Home remedies for bronchitis are resting, keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids and using a vaporizer, according to WebMD. Individuals with chronic bronchitis should avoid exposure to dust, paint or exhaust fumes and people with colds.
Healthy individuals with acute bronchitis should treat it the same way they treat a cold and take aspirin or Tylenol for discomfort, advises WebMD. It is best to avoid cough suppressants if possible because a productive cough helps remove excess mucous from the lungs.
Prescription treatments include an inhaled bronchodilator, oral steroids to reduce inflammation, and antibiotics to treat any bacterial infection. Supplemental oxygen may be necessary. Bronchitis in otherwise healthy individuals may not improve without prescription antibiotics. To lessen bronchitis symptoms, individuals who are overweight should lose weight and smokers should quit, states WebMD.
Doctors diagnose acute bronchitis by listening to the lungs through a stethoscope to detect the rattling sound in the upper airways that indicates bronchitis. In chronic bronchitis cases, doctors X-ray the chest to observe the extent of the lung damage and perform pulmonary function tests to measure lung performance. Doctors may also measure blood oxygen levels. Yearly influenza shots and pneumonia vaccines can prevent chronic bronchitis. One dose of pneumonia vaccine can provide protection to the age of 65, notes WebMD.