Chest congestion is an extremely uncomfortable condition. It makes it very difficult for the affected person to breathe which would then require a lot of effort even with just inhaling and exhaling.
What causes chest congestion?
Chest congestion is caused by the presence of mucus in the trachea and our respiratory tract.
The mucus blocks any foreign particles and prevents it from entering our body. These particles also get stuck on the mucus’ sticky surface. But due to a viral or bacterial infection, there is a drastic increase in mucus production. This over-production of mucus gets trapped in the chest cavity which leads to chest congestion.
What can I use to relieve chest congestion fast?
How can I get chest congestion relief?
The best way to get rid of chest congestion is to first diagnose the root cause. Chest congestion can be a symptom of something serious (which we’ll discuss later in the article) or can be a seasonal allergy or flu.
Taking in plenty of fluids will keep you hydrated and clear away the mucus and phlegm.
Herbal tea, like green tea or condiment tea, helps clear the symptoms of chest congestion. Eating spicy foods and fruits and vegetables help clear up mucus. Inhaling steam from a pan of boiling water helps to clear your airways and lungs.
Using a hot pack over your chest and throat will provide relief to the blocked airways. Elevating your head by putting pillows beneath your head helps clear your respiratory tract.
How long will it take to go away?
The cause of chest congestion can be anything from a common cold to pneumonia.
The congestion will go away only when the proper medication is taken. If it is caused by allergies, then it will go away around 24-48 hours after taking anti-allergy medication. Often times, it helps to try a few tricks to break up chest congestion. But sometimes, chest congestion can be and indication of a serious disease especially if you are a smoker or asthmatic.
Is chest congestion the symptom of any serious diseases?
Chest congestion is a symptom of many serious diseases. The first being, asthma. Asthma causes an inflammatory reaction in our respiratory tract, causing shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. Chest congestion is and can also be related to sinusitis. Sinusitis causes the inflammation of the sinus membrane, causing the secretion of mucus which leads to chest congestion.
Another serious disease related to chest congestion is cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes an abnormal production of mucus. This causes the airways to block up. Pneumonia is closely related to chest congestion as well. It is brought by the inflammation of the lungs due to the infection.
Tuberculosis is also one serious disease which chest congestion might be a symptom of. TB is a life threatening disease which causes chest congestion due to the build up of fluid in the thoracic cavity. Bronchitis is also related to chest congestion.This particular disease causes the bronchial tubes to inflame. This inflammation causes the bronchial membrane to secrete mucus, which causes wheezing and chest congestion.
Heart diseases are often related to chest congestion as well. Chest congestion is also indicative of allergies. The trigger can be anything from pollen to cat hair.
When should I see a doctor about chest congestion?
First, people will try out the usual home remedies to clear up congestion by themselves. Various home remedies are recommended before seeing a doctor. If the congestion gets worse, you can see your doctor. Just make sure to take note and tell the doctor about the home remedies you’ve tried to alleviate the disease.
However, congestion in the chest can be serious. People often tend to ignore chest congestion as a symptom of the flu or common cold. If that is the case, by taking anti-flu medication and fluids, your congestion should be cleared up within 4-5 days. If the congestion lasts more than a week, it is advisable to visit a doctor. That way, the root cause of the congestion can be found out.