Why Wont My Bronchitis Go Away: The Probable Causes
Chronic bronchitis usually results after a person suffers a series of acute bronchitis. Generally, an acute condition will be resolved after a few days or weeks of proper management. It usually recurs because the person might be continuously exposed to environmental factors that typically cause bronchitis. Such include dust, fumes, chemicals, mist, and pollens.
Similarly, people who smoke are more prone to situations wherein bronchitis will not go away or will constantly recur. So, if you are living with a person who smokes, then do not expect that you will be cured after finishing your medications. In addition, bronchitis sufferers who drink alcohol, coffee, and other beverages without drinking the right amount of water will also have persistent bronchitis. That is because concentrated beverages contain ingredients like sugar that will add more weight to the mucus. Hence, the airway will not be cleared.
Same goes for drinking cold beverages as well as consuming ice cream, sweet delights, and the likes. That is because sugar can thicken mucus and low temperature will not be able to push the mucus properly. That is the reason why most doctors advise patients to take warm water and refrain from consuming sugary and cold products.
Beware Of Cough Medicines
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has recommended that over-the-counter cough medicines should not be given to children under the age of 6.
Children aged 6 to 12 should only use them on the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.
As an alternative to an over-the-counter cough medicine, try making your own mixture of honey and lemon, which can help soothe a sore throat and ease your cough.
How To Regain Strength After Pneumonia
If you have pneumonia, the first priority is clearing the infection causing it.
This means following your doctors treatment plan very closely. Yes, getting plenty of rest. And, yes, taking every single pill in the bottle of antibiotics your doctor prescribed you if your pneumonia is bacterial in nature.
But, even after your primary symptoms fade away, you may be left feeling lousy, with low energy and/or dealing with a cough that just wont quit. In some cases, you may feel weak for months.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Acute Bronchitis
Symptoms can vary, but usual symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
At first, cough can be dry, but eventually results in a cough that produces greenish or yellowish mucus. Mucus further blocks the airway, making it difficult for your child to breathe. Bronchitis in children can come on quickly after a cold and can last a few weeks.
What About Antibiotics
If your doctor thinks the cause is bacteria, you might get a prescription for antibiotics.
If so, be sure to take the full prescription of antibiotics. Even if you feel better, the infection could still be in your system. You want to make sure you kill all the bacteria on the first try.
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Getting Plenty Of Rest
One of the main symptoms of bronchitis is fatigue. The infection and the persistent cough that comes with it can cause extreme tiredness.
Research has shown that sleeping may boost the immune system and aid recovery from infection.
Sleep helps the body to repair tissue damage and generate new tissue, release important hormones, and renew energy.
To assist sleeping, use more pillows to raise the head. This sleeping position can help to soothe breathing and clear mucus from the chest.
recommend that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per day and children around 10-12 hours per day. Getting enough sleep will help fight infection and assist recovery from bronchitis.
Ask About Cough Medicine
You may be tempted to guzzle cough syrup. But keep in mind that coughing is your bodyâs way of trying to clear the mucus out of your lungs, and you need that to happen. So ask your doctor if you should take any cough medicine. If the hacking keeps you from getting enough rest, you may be able to take the smallest dose that lets you fall sleep. Or try a warm mixture of honey and lemon instead.
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Personal Stories About Taking Antibiotics For Acute Bronchitis
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I was diagnosed with acute bronchitis after having the flu. Although I know people who have used antibiotics for this condition, my doctor told me that antibiotics would not be effective for acute bronchitis caused by a viral infection. She suggested I take cough medicine for my cough if necessary. This made sense to me.
Paula, age 26
I have asthma. When I was diagnosed with acute bronchitis, my doctor felt that because of the asthma, and my age, that I was at risk for pneumonia. He suggested a course of antibiotics, and I agreed.
Josef, age 67
When I was diagnosed with acute bronchitis, I thought I’d get some antibiotics and that would be the end of it. My doctor explained that this might shorten my cough by a day but really would do no more. One day is not worth the hassle and cost of antibiotics, so I just used cough medicine.
