Treatment of chronic bronchitis involves keeping the airways open and functioning, facilitating removal of secretions and preventing further disability.
Your doctor may prescribe any or all of the following treatment options:
Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, fluids are given by mouth or intravenously (if bronchospasm is severe) and are an important part of chronic bronchitis treatment. Proper hydration helps loosen secretions, making them easier to expel from the airways through coughing.
Read more about fluids and nutrition for those with COPD:
Chest physiotherapy, also referred to as chest percussion, is a technique that involves clapping on the chest and/or back to help loosen thick secretions in order to make them easier to expel, or cough up. It is often used with postural drainage and can be performed using cupped hands or an airway clearance device.
Both chest physiotherapy and postural drainage work best after a bronchodilator treatment.
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Postural drainage is a technique that uses gravity to assist in the removal of secretions from the airways. It is often coupled with chest physiotherapy.
Quitting smoking is the most important, yet most commonly overlooked, part of treatment for chronic bronchitis.
Smoking causes bronchoconstriction and paralyzes the cilia, the tiny, protective hairs that line the airways. Because cilia are important in removing irritating substances and particles from the lungs, damage to them results in difficulty or an inability to remove secretions. Smokers are also more susceptible to lung infections, which are a common problem for people with chronic bronchitis.
Source: Smeltzer, Suzanne C. & Bare, Brenda, G. (1996). Brunnuer and Suddarth's Testbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing (8th Edition). Pennsylvania, PA: Lipponcott-Raven Publishers.
Smeltzer, Suzanne C. & Bare, Brenda, G. (1996). Brunnuer and Suddarth's Testbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing (8th Edition). Pennsylvania, PA: Lipponcott-Raven Publishers.