Home remedies for bronchitis symptoms

November 12, 2012

Home remedies for bronchitis symptoms

Bronchitis can be painful and long-lived, but with proper consideration and care you can make a quick and full recovery.

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by the same virus that causes the common cold or flu and indeed frequently follows these illnesses due to a weakening of the immune system and the presence of irritation in the lungs. Bronchitis is transmitted in much the same way as colds and flu by contact with infected airborne viral particles or by skin to skin contact. The irritation of respiratory tract caused by bronchitis may leave the patient more vulnerable to complications such as pneumonia.

Bronchitis symptoms may vary from individual to individual and may include some or all of the following -

  • Early morning coughing which produces a lot of mucus

  • Chest pain and discomfort

  • Burning or aching below the breastbone

  • Irritated and sore throat

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath

  • Rattling sensation in the lungs and chest

  • Fever and chills

  • Generalised feeling of achiness.

More at risk

Some patients are more at risk from contracting bronchitis than others and should take extra care if any bronchitis symptoms are noted. These vulnerable groups include -

  • Patients with impaired or reduced immune resistance

  • Those with chronic lung irritation or injury

  • Those who have been adversely affected by exposure to cigarette smoke or other toxic gases

  • Asthmatics

  • Allergies

  • Those with COPD

  • The elderly

  • The very young

Generally speaking anyone who enjoys overall good health will be able to let any bout of bronchitis run its own course – since it is generally a viral infection antibiotics are not necessary and may even be harmful.

Bronchitis symptoms generally pass fairly quickly – apart from the cough which may linger for weeks. There are a number of steps that can be taken to alleviate the cough – which is the mechanism the body uses to eliminate any infection. It is important not to suppress the cough but rather to reduce the irritation and discomfort it causes.

Humidify

Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air by help loosen any sputum and expel it from the body. Other methods of increasing humidity include standing in a steamy shower or keeping a pan of boiling water on the stove – adding a few drops of essential oil to this water may be beneficial and will help to clear and soothe the throat and the respiratory system.

Increase fluid intake

Drinking plenty of fluids is known to beneficial to health in many ways. For those with bronchitis symptoms extra liquid will help to loosen the mucus and make it easier to get rid of, any type of fluid is suitable but using warm drinks may also be more soothing.

Salt water gargle

A warm, salt water gargle is useful in the treatment of sore, irritated throats as well as in dealing with the mucus caused by the bronchial infection. One teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water is sufficient to provide some relief and the gargle may be used as often as required.

Get plenty of rest

Even if the bronchitis symptoms have passed it is essential to get plenty of rest until recovery is complete. Doing too much too soon may cause a relapse and may also spread the infection more widely.

Cough syrups

Because coughing is the body’s method of dealing with infection and clearing the airways it is important not to suppress it too much. However, if constant coughing is disrupting sleep and causing fatigue it may be necessary to take a cough suppressant in order to get some rest. Any suppressant should only be taken as required and should contain dextromethorphan Рavoid products which offer a combination of ingredients, it should also be noted that soothing cough drops often have a high sugar content and are also best avoided.

Complications

Complications are always a possibility with any illness; persistent bronchitis symptoms should be referred to a medical practitioner in order to evaluate the possibility of pneumonia, sinus infection or ear infection which may all require a course of antibiotics.

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