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How is bronchitis treated?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for bronchitis include using a humidifier to help loosen mucus and taking antibiotics and cough medicine. For people who suffer from allergies, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), doctors may prescribe an inhaler. Acute bronchitis goes away within a couple weeks in most cases, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

The usual cause for bronchitis is a viral infection, which does not respond to antibiotics. However, in some cases, patients also develop a bacterial infection, which is what prompts the prescription. Cough medicine is helpful for patients who cannot sleep. However, during the day, it is best to allow cough to happen as it ejects debris from the respiratory system. The purpose of the inhaler for COPD, asthma and allergy sufferers is to reduce swelling and open up passages in the lungs, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

People who suffer from chronic bronchitis might try pulmonary rehabilitation. These breathing exercises help patients learn how to breathe with less difficulty, boosting their capacity for exercise. For people whose cough is exacerbated by cold air, a face mask for cold air can be helpful during bouts of bronchitis. Staying away from such irritants as cigarette smoke, air pollution, strong household cleaners and paint — or wearing a mask when around them — can ease symptoms of bronchitis as well, according to Mayo Clinic.

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