You have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. With this condition, you cough up mucus for 3 months or more each year for at least 2 years in a row.
Here is how you can take care of yourself at home:
If you smoke, get help to quit. This is the best thing you can do for your bronchitis and overall health.
Try a stop-smoking program. There are even telephone and online programs.
Ask your healthcare provider about medicines or other methods to help you quit.
Ask family members to quit smoking as well.
Don’t allow smoking in your home, in your car, or around you.
Don't use e-cigarettes.
Protect yourself from infection.
Wash your hands often. Do your best to keep your hands away from your face. Most germs are spread from your hands to your mouth or nose.
Ask your healthcare provider about a yearly flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccines.
Stay away from crowds. It's especially important to do this in the winter when more people have colds and flu.
Take care of your overall health. That means:
Getting about 8 hours of sleep every night
Exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days
Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, lean meats and fish, and low-fat dairy products. Not eating fat-filled and sugar-filled foods is also important.
Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.
Take your medicines exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.
Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to keep your mucus thin. Drinking a lot of water helps.
Talk with your healthcare provider about long-term oxygen therapy.
Ask your healthcare provider to show you pursed-lip breathing to help decrease shortness of breath.
During each medical visit, talk with your healthcare provider about your ability to:
Cope in your normal environment.
Correctly use inhaler techniques (or your medicine delivery systems) to ensure proper inhaler technique are being used
Cope with other conditions you may have and the medicines you use to treat them with and how they might impact COPD.
Find out about pulmonary rehab programs in your area. Ask your provider or local hospital. Also talk to your healthcare provider about a self-management program to help control your symptoms.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.
Call your provider right away if you have any of the following:
Yellow, green, bloody, or smelly mucus
Call 911 if you have:
Shortness of breath, wheezing, or trouble breathing that doesn't improve with treatment
Tightness in your chest that doesn't go away with your normal medicines
An irregular heartbeat or feeling that your heart is racing
Feeling of lightheadedness or fainting
Feeling of doom
Skin turning blue, gray, or purple in color
© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.