Prolonged cough and phlegm, fever, chest tightness, and shortness of breath are signs of chronic bronchitis, which should be checked and treated immediately.
Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the respiratory tract for a long time, causing frequent coughing and phlegm, chest tightness, shortness of breath… Recurrent disease if left untreated can lead to lung disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
According to Dr. La Quy Huong (Department of Internal Medicine and Respiratory, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi), many people often ignore the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and believe that coughing up phlegm is only caused by smog. As a result, patients face serious health complications such as serious lung, respiratory, cardiovascular, and even life-threatening complications.
When suffering from chronic bronchitis, patients often experience symptoms such as coughing up phlegm in episodes lasting more than 2 weeks, fever in episodes of coughing up phlegm, symptoms of wheezing or shortness of breath, insomnia or difficulty sleeping for a long time due to coughing, chest tightness.
Although chronic bronchitis cannot be completely cured, it can be completely controlled if diagnosed and treated early, including medication and lifestyle changes. Several medications for chronic bronchitis may be used such as:
Drug treatment: Depending on the patient’s disease state, the doctor can choose the right treatment method, which can be used:
Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators are medications that open the airways to make breathing easier. Bronchodilators are usually used in the form of an inhaled spray with a local effect.
Anti-inflammatory medications: Steroids help reduce swelling and reduce airway constriction caused by inflammation.
Oxygen therapy: used in severe cases, the patient has respiratory failure leading to low oxygen levels in the blood.
Apply non-drug measures, lifestyle treatment
Rehabilitation: Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that aims to improve a patient’s respiratory rate and overall health. This approach includes exercises, breathing exercises, and nutritional advice.
Quit smoking: Tobacco smoke contains more than 1,000 oxidizing molecules. These molecules cause lung damage by reducing endogenous and other antioxidants. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce risk, slow the progression of lung damage and prevent chronic bronchitis.
Practicing lip breathing: pursed lip breathing is one of the most supportive methods for the treatment of patients with respiratory ailments. To perform, the patient purses his lips and inhales through his nose and then slowly exhales through his mouth (pinch the lips like a flute), exhaling twice as long as the inhalation. Repeat this movement daily for best results. You should train about 3 times a day (15 minutes each time).
Breathing warm, moist air from a humidifier helps relieve coughs and clear mucus in your airways. To ensure the best care, patients need to clean the humidifier regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Bacteria and mold can grow in the water tank and cause respiratory damage if the humidifier is not cleaned properly.
Exercise: brings many benefits to the body, especially lung health. During the work of the heart, the muscles need more oxygen to increase the demand for air in the lungs and help circulate blood in the heart. Exercise will help people with chronic bronchitis limit some of the symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing. However, for each patient, there must be an exercise regimen that is appropriate to the patient’s specific condition.
Notes after treating chronic bronchitis
According to Doctor Quy Huong, for people with chronic bronchitis, in addition to the use of drugs, healthy nutrition also plays a very important role.
People with chronic bronchitis should pay attention to replenishing enough water for the body because if you lose water, you will experience headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness and disorientation. In addition to filtered water, patients can also add water from food, fruits…
In addition, people with chronic bronchitis should also add fiber-rich foods from green vegetables and fruits; seeds, nuts; poultry, fish and beans for protein; low-fat or plant-based milk.
In addition to foods that need to be added, the diet of people with bronchitis should avoid carbonated drinks and foods high in sugar. Reduce salt content, add sugar, cholesterol.
Limiting the use of red meat, processed meat and red meat if eaten a lot will make the symptoms of bronchitis sufferers worse. Limit the use of foods high in fat, cheese or fried, oily, spicy foods… This food group easily causes gas, bloating, making people with chronic bronchitis feel short of breath.
“If it detects symptoms of bronchitis, the patient should immediately go to a reputable medical facility for timely diagnosis and treatment,” said Doctor Quy Huong.