The infection will go away on its own. Care focuses on making you feel better until the infection passes. The cough can last for up to a month.
Care may involve:
- Drinking more fluids
- Resting when needed
- Medicines to lower fever, ease discomfort, and make you cough up more phlegm (talk to your doctor before using a cough suppressant, coughing clears phlegm)
- Inhalers to ease breathing—more common in people with asthma
Note: Check with your child’s doctor before giving them aspirin. It’s not a good option if they have or had a viral infection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises not using cough suppressants in children less than 2 years old. The FDA also supports not using them in children less than 4 years old.
To lower your chances of infection:
- Wash your hands often, especially if you were with someone who is sick.
- If you can, don’t be around people who are sick.
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about tools to help you quit. Smoke weakens the lungs' ability stay healthy. It also takes longer for infections to go away.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Bronchitis, Acute; Lower Respiratory Tract Infection, Chest Cold)
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians https://familydoctor.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
The Lung Association https://www.lung.ca
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