If you’re experiencing life with chronic bronchitis, you want to take advantage of all the treatments available to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. One of the less appreciated methods of treating bronchitis is simply to take an expectorant prescribed by your doctor. According to WebMD, you should not take over-the-counter cough suppressant medicine to treat chronic bronchitis.
Read on to learn the difference between the two medicines:
As the name suggests, suppressants suppress your cough, meaning they reduce your urge to cough. In some cases of acute bronchitis (when a normally healthy person with no chronic problems becomes temporarily ill), a doctor may prescribe a suppressant, according to WebMD. This helps the person sleep and reduces the pain associated with excessive coughing if it's persisted for more than two weeks.
Life with chronic bronchitis means there are many periods when you cough excessively. While it may be a nuisance, this is your body’s way of getting rid of excess mucus that's harming your lungs, WebMD explains. If you cough often but don’t have productive coughs that loosen phlegm, your doctor may prescribe an expectorant. It’s likely your doctor will recommend you never take a suppressant because it could cause dangerous complications.
In addition to following your doctor’s orders regarding expectorants and suppressants, WebMD points out other common treatments and preventative measures for chronic bronchitis. These include:
• Supplemental oxygen, also known as oxygen therapy, to help you breathe better.
• Oral steroids to reduce inflammation.
• Inhaled bronchodilator to temporarily dilate your lungs and make breathing easier.
• Quitting smoking to prevent doing more harm to your lungs.
• Yearly flu shot to help prevent infections.
• Pneumonia vaccine to protect you from this disease for years to come. Once you turn 65, you may need a booster shot to continue being protected.
• Antibiotics to fight bacterial infections. These are evident if you notice the mucus you cough up becoming thicker than usual.
• Healthy diet to keep your weight down and prevent putting excess strain on your heart.
Remember to always speak with your physician before trying new treatments or scheduling vaccination appointments.