Self-Care at Home
By far the majority of bronchitis cases stem from viral infections. This means that most cases of bronchitis are short-term and require nothing more than treatment of symptoms to relieve discomfort.
Antibiotics will not cure a viral illness.
Experts in infectious diseases have been warning for years that overuse of antibiotics is allowing many bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotics available.
Doctors often prescribe antibiotics because they feel pressured by people’s expectations to receive them. This expectation has been fueled by both misinformation in the media and marketing by drug companies. Don’t expect to receive a prescription for an antibiotic if your infection is caused by a virus.
Acetaminophen (Feverall, Panadol, Tylenol), aspirin, or ibuprofen (Motrin, Nuprin, Advil) will help with fever and muscle aches.
Drinking fluids is very important because fever causes the body to lose fluid faster. Lung secretions will be thinner and thus easier to clear when you are well hydrated.
A cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can help decrease bronchial irritation.
An over-the-counter cough suppressant may be helpful. Preparations with guaifenesin (Robitussin, Breonesin, Siltussin) will loosen secretions; dextromethorphan (Benylin, Pertussin, Trocal, Vicks 44) suppresses cough.
Wheezing may occur because of the inflammation of your airways. This may leave you short of breath.