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How to actually treat bronchitis: Doctors debunk common myths

How to actually treat bronchitis: Doctors debunk common myths Doctors debunk myths about bronchitis (Photo: Freepik)

In the field of medicine, myths often circulate and are widely believed. One such myth surrounds the diagnosis of bronchitis, a condition that particularly concerns parents of young children. However, even adults often treat it incorrectly, writes the website of the medical community Berezhy sebe.

Bronchitis develops due to infection

Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi. Inflammatory processes can develop for various reasons - viruses, bacteria, or other factors that irritate the tissues.

Bronchitis occurs because a particular pathogen has an affinity for the bronchial mucosa, making it a common site for its development. It is not because the infection "descended." Different viruses have different "favorite" locations in the respiratory system.

Common signs of inflammation include swelling, redness, pain, local temperature increase, and loss of function in a specific area. The mucosa of the bronchi is not visible without special examinations.

If excessive mucus is produced during inflammation (normally present in the bronchi for moistening and cleansing), this mucus can form membranes. The sound of their rupture during air movement is called wet wheezing.

Taking antibiotics many not be the solution

This misconception leads to a significant increase in antibiotic resistance, recognized as one of the main threats to humanity. Bronchitis occurs quite often, and incorrect treatment leads to bacteria mutating, gaining resistance to drugs.

Most bronchitis cases are viral, and viruses do not respond to antibiotics. Attempting to treat bronchitis with these drugs is futile.

The result is only side effects from the medication and the promotion of mutations in the bacteria already present in the body, which may eventually cause bacterial inflammation.

Prescribing antibiotics without proven bacterial infection directly contributes to antibiotic resistance and increases the risk of drug side effects.

Expectorants are not always necessary for bronchitis

It is a common myth that drugs based on ambroxol or acetylcysteine are always indicated for bronchitis. They may be necessary when thick mucus accumulates in the bronchi, making it difficult to expectorate.

However, when mucus is effectively cleared, there is no need to increase its quantity. Combining expectorants with cough suppressants is particularly dangerous, as it leads to the formation of a large amount of mucus that remains in the respiratory pathways.

Doctors emphasize that prescribing expectorants to children under 4 years old is strictly prohibited.

Treating bronchitis: What to do

Medical experts provide guidance on managing bronchitis and what to expect. Recommendations include:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids helps the body fight intoxication and produce enough mucus to clear the bronchi.

  • Rest and balanced nutrition: Resting and balanced nutrition support the overall well-being of the body.

  • Fresh air: Spend time outdoors daily, depending on your condition and physical capabilities.

  • Breathing exercises: Perform breathing exercises to reduce the risk of mucus stagnation in the lungs and facilitate expectoration.

It's crucial to understand that coughing and wheezing in bronchitis can persist for several weeks.