Bronchitis is a lot like a cold. It is usually caused by virus. Therefore antibiotics will not do much good. Sometimes, it is caused by bacteria and in that case antibiotics will work. Acute bronchitis will go away by itself in a week or two but chronic sufferers can cough and wheeze for months. Though we have to let it take its course, there are things we can do to breathe easier while we have it.
If you are a chronic sufferer, quit smoking. 95% of chronic bronchitis is due directly to smoking. The fewer years you have been smoking, the more likely it is that you will have a complete recovery.
Avoid being with other smokers
Avoid those who smokes. You need to avoid all tobacco smoke. Exposing yourself to exhaled smoke can give you bronchitis.
Keep the fluids flowing
Drinking helps the mucus become more watery and easier to cough up. Warm liquid or just plain water is best. Avoid caffeine or alcoholic beverages.
Warm, moist air
Stand in your bathroom, close the door and then run your shower, breathing in the warm mist that steams up your bathroom helps a lot.
Creating a 'tent'
Fill the sink with hot water, put a towel over your head and the sink, creating a tent and then inhale the steam for 5 to 10 minutes every couple of hours.
Do not expect too much from expectorants
No medicine that can dry up mucus. Drinking fluids of any type is the best way to cough up secretions.
Listen to your cough
Do you have a productive or nonproductive cough? If you have a productive cough, one where you cough up sputum, you do not really want to suppress it completely because you will not be coughing up the stuff your lungs want to rid themselves of.
Watch your volume
If your cough is nonproductive, that is - you are not coughing anything up, then it is good to take a cough medicine designed to suppress a cough.
Milk may help suppress bronchitis in smokers. The same effect however was not found in milk-drinking nonsmokers. However, there is no doubt that quitting smoking is still the best way to rid yourself of chronic bronchitis.