Advice on using steroid inhaler to prevent chest infection

Chest infection can be a factor in many conditions such as chronic pneumonia, bronchitis and can affect the airways, or passage to the lungs and even the lungs themselves. Symptoms such as cold, cough with sputum, breathlessness and fever could show up during a chest infection. Using a steroid inhaler will not guarantee any improvement in your condition, as medication and antibiotics are required to treat a chest infection and prevent it from further aggravation. It is also advisable to consult your doctor before using any over the counter inhalers.

Besides antibiotic treatment, there are a few remedies you can try out at home to help keep the condition in check. Since chest infections are usually associated with fever and possible dehydration, it is essential to keep the level of fluids in the body high. You need to keep up a regular intake of water. If you have a habit of smoking, then you need to stop immediately, as this will worsen the condition. Even breathing becomes painful during a chest infection and you are likely to feel tired and weak. As the mucus is blocking the airways, you tend to cough frequently in an attempt to dispel it. The viral infection causes the mucus to become infected with bacteria. As such it is a good idea to take herbs that are anti-microbial in nature such as thyme or hyssop and coltsfoot, which also serve as decongestants and help to treat coughs. These herbs prevent infections from occurring and help to reduce existing symptoms, thus speeding up recovery. Mullein is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce inflammation in the mucus membranes of the lungs and also the bronchial tract.

Sleep is quite important to boost the body's immunity against infections and as such herbs that help you sleep better such as cowslip and chamomile are very effective. Cowslip taken with honey also helps to cleanse the lungs of mucus. Inhalation and chest rubs are also helpful in bringing immediate relief. Licorice is an expectorant and anti-inflammatory herb which is helpful in dealing with infections of the respiratory kind. An infusion of the root of elecampane is used to make a syrup that acts as a warming tonic for infections in the chest. Due to its expectorant action it clears the bronchial tubes and fights the infection. You may also make a poultice of mustard seeds by mixing 100 gm of ground mustard seeds with some warm water to form a thick paste. Take two thin sheets of muslin and spread the paste between them, while it is still warm. Apply it to the chest and leave it on until the paste cools, breathing deeply while doing this.

answered by M W

Chest infection is a broad term which has many conditions under its roof like pneumonia, bronchitis and can involve the air ways, passage to the lungs or the lungs itself. Common signs and symptoms of chest infection include cold, cough with sputum, fever and breathlessness. A steroid inhaler may or may not help to improve your symptoms however medications and other antibiotics would help. Steroid inhalers basically may help to decrease the incidence of flare-ups but may work less to decrease the actual symptoms. There are many types of steroid inhalers available in the market, before taking any over the counter inhalers or medications it is very important to consult a specialist for conformation and dosage. Besides at home levels try this:

  • Chest infections are generally associated with fevers and a possibility of dehydration. So it is very important to keep the fluid levels high, sip water at frequent intervals.
  • Take plenty of rest as the felling of nausea and vomiting would subside slowly if adequate rest is taken. Also due to loss of appetite the food intake becomes very low. As soon as you can tolerate liquids start introducing soft and bland solids in small quantities to improve appetite.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco completely as this might worsen your infection.

answered by Dr S

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