attack of acute bronchitis:
1. Adequate rest
A person suffering from viral infections usually feels very tired. So the doctor will advise the person suffering from acute bronchitis to take adequate rest, which helps in a speedy recovery.
2. Keeping the body hydrated
In case of viral infections, the person tends to lose lots of body fluids by way of sweat. There is excessive thirst. If the person is suffering from common cold or sinusitis, then the mucus membranes lining the sinus secrete excessive fluid. The person tends to be dehydrated. Hence the health care professional will advise him to drink plenty of warm fluids such as warm water and hearty soups in order to maintain the fluid levels of the body.
3. Prescribing paracetamol
Viral infections and acute bronchitis may be accompanied with fever. So the doctor may prescribe medicines containing paracetamol in order to treat the fever.
4. Prescribing antibiotics
If an attack of acute bronchitis is secondary to bacterial infection, then the person suffering from acute bronchitis complains of cough which is usually accompanied with high fever and excessive amount of greenish yellow sputum. In this case, the health care professional may look into prescribing antibiotics in order to fight the infection and treat the underlying cause of acute bronchitis.
Treatment for Chronic Bronchitis
The following options are taken into account while treating a case of chronic bronchitis
Bronchodilators may be prescribed to treat chronic bronchitis. These medications expand the airways to make it easier to breathe. They are often taken in the form of an inhaler.
2. Use of Corticosteroids
Corticosteroids and antibiotics may be given during periods when the person has a chest infection. Corticosteroids may be used regularly in people with severe disease or frequent exacerbations.
3. Quit smoking
The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. The doctor will advise the person suffering from chronic bronchitis to stop the smoking, at least until he starts to feel better. The doctor will also advise him that he will continue to suffer from frequent attacks of cough if he does not quit smoking .He is made aware that smoking increases the risk of other disease such as chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer.
4. Wearing protective masks
Many cases of chronic bronchitis result after chronic exposure to occupational pollutants such as cotton, flax and dust. The doctor educates the person suffering from chronic bronchitis about how to protect himself from the exposure to occupational irritants. This includes wearing protective gear such as protective air masks.