For the most part, bronchitis is a mild condition with a tendency to self-resolve. The condition normally clears up in a matter of weeks. This form is known as acute bronchitis. However, there are cases when the damage that occurs as a result of bronchitis can become permanent. This can lead to the condition becoming prolonged and severe in its makeup. Infections of this type that last longer than three months are known as chronic bronchitis infections. Bronchitis can be especially severe for those who also suffer from conditions like asthma.
As indicated, most cases of bronchitis are mild and do not require any significant treatment. With regard to chronic bronchitis, there is no apparent pharmaceutical or medical cure. Instead, treatment should focus on the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. In particular, one should quit smoking, which will greatly help with resolving of problem.
Those with bronchitis should be sure to get enough rest and to stay sufficiently hydrated at all times. Hydrating properly helps to thin out the mucus, which makes excretion easier. If you have symptoms such as headache, fever or pain, then it might be a good idea to address the symptoms with medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. It is not recommended to use cough medicines, as there is little evidence to affirm their effectiveness. Honey and lemon drinks can provide natural symptomatic relief to problems related to bronchitis, particularly with regard to sore throat.
As mentioned earlier, one should quit smoking. Smoking can lead to an aggravation of a bronchitis infection. It will also increase the risks of acute bronchitis developing into chronic bronchitis.
Antibiotics can be used if necessary. However, this is quite rare and doctors will not normally prescribe antibiotics for combating bronchitis. Bronchitis is normally a viral illness, and since antibiotics are useless against viruses, there might be no point in using them. It must be said that antibiotics will normally only be used if the patient is at significant risk of developing pneumonia. The antibiotics that might be used include amoxicillin, doxycycline and oxytetracycline. It should also be pointed out that there are some potential side effects associated with the use of these medications that can include include diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. All things considered, the best way to avoid bronchitis - and any other viral illnesses - is through prior prevention: stop smoking, maintain hygiene and protect yourself from harmful substances.