Munson Health
 
Chronic Bronchitis

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by Kohnle D

(Bronchitis, Chronic)

 

Treatment

. 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:

Medication

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

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.

Exercise

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.
 

RESOURCES

American Lung Association
http://www.lung.org

Smokefree
http://www.smokefree.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Lung Association
http://www.lung.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Chronic bronchitis. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/articles/280.html. Updated July 2010. Accessed March 29, 2013.


COPD. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 5, 2013. Accessed March 29, 2013.


Explore chronic bronchitis. National Heart Lung Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/brnchi. Updated May 1, 2009. Accessed March 29, 2013.


Explore COPD. National Heart Lung Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd. Updated June 8, 2012. Accessed March 29, 2013.


Breathing techniques. Canadian Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/copd-mpoc/breathing-respiration/index%5Fe.php. Updated September 24, 2012. Accessed March 29, 2013.


Halbert RJ, Natoli JL, et al. Global burden of COPD: systematic review and meta- analysis. Eur Respir J. 2006;28:523.


Lopez AD, Shibuya K, et al. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: current burden and future projections. Eur Respir J. 2006;27:397.


What you can do about a lung disease called COPD. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease website. Available at: http://www.goldcopd.org/uploads/users/files/GOLD%5FPatient%5FRevJan10.pdf. Accessed March 29, 2013.

 

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