Many people with chronic lung diseases find themselves getting bronchitis winter after winter. There are a few reasons why this may occur: For starters, bacteria thrives in warm, moist and dark places, like your lungs and airways. In addition, if you are taking certain medications, like steroids, your immune system may be suppressed, causing you to be more prone to infections and making it more difficult for them to clear up.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent infections in the first place:
- Wash your hands. Warm, soapy water goes a long way to get rid of bacteria.
- If you are prescribed an antibiotic, make sure to take it all, even if you are feeling better.
- See your doctor if your symptoms worsen – don’t wait. An ER visit costs much more than a trip to your primary care doctor.
- Stop smoking.
- Keep all of your respiratory equipment clean. This includes your spacer, peak flow meter, CPAP/BiPAP supplies, and/or nebulizer kits. You should always stick to a regular cleaning schedule for your equipment, but you should clean it even more often if you’re sick. If you have questions about keeping your equipment clean, give us a call at 1-800-220-1990, and we can help.
- Stay hydrated. Most of us don’t feel the need to drink as much water as we do in the summer, but it’s equally important in winter, as it helps thin your lung secretions so they are easier to cough out.
While these things may not be enough to keep bronchitis from recurring, they might be able to help lessen your symptoms and the length of your illness.