A severe type of bronchitis is often referred to as “chronic bronchitis,” where the main air passageway of your lungs continues to swell and commonly recurs.
Smoking is the main culprit for the presence of chronic bronchitis. Firsthand smoking is at a high risk to develop the said illness. Moreover, even if you don’t smoke but you are prone to inhale smoke from cigarettes and belches or breathe in irritants then you are most likely to develop chronic bronchitis.
Once you observe the following symptoms then it is best to consult with your physician for you may be suffering from chronic bronchitis:
- Productive cough with abundant mucus and sometimes there is blood in your cough.
- Difficulty in breathing which is triggered by slight activities.
- Infections in the respiratory systems.
- Easily weakened by non-strenuous activity
- Swollen feet, ankle or leg
- Persistent headaches
When the above-mentioned signs are observed by you or your physician, your doctor will request for a series of tests to determine proper treatments. Most medical practitioner states that there is no absolute cure for chronic bronchitis. What you can do is give aid to the discomfort, pain and symptoms brought by the said illness. There are specific treatments to help you deal with chronic bronchitis.
The primary aim of this treatment is to help you breathe easier. What it does is open the air passageway in your lungs to alleviate the briefness of breath as well as wheezing.
Bronchodilators are divided into three subgroups such as beta2-agonists, anticholinergics, and xanthines.
Beta2-agonists are used to reduce the symptoms brought by chronic bronchitis by relaxing the airways in your lungs. Salbutamol and Terbutaline are some common types of beta2-agonists.
Anticholinergics are drugs used to help patients with chronic bronchitis breathe easier. However, it works differently compared to beta2-agonists. “Atrovent” is an example of this drug.
Xanthine comes from the “alkaloids” group wherein it is utilized to treat the symptoms of bronchitis. Others conclude that Xanthine can reduce the swelling of the air passageway of the lungs.
To prevent too much swelling and irritation of bronchial tubes, corticosteroids may be used. It is usually taken by inhaling the drug. However, there are patients who are prescribed to take the said medication in tablet form. These patients are the ones who experience severe lung infection.
Misuse or overuse of this drug may result to hazy vision, repeated urination and the need to drink plenty of liquids.
3. Supplemental Oxygen
Not all individuals with chronic bronchitis need to have supplemental oxygen. If you have extremely low oxygen in your blood or you have minor damage in the lungs, then it is recommended that you undergo this kind of treatment.
A cylinder or concentrator is used to deliver the oxygen you need into your body. With a use of “nasal prongs” you will be able to breathe in the oxygen supply that is required for you to take.
With the presence of oxygen, you will be able to sustain the normal level of oxygen in your blood which your body needs. Additionally, it enables you to breathe easier.
4. Flu and pneumonia shots
Flu shot is a vaccine to safeguard individuals from the “influenza virus.” The shot is commonly administered in the arms every year. Equally important is a pneumonia shot. With this vaccine, you will be protected from the infection “pneumococcal.”
There are short-term side effects when you get the above-mentioned shots such as reddishness of the injected body part, swelling or soreness. However, these are temporary side effects as reaction of the body to the vaccine.
Antibiotics for chronic bronchitis are used to treat secondary bacterial infection. Telithromycin with a brand name “Ketek” is a widely used antibiotic for chronic bronchitis.
Apart from the suggested medication as chronic bronchitis treatment, it is also helpful to practice the following steps:
- You need to stop smoking, if you are a smoker. If you are non-smoker, you need to stay away from an environment with smokes and irritants.
- You need to change your lifestyle by properly eating variety of foods from the food pyramid, getting enough exercise as well as getting ample of rest.
- It may be helpful if you can join support group programs. By doing so, you will be able to fully understand and accept your condition. It will also help you encounter other treatment methods which you can try.