Bronchitis Treatment Prevention

Bronchitis is a condition in which the air passages to your lungs, or bronchial tubes, become inflamed. Bronchitis can be classified as acute or chronic:

  • Acute bronchitis, which can be caused by the virus that leads to the common cold or by bacteria, does not last a long time.
  • By contrast, chronic bronchitis is a serious, long-term condition that may indicate lung disease.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent both acute and chronic bronchitis.

Smoking and Bronchitis

One of the most important ways to prevent bronchitis is to not smoke. Therefore, if you do not smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about methods that can help you quit as soon as possible.

Smoking irritates the bronchial tubes and can lead to chronic bronchitis. Avoiding smoking will not only help you avoid both acute and chronic bronchitis but will also improve your overall health and help reduce your risk of contracting other serious diseases.

To prevent bronchitis, it is also important to avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible. Inhaling secondhand smoke can cause health problems, both in the short term and in the long run.

Tips for Preventing Bronchitis

Here are some tips on preventing bronchitis:

  • If you are going to be working in an area where you will be exposed to dust or other irritants, wear a dust mask.
  • In general, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise will help prevent bronchitis. Well-balanced diets and regular exercise will also help to keep you healthier overall.
  • If you can, avoid coming into contact with people who have colds or other respiratory illnesses.
  • If you live in an area that has a high level of air pollution, consider staying inside when air pollution is at its worst. Air pollution is linked with bronchitis.
  • Occasionally, people develop bronchitis because they have acid reflux, where stomach acids back up into the esophagus. If you are experiencing frequent bouts of acid reflux, make an appointment with your physician to address the problem.
  • People who have allergies can also be prone to developing bronchitis. People who have allergies should avoid coming into contact with substances that will cause an allergic reaction.
  • Since many people develop bronchitis as a result of getting the flu, consider getting flu shots every year.
  • Try not to touch your eyes or the inside of your nose, as your nose and eyes are points of entry into your body for viruses and bacteria.
  • Wash your hands with hot water and soap or use hand wipes throughout the day to kill viruses and bacteria.

Bronchitis Prevention: Other Suggestions

Taking supplements may help prevent bronchitis. These substances include:

  • lactobacillus
  • vitamin C
  • zinc.

In addition, herbs such as bayberry, which is thought to help prevent infections, may help prevent bronchitis.

If you are considering taking herbs as a preventative method for bronchitis or any other illness, make sure that you consult an expert. Herbs, like other medications, can have side effects and might also interact negatively with other drugs that you are taking.

Resources

About.com (2007). Self Care for Bronchitis. Retrieved July 26, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://lungdiseases.about.com/od/chronicbronchitis1/a/bronchitis_care.htm.

Alternative Medicine (n.d.). Bronchitis. Retrieved July 27, 2007, from the Alternative Medicine Web site: http://www.alternativemedicine.com/common/adam/Display
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