Bronchitis is when the tubes that join your trachea to your lungs (your bronchi) become inflamed. It's often caused by an infection or prolonged irritation to the lungs. Bronchitis is uncomfortable and hard on your body, so consider these suggestions on how to treat it.
Stay away from toxins that may irritate it. Exposure to some toxins can worsen your bronchitis. So try to stay away from second-hand smoke (because you've already quit smoking yourself, right?). And avoid areas of high pollution, or anywhere that toxins are emitted. Staying inside of your home is a good idea since you can control the level of toxins you breathe in as you recover from bronchitis.
Although it's not a toxin, cold air can also irritate your bronchitis. So if you're going to be outside in the cold weather, wear something over your mouth to reduce the amount of cold air that you breathe in. Your bronchi need to stay moist and warm in order to heal from bronchitis, so keep out of the cold as much as possible.
Use a humidifier. A vaporizer or a humidifier will bring moisture to your lungs. In turn, it will help to loosen up the fluid or mucus in your airways, helping you to breathe easier. You can purchase one of these at your local pharmacy.
If you don't have a humidifier, at least try to keep your airways moist and warm. A hot water bottle, a hot cloth or a heat pack placed on your chest and your back will reduce the inflammation in your bronchi. Try this technique as often as you can, especially at night, to assist the mucus with passing through your body.
Take proper medications. If your doctor or physician confirms that you have bronchitis, he will likely treat it with antibiotics. Ensure that you take the entire prescription as recommended. Consume the whole dose regardless of when you start to feel better. If your doctor prescribes you an inhaler, only use it as directed. Taking more than is recommended can have serious side effects and may cause more harm than good to your already-weakened bronchi.
If you're attempting to self-medicate yourself in order to treat your bronchitis, try not to use a cough suppressant. Coughing is good for you, as it removes the toxins from your lungs and throat. You especially don't want to take a cough suppressant at night, since this is the best time for your body to detoxify and clear out your airways. Coughing is a necessary part of dealing with bronchitis.
Eat right. As you're recovering from bronchitis, ensure that you're eating a healthy diet. Lots of fluids should help to flush your system of toxins, so drink plenty of water, herbal teas and soups. Cut down on anything that might irritate your throat, such as spicy foods, until your bronchitis heals. Mucus-forming foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, flour, sugar, potatoes and sweet fruits should also be avoided. Your bronchi are already over-run with mucus, and these foods will only further exacerbate the condition. Consume lots of liquids or easily-digestible foods until you are able to successfully treat your bronchitis.