Bronchitis is an inflammation or irritation in the larger airways in the lungs. This irritation causes a persistent cough that might produce a yellow-green mucus. Sometimes it will produce a sensation of tightness in the chest, wheezing and a feeling of being out of breath. Harsh coughing may give rise to chest pains. Fever is unusual but may occur.

Bronchitis is usually caused by a cold or flu virus, or by smoking or air pollutants. Sometimes it is related to a bacterial infection of the breathing passages and may require antibiotics. Some individuals with bronchitis also benefit from the use of special inhaled medications (called bronchodilators) to help open up the swollen airways and reduce the tightness and wheezing.

Home Care for Bronchitis

  • Drink extra fluids - at least 8-10 glasses of liquid a day (non-alcoholic).

  • Get extra rest. A good cough medication may help with this. We will recommend the type best for your condition. Be aware that many of these medications can cause drowsiness.

  • Humidify your lungs by inhaling warm moist air from a humidifier or steam from the shower. Try to increase the humidity in the home air.

  • Protect your nose and mouth from cold air when you go outside.

  • If you are a cigarette smoker, cut back on number smoked or try to stop.

  • It is your responsibility to make an appointment for follow-up care. Call your primary care physician for a recheck if not improved in 3-5 days. If you do not have a personal physician, we would be glad to assist you in finding one.


Call or Return If Any of the Following Occur:

  • Increasing cough, shortness of breath or fever greater than 100.4 F.

  • Coughing up blood or larger volumes of mucous.

  • Increasing pain with cough or with breathing.

  • Intolerance or reaction to the medication

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