What you need to know:
- Manage bronchitis symptoms by continuing with the prescribed treatment plan because withdrawing will make your condition worse.
- There are antibiotics available for patients with COVID-19 and bronchitis.
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes which leads to the production of mucus that causes obstruction of the airways. For any patient with bronchitis, the presence of COVID-19 is a major concern.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage bronchitis patients who have been exposed or infected with COVID-19.
Here’s what you need to know about managing COVID-19 as a bronchitis patient.
How COVID-19 affects bronchitis patients
Coronavirus can present similar symptoms as bronchitis but that does not make you are more at risk of catching COVID-19.
However, because of the lung inflammation that is caused by bronchitis, there may be an increased risk of having more serious complications.
The virus can flare up an already inflamed bronchial tract and lead to other complications. It is imperative for patients to have knowledge of how to best manage their illness in order to reduce its impact.
The COVID-19 vaccine administration
The COVID-19 vaccine is approved for patients with underlying respiratory illnesses including bronchitis.
How to manage COVID-19 for bronchitis patient
- COVID-19 can develop into pneumonia faster in smokers than in non-smokers. So if a patient smokes, they need to stop. It is also likely that smokers will have more severe symptoms of bronchitis because cigarette smoke irritates the airways.
- There are antibiotics available for patients with COVID-19 and bronchitis. If a patient is allergic to the antibiotics, let the doctor know so they can prescribe a different medication. Manage bronchitis symptoms by continuing with the prescribed treatment plan because withdrawing will make your condition worse.
- If the patient is experiencing signs of COVID-19, they may need cough suppressants or an expectorant for coughing up mucus from their lungs. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids and stay in a humid room with steam for at least 20 minutes per day. This will help thin out the mucus in the lungs and airways to make breathing easier. If a patient has a fever, they should stay in bed and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Getting vaccinated will help prevent the virus from developing into severe illness. Bronchitis patients have a high risk of severe COVID-19 infection, so they should be given priority for vaccination.
- If a patient with bronchitis has been exposed to COVID-19, it is important that they stay away from work and school. They should also avoid contact with those who are not infected or asymptomatic for at least seven days after exposure.
- Another way to prevent spreading COVID-19 is by practicing good hygiene habits such as washing your hands frequently and coughing into a sleeve or elbow instead of your hands.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bronchitis, it is important to know the risks of contracting COVID-19 and how this virus can be managed. Getting vaccines should be a priority.