Best Treatment For Chest Congestion
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Excessive buildup of phlegm or mucus in the lower respiratory tract, which involves inflammation and difficulty in breathing and some other discomforts like chest pain and severe coughing, causes chest congestion. There can be many reasons behind chest congestion.
It is usually caused by bacteria or virus. It can also be a symptom of cold, flu or in some cases respiratory infection. Treatments for chest congestion will differ from person to person depending on the condition and cause due to which the person is suffering.
For moderate to mild congestion, steam inhalation can be an effective remedy. Severe congestion can lead patients to suffer from chronic cough and other complications. So, proper treatment should be given to the patient to expel mucus as quickly as possible.
A person with chest congestion often experiences shortness of breath, tightness in chest and chest pain, coughing, wheezing and in extreme cases coughing of blood. The treatment for chest congestion is given by doctor on the basis of the symptoms. They try to diagnose the root cause of the congestion and treat patient accordingly.
A person can suffer from chest congestion when he/she has cold or flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, tuberculosis, lung cancer, pulmonary edema and heart-valve malfunction. When there is accumulation of thick, yellowish or green phlegm, then probably it is bacterial infection.
Chest Congestion Treatment
As there can be various reasons for chest congestion, the course of treatment also differs from person to person depending on the symptoms and persons’ condition. If patient’s condition is serious, doctor may ask for blood and other body fluid tests, chest x-ray, biopsy or lung-function tests. But when chest congestion is due to minor ailment like cold or flu, there are many over the counter medicines and home remedies that can be used as decongestant to get relief from the symptoms.
Taking over-the-counter drugs like Phenylephrine, which belongs to combination of medication called expectorant, helps to thin and loosen the mucus and expel it from the chest and nasal passage and clear chest congestion. If infection is more serious, doctors may prescribe antibiotics. However, these drugs should not be used for infants and kids younger than 6 years without consultation of your physician.
Chest congestion due to cold and flu can be cured using some home and herbal remedies. Steam inhalation is an excellent home remedy for loosening and thinning mucus. Either use a humidifier or vaporizer or boil water in a container and mix few drop of any essential oil like eucalyptus, rosemary, pine or dry sage and inhale the steam after covering the head with a towel for few minutes so that steam can enter your nostrils and loosen the phlegm.
You can also take a hot bath to get relief. Alternatively, you can dab few drops of eucalyptus oil in a towel and sniff it for few seconds. Repeat these actions three to four times throughout the day. Massaging the chest with vapor balm or essential oil can help in decongestion.
Hot soups spiced up with ginger, garlic, pepper like chicken soup can act as decongestant because hot foods kill bacteria and loosen the mucus. Also consume lots of fluids containing vitamin C to get quick relief. Herbal tea, especially ginger tea, gives relief from chest congestion as ginger has great anti-inflammatory property.
Tea prepared with chamomile can act as decongestant as well. Drinking hot water after getting up early in the morning will help to cough out the phlegm. Keep on drinking plenty of fluids to dissolve the hardened mucus.