Different respiratory conditions are treated in different ways. Treatment of respiratory problems often involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), bronchodilators in the form of pills or inhalers, oxygen supplementation if necessary, and inhaled corticosteroids. Antibiotics are used sparingly, in order to prevent people developing resistance to them. However, pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics, since it is generally a bacterial infection. People with a weakened immune system may be put on a course of preventative antibiotics if a chest infection is suspected.
Smoking is the number one cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which usually manifests as bronchitis or emphysema. Therefore, quitting smoking may help to relieve some of the symptoms and stop the progression of the disease.
If you or someone you know has asthma, you probably have seen them carrying around an inhaler, which a reliever. Relievers, such as Ventolin, are quick-acting but short-lasting medications and are used to quickly dilate the bronchi, which become constricted during an asthma attack. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions will probably also use inhalers that are longer acting and may contain various medications that reduce airway inflammation, relax the muscles around the lungs and dilate the bronchi, making it easier to breath.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is another important step in the treatment of respiratory conditions. At pulmonary rehabilitation, you learn how to manage your condition and how to exercise properly in order to increase your lung capacity. If you find yourself too short of breath to manage at home, you may need to consider getting long-term supplemental oxygen that you can take around with you. People with respiratory conditions should make sure to be vaccinated against the flu and pneumonia. You can become very sick from the flu or pneumonia if you already have an underlying respiratory condition, so it is best to be protected.