In geometry class, you learned that non-right angles are either acute or obtuse. In medicine, however, conditions are either acute or chronic. You’ve probably had a case or two of acute bronchitis in your life—usually during the winter. In winter, we’re susceptible to highly contagious chest colds that leave us hacking and wheezing for two weeks. Chronic bronchitis, however, lasts much longer, and it doesn’t wait for flu season to strike.
In either form of bronchitis, inflammation and increased mucus production combine to narrow the bronchial tubes, which connect the lungs to the trachea. This makes breathing and receiving sufficient oxygen more difficult. In a case of chronic bronchitis, which can last for years and may never fully resolve, this condition can greatly affect your quality of life. Fortunately, even if you can’t completely cure a case, you can learn how to manage chronic bronchitis and start to get your life back.
Keep an Inhaler on Hand
Chronic bronchitis and asthma have a bit in common: both cause the dual inflammation and mucus production that impede the airways. This means that you can treat both conditions with a bronchodilator, a medication that relaxes muscle tissue around the airways to allow a greater flow of oxygen despite these impediments. An inhaler carrying fast-acting but long-lasting medications can help when a chronic case flares up and makes breathing difficult.
Time To Quit Smoking
Smoking is bad for you even in the best times. If you smoke while suffering from a chronic respiratory condition, you’re exacerbating your suffering. Smoking is possibly the root cause of your problem: while viral and bacterial infections cause acute bronchitis, doctors believe smoking tobacco is responsible for most chronic cases. The many effects of tobacco smoke on the body include constricted airways and damage to the lungs, which you can ill afford while dealing with chronic bronchitis. If you can’t quit cold turkey, explore cessation aids such as gums, patches, and lozenges to break the habit. Some smokers have even reported success with acupuncture.
In cases where inhaled medications can no longer help you receive more oxygen, introducing supplemental oxygen is part of how to manage chronic bronchitis. Whether with tanks and cylinders of oxygen or with a portable oxygen concentrator that filters atmospheric air for the wearer, medical devices that deliver more oxygen can allow people with chronic bronchitis to breathe more easily and have more energy. Thanks to developments in technology, many of these portable concentrators are as effective as some mid-market stationary units.