Monitor the health of your community here

How to Treat Bronchitis Without Seeing a Doctor

Bronchitis is a respiratory infection that can be caused by a virus or a bacterial infection 2. People who have acute bronchitis usually experience symptoms including a low grade fever, coughing that brings up mucus and wheezing, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2. Bronchitis that is caused by a virus can be treated at home, without seeing a doctor, in many cases 2. People who develop chest pain, severe breathing difficulties or who bring up blood or green mucus when coughing may have a bacterial infection and should seek medical attention.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Run a humidifier when you have bronchitis, especially at night 2. The moist air helps loosen secretions in your chest and makes them easier to expel through coughing. If you do not have a humidifier, sit in your bathroom with the door closed and the shower running, several times a day.

Remedy for a Bronchitis Cough

Learn More

Treat any fever you have as a result of bronchitis with ibuprofen or acetaminophen 2. These two drugs, called NSAIDs, or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, can ease pain and bring down a fever.

Keep yourself hydrated as a way to treat bronchitis without a doctor's visit 2. Water, juices and other non-caffeinated beverages thin out mucus, making it easier to bring up from your lungs. Aim for at least 64 oz. of fluids daily while you are sick.

Seal-Like Cough in Children

Learn More

Steer clear of irritants that can cause more inflammation to your airways. Smoke, chemical fumes and even strong smells from incense or scented candles may all prolong irritation caused by bronchitis 2.

Rest, even if you are beginning to feel better. Symptoms of acute bronchitis may run their course in a couple of weeks, but your body is still fighting infection after the symptoms have subsided 2.


Limit the use of cough suppressants when you have bronchitis. Coughing that is productive and brings up mucus can help clear your airways; suppressing the urge to cough may allow secretions to settle in your chest.