Chest congestion is an extremely uncomfortable condition. It makes it very difficult for the affected person to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling starts requiring an effort.

What causes chest congestion?

Mucus is present in the trachea and our respiratory tract. Foreign particles are prevented from entering our body by the mucus; which get stuck on its 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 causing chest congestion.

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 (as discussed later in the article) or can be a seasonal allergy or flu.

Taking in plenty of fluids will keep you hydrated  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 24-48 hours after taking anti-allergy medication. Often times, it helps to try a few tricks to breaking up chest congestion. But often, chest congestion can be indicative 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 can often be related to sinusitis. Sinusitis causes the inflammation of the sinus membrane, causing the secretion of mucus. This leads to chest congestion. Another serious disease can cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes an abnormal production of mucus. This causes the airways to block up and cause chest congestion. Pnuemoia causes chest congestion as well. It is brought on by the inflammation of the lungs due to the infection. Another serious disease for which chest congestion is a symptom is tuberculosis. 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. This is recommended so that before you see a doctor, you can mention the different remedies you’ve tried.

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.