Theo, age 46
I guess acute bronchitis usually goes away in a couple of weeks, so my doctor suggested I treat my symptoms at home. But it’s been about a month and I’m still coughing and feeling bad. We are going to try some antibiotics.
Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia
People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:
- People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
- People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
- People who are receiving chemotherapy
- Transplanted organ recipients
- People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
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Apply A Hot Compress On Chest:
If you want to look for the ways on how to cure bronchitis naturally, I would like to recommend hot compress for you. The possible reason why you frequently cough may be that bronchitis will make your chest painful and heavy. There are a lot of ways for you to make a hot compress. You can lay a bottle of hot water on your chest or cover your chest with electric blanket. Alternatively, a heating pad can be applied on your chest.However, if you use the hot compress method to treat bronchitis, it is important to make sure that your clothes are thick enough for the heating not to burn your skin.
Treating Body Aches And Pains
Taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can help relieve symptoms of bronchitis, such as fever, headache, and aches and pains.
Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers, unless advised by a doctor, due to the associated risk of Reyes syndrome.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can be hazardous for people with asthma and should be avoided.
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How Long Does Bronchitis Last
Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and currently practices at Central Coast Allergy and Asthma in Salinas, California.
If you think you have bronchitis, Its normal to wonder how long it takes to get over it. In many cases, a doctor wont prescribe anything except rest and over-the-counter treatments. So how long will you have to endure this hacking, productive cough?
Figuring out how long your bronchitis will last is a complicated question. There are two different types of bronchitis, acute and chronic . Within each type, there can be multiple causes. Individual causes have unique treatments and recovery times.
Generally, acute bronchitis caused by an infection will last a few weeks, but chronic bronchitis caused by pollution or smoking can last months and come back yearly. Either way, youll probably have a worn-out, bronchitis-fatigue feeling for several weeks.
This article will review the types of bronchitis, their causes, and how long they last.
Science Photo Library / Getty
Saline Drops Or Spray
A saline nose spray can help break up stubborn mucus and make it easier to get it out. The saline spray will clear out mucus from the nose, providing some relief. It will also hydrate your tissues.
When you have bronchitis, your airways produce mucus, but there is usually a buildup in your nose as well. Saline drops are effective at clearing the nose and helping you feel better while you recover.
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Antibiotics For Cough From Other Causes
While its not likely that youll be prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis, it is possible that youll need antibiotics for an incessant cough caused by another bacteria.
An infection called whooping cough is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis and can cause a lingering cough. Luckily, its prevented in most cases by the pertussis vaccine, which has reduced whooping cough infections drastically.
If you havent been vaccinated against whooping cough , its possible a cough could be caused by the pertussis bacteria.
The symptoms of pertussis are very similar to those of bronchitis. They include initial cold-like symptoms, including:
- A sniffly, runny nose
- A mild, occasional cough
- Unusual pauses in breathing
In pertussis, especially in those who havent been vaccinated, these symptoms worsen and develop into unusual coughing fits with an accompanying high-pitched whoop sound. This usually happens one to two weeks after the initial infection.
These coughing fits can cause exhaustion and vomiting, and can last a long timeup to 10 weeks or more.
Pertussis infections are treated with antibiotics, and early treatment is essential to ease symptoms and prevent the spread of the disease.
Also, try to stay away from others, especially those too young to be vaccinated. Whooping cough is extremely dangerous to infants.
Antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat pertussis include:
What To Avoid When You Have Bronchitis
One of the most important things to do when you have bronchitis is to avoid things that will irritate your lungs.
- No smoking. You should steer clear of smoking of any kind anyway but especially with bronchitis or other conditions that affect your lungs.
- Fires. Whether its a cozy fire in your fireplace, a camp fire or being in an area where there are controlled burns or wildfires, smoke will definitely worsen your condition.
- Dust. Inhaling dust and other allergens around your home can stir up trouble so keep your windows closed and keep your house clean, dusted and vacuumed. Wear a mask while cleaning and consider an air filter for your home.
