Chest congestion Symptoms: Causes, Types, Treatments and Home Remedies

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By Medicover Hospitals / 23 March 2022
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What is chest congestion?

  • Chest congestion is a sign of a respiratory infection, such as a cold, or a more serious infection, such as bronchitis. It's a heavy, tightness in the chest, and difficulty in breathing feeling that you get when you have chest congestion. The accumulation of mucus in the lungs and lower breathing tubes (bronchi) causes chest congestion. It is typically accompanied by a wet, productive cough that produces thick mucus. When you breathe in and out, you may hear or feel wheezing or crackling sounds from your chest. One can also have chest congestion without cough or dry cough chest congestion.
  • Chest congestion symptoms

    Swelling of the ankle and feet is a relatively frequent symptom in most people. The causes of swollen feet and ankles are numerous; examples of most of the major causes include:

    Causes of Chest Congestion

  • Excess fluids (mucus and phlegm) accumulate in the lungs as a result of mucus membrane overproduction, causing chest congestion. When bacteria or viruses irritate the membranes, causing inflammation, they overproduce. To try to remove the irritant and reduce inflammation, your body produces extra phlegm. This phlegm can build up and cause chest congestion.
  • When to see a doctor

  • Consider visiting a doctor when you notice the following symptoms:
    • A temperature of 100.4 F or higher.
    • Coughing up bloody mucus
    • Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath
    • Symptoms that last longer than three weeks
    • Bronchitis flare-ups on a regular basis

    Chest congestion treatment

  • Chest congestion can be treated with the help of some chest congestion medicine such as antibiotics and chest congestion home remedies. The doctor will prescribe some cold medications or cough syrups to treat the problem. There are also some homeopathic medicines available for chest congestion.
    There are also many over-the-counter medications available, but you should consult a doctor and inform about your health history, and take the tests advised before taking any medication.
  • Prevention

    To prevent chest congestion follow some important tips such as -
    • The first step toward avoiding chest congestion is to avoid the colds and flu that cause it, and the best way to do so is to strengthen and maintain your immune system.
    • Consume a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods provide your immune system with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy and fight off colds and flu.
    • Get a minimum of 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. Sleep is the time when your body restores and repairs itself from the previous day and prepares for the day ahead.
    • Perform some lung exercises daily for 15 to 20 minutes like breathing exercises, some yoga asanas. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your breathing muscles, increases your lung capacity, and boosts your immune system.


    To prevent chest congestion follow some important tips such as - With medications prescribed by a doctor follow these tips -
    • Drink a lot of water, it may aid in the loosening of mucus.
    • Take a hot water bath.
    • Rest in bed with your head elevated.
    • Take steam
    • Drink a cup of hot tea with ginger, lemon, and honey.
    • Apply a hot compress to your chest.
    • Avoid eating unhealthy foods.
    • Avoid or discontinue smoking.
    • Avoid drinking cold beverages like cold drinks, icecreams, etc.
    • Avoid being exposed to irritants like smoke, dust, or other pollutants.

    Chest congestion is not severe, it just needs proper treatment. Follow these tips and fight chest congestion.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Chest congestion can be a symptom of coronavirus when you face other symptoms as well and it is a cause of concern if you have come in direct or indirect contact with a COVID-positive person.

  • Home remedies and tips to help you feel better if you have chest congestion:
    • Make sure to drink plenty of water: Water may aid in the loosening of mucus.
    • Take a hot shower
    • Rest in bed with your head elevated.
    • Make a cup of hot tea with ginger, lemon, and honey.
    • Apply a warm compress to your chest.
    • Take steam
    • Eat hot food
    • Quit smoking

    Chest congestion usually clears up in 7 to 10 days. If it persists for more than that, immediately consult a doctor.

    Chest congestion might be a serious symptom when you have a body temperature of more than 100.4 F or higher. And the cough contains bloody mucus, shortness of breath, and when the symptoms lasts longer than three weeks

    Warm steam opens and moisturizes stuffy breathing passages, as well as thins mucus, allowing you to cough it up and expel phlegm.


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