Preventing and Treating Bronchitis in the Elderly
Bronchitis is a condition that affects the ability to get air into and out of the lungs, and it can be acute (like a cold or flu) or chronic. Learn more about bronchitis in the elderly and what you can do to help your senior loved one avoid it.
Bronchitis in the Elderly
Bronchitis complications are more common in people over 65, and a lifetime of damage to the lungs can lead to more severe infections, as well as shortness of breath and weakness from the condition, which can increase the risk of falls. Each year, over 8.9 million cases of chronic bronchitis are diagnosed in adults.
How to Prevent Bronchitis
The key to preventing bronchitis is to keep the lungs free of irritants, which include cigarette smoke, dust, fumes, and pollutants. If you or a senior loved one smokes, cut back on how often you do so.
When to Get Help
A doctor can perform a physical exam, order bloodwork, or perform a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia in patients with acute bronchitis.
How can bronchitis be prevented?
- Avoid or limit your exposure to things that irritate your airway (nose, throat, and lungs).
- If you catch a cold, get plenty of rest.
- Take your medicine exactly as your doctor prescribes.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Wash your hands frequently.
How can I prevent bronchitis naturally?
7 simple home remedies
- Salt water.
- Lifestyle changes.
Is bronchitis serious in the elderly?
Bronchitis complications are more common in people over the age of 65, as a lifetime of damage to the lungs can lead to more severe infections.
How can I strengthen my lungs to prevent bronchitis?
Pursed-lip breathing, for example, allows you to breathe deeply and exercise longer by slowing down your breathing and allowing you to take in more oxygen. To practice this technique, breathe in through your nose with a closed mouth and then breathe out through pursed lips.
Does an inhaler break up mucus?
Coughing up phlegm and mucus to relieve chest congestion in adults is often done after taking an inhaled bronchodilator medication, which helps loosen the mucus and open the airways, making the coughing techniques more effective.
What is the fastest way to cure bronchitis?
Acute Bronchitis Relief
- Get plenty of rest.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers containing ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin to help with pain.
Which side should you sleep on to stop coughing?
To avoid mucus accumulating in your throat and triggering a cough, stack a couple of pillows or use a wedge to elevate your head and neck slightly. Avoid elevating your head too much, as this may cause neck pain and discomfort. Try an expectorant.
What is the best sleeping position for bronchitis?
Mucus builds up in your throat when you sleep flat on your side or back, causing a cough. The best way to avoid this is to raise the level of your head by using more pillows, or a wedge that will raise both your head and neck.
What can I drink to cleanse my lungs?
Here are a few detox drinks to help you improve your lungs and overall health this winter:
- Green tea.
- Cinnamon water.
- Ginger and turmeric drink.
- Mulethi tea.
- Apple, beetroot, carrot smoothie.
- Apple, beetroot, carrot smoothie.
How do you treat an elderly cough?
Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle
- Drink fluids to thin mucus in your throat.
- Suck on cough drops or hard candies to relieve a dry cough and soothe an irritated throat.
- Think about taking honey. A teaspoon of honey may help loosen a cough.
How do elderly people dry up mucus?
Excess mucus and phlegm can be eliminated by doing the following:
- Keeping the air moist.
- Drinking plenty of fluids.
- Applying a warm, wet washcloth to the face.
- Keeping the head elevated.
- Not suppressing a cough.
- Discreetly getting rid of phlegm.
How long does bronchitis last in elderly?
The majority of people with bronchitis have symptoms for 10 to 14 days, though some symptoms (particularly cough and fatigue) can last up to a month. Older adults may have more disruptive symptoms for longer periods of time and are at a higher risk of potentially serious complications such as pneumonia.
What is the best exercise for lungs?
Aerobic activities such as walking, running, or jumping rope give your heart and lungs the workout they need to function properly, while muscle-strengthening activities such as weightlifting or Pilates improve core strength, posture, and breathing muscles.
Is mucinex good for bronchitis?
Mucinex has an average rating of 5.9 out of 10 from 42 reviews for the treatment of Bronchitis, with 50% of reviewers reporting a positive effect and 40% reporting a negative effect.
What is the best over the counter medicine for bronchitis?
Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can help relieve bronchitis symptoms such as fever, headache, and aches and pains; however, aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers unless a doctor has advised them to do so due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.