Chronic bronchitis is no doubt a very irritating and even debilitating condition to have. The shortness of every breath, the coughing up of phlegm, and trouble falling asleep serve as constant reminders that an individual is inflicted with the condition. In the latest stages of the disease the individual may notice labored breathing (hyperventilation), hypoxemia (insufficient amounts of oxygen in the blood) and failure of the right side of the heart. So, is there a cure for chronic bronchitis?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for chronic bronchitis to date. However, there are ways to curb the symptoms and slow down its progression. With proper medical treatment in combination with necessary lifestyle changes, a person with chronic bronchitis has every chance of enjoying life and extending his/her lifespan. Some of these treatment options are mentioned below.
Common Medical Treatments for Chronic Bronchitis
Bronchodilators: Administered through an inhaler, these drugs act to dilate the airways in the lungs to help the patient to breathe more easily.
Mucolytics: These drugs makes mucous less viscous and easier to cough up.
Oxygen therapy: Chronic bronchitis makes it difficult to breathe oxygen into the lungs. Oxygen therapy is sometimes administered to increase oxygen content in the body to acceptable levels.
Helpful Lifestyle Changes for Chronic Bronchitics
Quit Smoking: Smoking is one of the leading causes of chronic bronchitis, and continued smoking when one already has the condition will definitely worsen things and can lead to an exacerbation of chronic bronchitis.
Proper Exercise: Sometimes, doctors will recommend an exercise program called pulmonary rehabilitation to chronic bronchitis patients. This program involves teaching the patient certain exercises that aim to strengthen breathing muscles to make breathing easier.
Eat Healthy: The necessary vitamins and minerals will strengthen the immune system to guard against the infections that chronic bronchitics are so prone to.
Other Useful Tips
Avoid Polluted Air: Air pollutants such as dust, fumes and second hand smoke can irritate the lungs to worsen the condition.
Get Vaccines: Since chronic bronchitis will make a person more susceptible to infections, getting flu shots and pneumonia shots will be good precautions to take.
Although there is currently no cure for chronic bronchitis, one can still seek treatment to alleviate the symptoms and to prevent any further complications from the disease from developing. The best thing an individual can do if they are suffering from chronic bronchitis is to quit smoking and start eating right and getting plenty of rest. Those that follow this routine will find a reduction in the symptoms of their chronic bronchitis, and will have taken the right steps in preventing the disease from developing into emphysema or other conditions.