You may not know it, but bronchitis is a common infection affecting the airways. A virus usually causes bronchitis, and although it usually goes away on its own, it can be quite uncomfortable. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to get relief from bronchitis – both through natural remedies and medicines.
We’ll also take a look at how bronchitis is diagnosed, as well as some of the most common symptoms. If you’re suffering from bronchitis, we hope this article provides some relief.
What Are the Symptoms of Bronchitis, and How Long Does It Last?
Bronchitis is a condition that affects the airways in your lungs, causing them to become inflamed and irritated. It can be caused by a number of things, including colds and viruses, smoking, and environmental factors. Acute bronchitis in 95% of cases, is caused by viruses that cause colds and influenza (flu). This means that antibiotics do not help in this case.
The symptoms of bronchitis are simple enough to identify: a cough that produces mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain and fever. Bronchitis usually lasts around two weeks but can persist for up to six weeks.
If you experience multiple bronchitis episodes, you likely have chronic bronchitis and should seek medical attention. This condition is one of the types included in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- Acute bronchitis is a familiar health issue that generally comes about from a cold or other respiratory illness.
- Chronic bronchitis, a more severe condition, consists of continual irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes and is often caused by smoking. Chronic bronchitis symptoms often happen with other lung diseases, such as asthma, pulmonary emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, sinusitis or tuberculosis.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have bronchitis and should see your doctor: cough that lasts for more than three weeks, coughing up mucus, cough that prevents you from sleeping, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and fever. Your doctor can diagnose bronchitis by performing a physical exam and asking about your medical history.
In some cases, bronchitis can be mistaken for another respiratory condition like pneumonia, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from your doctor.
Possible Complications From Bronchitis and When to See a Doctor
If not treated properly, bronchitis can cause serious health problems. The infection may spread to your lungs and other organs and can even progress to pneumonia. And if you have bronchitis while pregnant, it can lead to preterm delivery or low birth weight.
It’s essential to be aware of the possible complications from bronchitis, and if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s time to visit your doctor. Your doctor will be able to diagnose your condition correctly, recommend the best treatment for you, and make sure that any underlying health issues are addressed.
If your symptoms last more than three weeks, it is time to see your doctor.
How to Treat Bronchitis With Medicines
Regarding prognosis, bronchitis is one of those conditions that can be both short-term and long-term. Short-term cases usually resolve within a few weeks, but chronic cases can last up to three months or more. People with COPD or asthma may have bouts of bronchitis that go away and come back throughout their lifetime.
If an infection causes your bronchitis, you may need to take medications:
- Antiviral medications may be prescribed if a virus causes bronchitis.
- Corticosteroid medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation in your airways and lungs.
- Cough suppressants may help with the cough.
- In some cases, bronchodilators may help open your airways and make breathing easier.
These medications can help reduce the severity and duration of your infection and get you back on track faster than if you didn’t treat it at all.
Although there is no cure for bronchitis, getting healthy lifestyle habits like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, avoiding smoking, and drinking plenty of fluids can make all the difference in helping you manage the condition better over time.
In our separate article, you can discover a few home remedies concerning expelling mucus.
Nutritional Supplements That Help Manage Bronchitis Symptoms
If you’re looking for relief from bronchitis, nutritional supplements can help you manage the symptoms. Your doctor may recommend supplementing with Vitamin C, N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) and other nutrients to support your respiratory system. Increasing your intake of certain vitamins and minerals can also help reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
For example, Vitamin C helps support the immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies, which help neutralise bacteria and viruses that cause infection.
NAC helps break down mucus in the lungs and supports the detoxification process. It is also a precursor for the powerful antioxidant called glutathione which can help protect against free radicals that can damage cells in the body. Taking supplements like these may boost your defences against bronchitis and reduce its intensity if you do get it.
Epsilon Life N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant supplement in vegan capsules, ready to support your health. Made in the UK, 600mg per capsule.
It’s essential to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements, as they may interact with other medications or have adverse effects on your health. However, when taken under a doctor’s supervision, nutritional supplements can be an effective way to manage bronchitis symptoms and reduce its length of occurrence.
Bronchitis is a common lung infection that can be treated with natural remedies and medicines. The symptoms include coughing, chest pain, mucus and shortness of breath. A number of factors, including viral or bacterial infection, smoking, pollution and allergies, can cause bronchitis.
Bronchitis is usually temporary and will often go away on its own. However, it can sometimes develop into a more severe condition like pneumonia. If you experience any of the symptoms of bronchitis, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.