Keep an eye on your local weather, too. Local news and other outlets, like the National Weather Service, will often report your local air quality index, which tracks the level of pollution in the air in your community. The higher the index number, the worse the air quality is, meaning you should stay inside with an air filter on and windows closed.
How To Cure Bronchitis Quickly
Bronchitis can be very exhausting.
Of course, it generates fatigue linked to the infectious state, but its cough is painful.
If we know its not that bad most of the time, its still a good idea to try to relieve it by reducing its symptoms.
Certain natural remedies can give you real support while reducing the duration of the infection.
A load of vitamins leads to a more efficient immune system at killing bacteria and viruses as well.
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Key Points To Remember
- Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus and often follows a cold or flu. Antibiotics usually do not help acute bronchitis, and they may be harmful.
- Experts recommend that you not use antibiotics to try to relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis if you have no other health problems.
- Most cases of acute bronchitis go away in 2 to 3 weeks, but some may last 4 weeks. Home treatment to relieve symptoms is usually all that you need.
- Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. Not taking the full course of antibiotics when your doctor prescribes them also can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it. This is called .
- Antibiotics may help prevent complications from acute bronchitis in people who have other problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , other long-term breathing problems , or heart failure.
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Antibiotics For Patients With Severe Disease
The 1949 edition of the Textbook of medical treatment advised the use of penicillinthe miracle drugalongside sulphonamides, as the most important life-saving interventions in acute bronchitis. The wider therapeutic optimism regarding penicillin was reflected in the statement that it was one of the most satisfying drugs in medicine readily procurable at reasonable price on a doctor’s or dentist’s prescription. there is no longer justification for withholding it in susceptible infections.42 The first edition of Stanley Davidson’s The principles and practice of medicine in 1952 devoted four pages to acute tracheo-bronchitis, with a sulphonamide or injectable penicillin being recommended in the presence of fever, particularly in the elderly or those with other diseases.43 Similar advice had been given in the 1954 edition of Maurice Davidson’s A practical manual of diseases of the chest. This provided detailed advice on symptomatic remedies, bed rest, fluid intake and diettwo hourly feeds of a mixture of milk, Bovril, raw egg, sugar and brandy however, there was only one mention of antibiotics, in some cases administration of the newer chemotherapeutic agents may be called for in severe infection, when early venesection and oxygen therapy were also seen as being valuable.44
What Can I Do To Treat My Chest Infection
If you have a chest infection, you should:
- Have plenty of rest.
- Drink lots to prevent your body becoming lacking in fluids and to help keep the mucus in your lungs thin and easier to cough up.
- Inhale steam vapour, perhaps with added menthol. This can help to clear the mucus from your chest. Never use hot water for a childs cough, in case they get scalded by accident
- Avoid lying flat at night to help keep your chest clear of mucus and make it easier to breathe.
- Take paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce high temperature and to ease any aches, pains and headaches.
- If you smoke, you should try to stop smoking for good. Bronchitis, chest infections and serious lung diseases are more common in smokers.
- If your throat is sore from coughing, you can relieve the discomfort with a warm drink of honey and lemon.
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Bronchitis: Things You Need To Know
Bronchitis, in its simplest terms, is a condition involving a persons airways. Male or female, whether young or old, can get bronchitis, but specific groups of people are more susceptible to the disease like babies, seniors, and persons with compromised immune systems.
A virus can cause bronchitis and people usually develop it when they have caught flu or cold. If you have asthma, suffer from heart failure, cystic fibrosis or you have some other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases , then your risk of developing bronchitis increases.
How Can I Help Myself Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed medicine, follow the directions carefully.
You may feel better in a room with a humidifier, which increases the moisture in the air and soothes irritated lungs. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. If you have a fever and feel uncomfortable, ask the doctor whether you can take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring it down. But dont take any medicine without checking first with your doctor a cough suppressant, for example, may not allow your lungs to clear themselves of mucus.
And finally, be sure to rest. This is a good time to sleep, watch TV, read, and lay low. If you treat your body right, it will repair itself and youll be back to normal in no time.
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