Munson Health
Chronic Bronchitis

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by Kohnle D

(Bronchitis, Chronic)



. There is no cure for chronic bronchitis. There are treatments that can reduce symptoms and improve lung function. The best way to reduce symptoms is to stop smoking.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options may include one or more of the following:


Medications may include bronchodilators or steroids. They may help manage chronic bronchitis by:
  • Opening the airways
  • Relaxing the breathing passages
  • Decreasing inflammation
Some medication may be taken as pills or liquids. Others are inhaled medication that is delivered directly to the lungs.
Antibiotics are rarely prescribed to treat chronic bronchitis. They may be needed to treat a lung infection that has developed because of the chronic bronchitis.


Oxygen therapy may be helpful if the oxygen levels in your blood are too low. It can relieve trouble breathing and improve energy. You may only need it for specific activities or it may be given throughout the day.


Special exercises can strengthen chest muscles. This can make it easier to breathe.
Regular physical activity can reduce the workload on your lungs by building your endurance. Physical activity is also associated with improved quality of life. Follow your doctor's recommendations for activity levels and restrictions.

Breathing and Coughing Techniques

Special methods of breathing can help bring more air into the lungs. It can also help force trapped air out of the lungs. Effective coughing techniques can also help clear mucus from your lungs. Ask your doctor if these techniques can help you. Some examples include:
  • Pursed lip breathing
  • Controlled coughing technique

Lifestyle Changes

The following may help you manage your symptoms:
  • Pace your activities.
  • Learn relaxation techniques and other methods to manage stress.
  • Seek emotional support from professionals, family, and friends. Anxiety can increase the rate of respiration, making breathing more strenuous.


American Lung Association




Canadian Lung Association

Health Canada



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