In the past year alone, 9.8 million adults were diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, according to the CDC, and rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (which includes bronchitis) among adults has gone up almost 65% over the last decade.
Bronchitis is an infection in the passageway of the lungs that causes cold-like symptoms (which can include feeling achy, fatigued, and having a mild fever), as well as a strong, often painful, mucus-y cough. Bronchitis can develop from another infection, such as one in the upper respiratory system (in the sinuses, nose, and throat) and can potentially, and very seriously, develop into pneumonia.
More serious bronchitis symptoms include a high fever and blood in your lungs. Although bronchitis is a dangerous disease and you should consult your doctor, especially if symptoms worsen or you have other complications or underlying conditions such as heart disease, note that what was once the traditional bronchitis treatment, antibiotics, is no longer recommended as it has little effect on acute bronchitis.
To take care of yourself when you have bronchitis, start by resting and avoiding strenuous activities. Resting allows your immune system to focus on fighting the pathogen causing the infection, and it’s important to avoid stimulating your cough, as there’s a risk it could damage your lungs. Steam may help relieve the cough and mucus.
Chronic Bronchitis, which is bronchitis that lasts for at least three months of the year for multiple years, is often caused by smoking or other toxins that are inhaled and affect the lungs. To prevent and ease chronic bronchitis, avoid these toxins.