Health Tip: Treating Bronchitis

(HealthDay News) -- Bronchitis is a viral or bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes, making breathing more difficult.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends these steps to help cope with bronchitis:

  • Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

  • Adults may want to take aspirin for fever; acetaminophen (never aspirin) for children.

  • If your doctor suspects you have a bacterial infection, he or she may prescribe an antibiotic. An antibiotic will not help a viral infection, the most common cause of bronchitis.

  • Run a humidifier or sit in a steamy bathroom to help open the airways.

  • If your doctor approves, take a medication to control cough and inflammation.

  • Avoid exposure to things that irritate your lungs, especially tobacco smoke.

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