Home Therapies for Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an infection in the bronchioles, the tubes connecting the mouth and nose to the lungs. This infection may be caused by either a virus or bacteria. Many cases of bronchitis, particularly those that are viral in nature, will go away on their own without medical intervention, but more serious infections may require medication. With or without medication, a patient sick with bronchitis may feel miserable. Fortunately, there are a few things one can do at home that may alleviate symptoms.

  • Use a humidifier or steam inhaler – Warm, moist air may help relax the bronchioles and loosen mucus. Make sure to use a clean machine, however – a humidifier that was put back into storage with a damp filter is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and may complicate your illness.

  • Take a warm shower or bath – Don’t have a humidifier? A nice, warm shower or bath may have similar soothing effects, with the bonus of the water relaxing potentially sore muscles.

  • Cover your face when going outside – Bronchitis may strike any time of year, but it is more common in cold weather. If the cold air outside aggravates your symptoms, put on a cold air mask or wrap a scarf around the lower part of your face to dull the impact of the chilly air.

  • Avoid airborne irritants – While you’re struggling with bronchitis may not be the best time to bleach your bathroom or paint the kitchen. If you’re a smoker, take a break from your cigarettes until you are breathing easier (with bonus life points if you don’t return to smoking after you feel better). If you have to go to an area with airborne irritants, consider using a face mask.

  • Avoid dairy products – Odd as it may sound, dairy products may actually cause your body to produce more mucus, worsening the effects of bronchitis.

  • Drink lots of water – Staying hydrated may help thin mucus and help your body recover more quickly. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these may interact badly with even over-the-counter medications.

  • Talk to your pharmacist – There is a wide variety of over-the-counter medications designed to alleviate sore throats and mucus accumulation. Your pharmacist may be able to recommend the best over-the-counter medication for your symptoms without giving you something that may interact with daily medications or chronic health conditions.

Regardless of what you may try at home, if symptoms last more than 10 days or you begin to feel short of breath, see your doctor.


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