Bronchitis - chronic
There is no cure for chronic bronchitis. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. It is crucial to quit smoking to prevent chronic bronchitis from getting worse. Any other respiratory irritants should be avoided.
Inhaled medications that dilate (widen) the airways and decrease inflammation may help reduce symptoms such as wheezing.
Antibiotics may be prescribed for infections as needed.
Corticosteroids may occasionally be used during flare-ups of wheezing or in people with severe bronchitis that does not respond to other treatments.
Physical exercise programs, breathing exercises, and patient education programs are all part of the overall treatment plan. Oxygen therapy may be needed in severe cases. In very severe cases, a lung transplant may be recommended.
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Mild or moderate cases of chronic bronchitis may often be controlled well with medicine and pulmonary rehabilitation. Advanced chronic bronchitis is more difficult to treat.
Early diagnosis and treatment and stopping smoking significantly improve the odds of a good outcome.
Acute bronchitis Pneumonia Cor pulmonale
Respiratory failure Cardiac arrhythmia
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if respiratory infection or unexplained symptoms develop, or you are short of breath, wheezing, or
Review Date: 08/07/2006
Reviewed By: David A. Kaufman, M.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.