Bronchitis refers to airway inflammation, and in its acute form, it is most commonly caused by a virus and lasts for several days. However, in some people, most commonly smokers, bronchitis can last for months at a time and recur regularly. In this instance, it is referred to as chronic bronchitis, and it has been associated in this form with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD. Antibiotics are used regularly for the treatment of acute bronchitis both for their ability to reduce coughing and, in the case of a less frequent bacterial infection, fight the source of the illness. However, recent studies are questioning the use of antibiotics in the chronic form of the condition. Thus with limited chronic bronchitis treatment options available, some people turn to natural options and home remedies for bronchitis in the long term instead.
The simple fact is that even acute bronchitis treatment rarely warrants the use of antibiotics. Many times, the viral source of the illness implies that letting it run its course is the optimum form of treatment. However, when a bacterial source is suspected, or in people that have other health conditions, antibiotics may ultimately be used for bronchitis treatment.
There are other cases where antibiotics may be useful for treatment, such as in the case of asthmatic bronchitis. The condition is characterized as bronchitis in a person that already has asthma, which can cause inflammation and restriction of the airways. Antibiotics can be useful in infectious sources of this condition as they may be necessary in order to reduce some of the symptoms of the dual disorder.
In terms of chronic bronchitis treatment however, studies have shown that they may be best served only in the event of severe exacerbations of the illness. For instance, in a person who has had a long history of chronic bronchitis, but a recent illness has led to worsening symptoms like coughing up blood or foot and ankle swelling, using antibiotics may be appropriate. However, it has recently been suggested that antibiotics may not be practical for every exacerbation of the illness, and may instead lead to adverse effects like a tolerance to the bacteria fighting medications, which can make treating subsequent infections of various types more difficult.
Over the counter medications may provide some relief for sufferers when symptoms are acting up. However, more and more people are considering natural, herbal and home remedies for bronchitis in order to treat the symptoms of chronic bronchitis without medicine when appropriate and safe to do so. There are many natural remedies for bronchitis. Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties can be found in many things from nature. As such, natural remedies for bronchitis can include relieving coughs, managing fatigue and reducing painful inflammation. For instance, olive leaf extract is thought to prevent virus proliferation and is a natural antibiotic. In addition, it is thought to help combat fatigue and reduce inflammation. Onions, especially when mixed with honey, can serve as a home based antibiotic. Additionally, essential oils for bronchitis can help in multiple ways as well. For instance, a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a drawn bath can create an aromatic event that can help to open up restricted airways, thus serving as a stimulating and relaxing form of chronic bronchitis treatment for symptom relief. And, one of the most popular natural remedies for bronchitis is oregano oil. It is meant to be used safely with water or a carrier oil when taken internally, but can serve as a potent and powerful natural chronic bronchitis treatment. This is because oregano oil contains carvacrol, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent. It can help to relieve congestion and thus ease some of the symptoms of the chronic condition.
Lifestyle measures are also an important means of natural chronic bronchitis treatment. Especially during exacerbations, this means taking common sense measures like getting more fluids and more rest during these times. Additionally however, using a humidifier, warm saltwater gargles and avoiding people and places that can contribute to obtaining another illness are also very important. However, the single most important component of chronic bronchitis treatment is to quit smoking if applicable. Smoking will only make symptoms worse and guarantee that the condition will continue to worsen over time.
Every person suffering from chronic bronchitis is different, and thus the ideal treatment may vary from person to person. However, herbal and natural remedies should be considered in people who are looking for a simpler and safer way to control symptoms. It is essential however that if antibiotics have been prescribed by a health care provider that they be taken as directed. Additionally, a health care provider should be consulted if natural remedies are being considered to ensure that they are safe and will not interact with existing medical conditions or other medications. While antibiotics are incredibly useful wonders of modern medicine, they may not always be appropriate to treat chronic bronchitis. In their stead, natural remedies may serve as a powerful way to keep the symptoms of the condition at bay.