When it comes to acute bronchitis, it is considered as a prevalent condition that affects millions of individuals every year. This condition is characterized by frequent coughing that can persist for several weeks. Remember that there are various causes of bronchitis and the treatment usually depends on the cause.
The usual treatment options for acute bronchitis include rest and treatment of the symptoms if caused by a virus. If the cause is bacteria, antibiotics are usually prescribed.
Managing acute bronchitis
Most cases of acute bronchitis are triggered by viruses. Always take note that viral infections are not effectively managed by antibiotics.
Once an individual has been diagnosed with acute bronchitis and the doctors believes that it is triggered by a virus, he/she should not be given antibiotics. Instead, the treatment typically includes rest, fluids and treatment of the symptoms.
Acute bronchitis can cause tiredness or fatigue. This is due to both the infection as well as the persistent coughing. It is vital that the individual will rest as much as possible when he/she is sick. Even though it can be hard to sleep properly when having a cough, he/she should not exert more than what is needed so that the body has enough time to recover.
Intake of fluids
The individual should drink clear liquids when he/she any type of respiratory infection. This is vital to keep the body properly hydrated as well as thin out the mucus in the throat and chest.
Treatment of the symptoms
When an individual has acute bronchitis, he/she might not be able to use antibiotics to manage the infection, but there are several medications that can help him/her feel better. Even though these medications will not cure the infection, they can alleviate some of the symptoms. The commonly used medications to manage the symptoms of acute bronchitis include the following:
These medications help loosen the mucus in the sinuses and facilitate drainage to allow easy breathing.
If an individual is wheezing or experiences chest tightness, the doctor might prescribe an inhaler to help relieve some of the airway swelling as well as facilitate easy breathing. These are only available by prescription, thus the doctor will decide if one is needed and prescribe one that is suitable for the symptoms experienced by the individual.
Expectorants and suppressants are useful if the cough is dry or unproductive. If the individual could not sleep due to persistent cough, a doctor should be consulted regarding the use of a cough suppressant. These medications are suitable for use among children below 12 years old.
Pain medications and fever reducers such aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce the pain experienced when an individual has acute bronchitis. These medications can also bring down the fever if there is one.
A humidifier can help reduce discomfort if an individual has acute bronchitis. These work by adding moisture to the air, making it easier to breathe and loosening up mucus as well as relieve pain from breathing dry air.
If the doctor believes that bronchitis is triggered by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are usually prescribed. If the individual is given antibiotics, he/she should take all the medications. The individual should not stop taking the medications even if he/she feels better.