Chronic bronchitis can have different forms and vary in severity. There are almost always options to slow down the advance of the disease and to improve your personal quality of life. What is important is that those affected know all about their illness. This aids successful treatment.
Chronic bronchitis can develop into chronic obstructive lung disease. Giving up smoking altogether is the most important step to take: This is the only way to protect the airways from further damage. If giving up is difficult, nicotine patches or courses on giving up smoking may help.
Targeted physical exercise increases general performance. Consult your doctor on what help is suitable. Pulmonary rehab, for example, is an exercise and education programme designed for people with lung disease who experience symptoms of breathlessness.
Daily respiratory physiotherapy exercises can be very helpful if you have chronic obstructive bronchitis. Specialised physiotherapists teach postures and techniques like pursed-lip breathing that make it easier to breathe. If possible, these techniques are also practised under physical exertion.
For those affected it is very important to be able to properly appraise their disease. In patient education they learn to recognise the signs of the disease, to assess if it is getting worse and to adjust their medication accordingly. As well as giving up smoking, patient education teaches various coughing techniques (pulmonary hygiene) and methods to make it easier to breathe. Under expert guidance patients can, for example, learn relaxation techniques and how to perform postural drainage and percussion and vibration massage.
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