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Weslaco, TX
Phone: (956) 447-5557

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McAllen, TX
Phone: (956) 630-1000

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How to Get Rid of Bronchitis Fast: The Best Treatment and Prevention Tips

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes caused by a virus and can significantly cause discomfort and distress, impacting daily life. When you have bronchitis, your bronchi get inflamed and filled with mucus. A prolonged cough with or without sputum and other respiratory symptoms is the main symptom of bronchitis. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, and not viral infections like bronchitis. The policy to reduce antibiotics for patients with bronchitis is a national and international healthcare priority.

Man coughing

Causes of Bronchitis

A viral infection of the upper airways, such as the common cold or flu, causes most cases of bronchitis. If caused by a bacterium, it causes whooping cough (pertussis), but this is less common.

Acute bronchitis, caused by a virus, is a lower raspatory tract infection involving large airways. It will usually go away on its own, and most people do not need treatment for acute bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a subtype of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is commonly seen in current and former smokers. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by a cough lasting at least three months for two consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis never goes away but can be managed to improve the patient’s breathing. Smoke and other irritants can also cause chronic and acute bronchitis.

Who is affected by bronchitis?

Anyone can get bronchitis, but you are at a higher risk if you:

  • Smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Have asthma, COPD or other breathing conditions.
  • Have GERD (chronic acid reflux).
  • Have an autoimmune disorder or illness that causes inflammation.
  • Are around air pollutants (like smoke and chemicals).

Symptoms of Bronchitis

As mentioned before, a persistent cough lasting up to three weeks is the main symptom of bronchitis. This cough could have mucus or be a dry cough, coughing up blood, or experiencing chest pains with coughing and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms could include shortness of breath, fatigue, a runny nose, a whistling sound when breathing, and sometimes a fever.

Treatment of Bronchitis

Medication is not often prescribed for bronchitis as acute bronchitis disappears. Medications can be prescribed to help with the symptoms.

The following strategies are the best to get yourself up and healthy:

  • Stay hydrated: keeping the body hydrated thins mucus, making it easier to expel. Fluids can include water, herbal teas, and clear broth.
  • Rest: adequate rest is essential for the body to fight the infection. Resting allows the immune system to fight the viral infection.
  • Avoid irritants: Steer clear of smoke, dust, and other airborne irritants to prevent irritation to the bronchial tubes.
  • Use a humidifier: Moist air can help soothe irritated airways and relieve coughing and chest congestion.
  • Medicine: Over-the-counter medicine can be taken to alleviate the discomfort. Cough suppressants could help, but it is better to consult a healthcare professional.
  • Prescription medication might include antiviral medication bronchodilators to manage the bronchi effectively.
  • The Pulmonary & Sleep Center of the Valley in Weslaco has excellent tested therapies and approaches designed to support your breathing, comfort, and speedy recovery.
  • Inhalers and bronchodilators provided by The Pulmonary & Sleep Center of the Valley can alleviate symptoms and make breathing easier. It can be for long-lasting relief or quick-acting support before beginning strenuous activities.
  • Ways of treating acute bronchitis at home include inhaling steam, consuming ginger and turmeric, gargling with salt water, and getting plenty of sleep. Soothe a dry throat with honey and lemon, and drink lots of water.
Stop smoking cigarettes.

Prevention Tips 

  • Quit smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of chronic bronchitis, and to reduce the risk of developing chronic bronchitis and other respiratory conditions, smokers should seek help to quit the habit.
  • Practice good hygiene: Regular handwashing and avoiding close contact with sick individuals can lower the risk of contracting viruses responsible for acute bronchitis. It is a good idea to carry alcohol-based hand rubs anywhere you go.
  • Maintain indoor air quality: Proper ventilation and regular cleaning of indoor spaces and air vents help reduce airborne pollutants.
  • Stay active and healthy: Regular exercise and a healthy diet strengthen the immune system and improve lung function, reducing the likelihood of developing bronchitis.

Even though bronchitis can disrupt daily life and cause discomfort, many options exist to manage the condition. If you are struggling with a persistent cough or breathing difficulties, contact the Pulmonary & Sleep Center of the Valley for personalized guidance and help to live a productive, happy life.