Almost every person experiences a chest congestion at some stage, especially during colder months, when the immune system of the body is weakened and we become more prone to viral and bacterial infections. Chest congestion is normally not a serious health problem and can be easily treated at home, but in some cases, when it results from various diseases, like pneumonia or bronchitis, it must be given special attention, otherwise it may develop into a serious condition.
Causes Of Chest Congestion
The air we breathe contains dust, viruses, bacteria and various allergens. When they get into our respiratory system, they get trapped in the mucus and may accumulate in the lower tract of the respiratory system. Normally we just cough it out, but in certain conditions, like when the body immune system doesn’t work properly, the viruses and bacteria we breathe in may cause an infection, which is usually accompanied by chest congestion. Apart from being the result of a common cold, chest congestion may be a symptom ascribed to sinusitis and post-nasal drip, pneumonia, airborne allergies, asthma, tuberculosis and many other diseases.
Symptoms Of Chest Congestion
Whenever mucus and liquids accumulate in excess amounts in the chest, it feels heavy and we have difficulty breathing, which may – depending on the extent of the congestion – cause a major discomfort and pain, especially at night. Blocked respiratory tract makes it difficult for the oxygen to get into the blood circulation system, which in turn makes you feel more tired or even dizzy. When you suffer from chest congestion, you may also have the feeling of tightness in your chest, have a runny nose and hear a loud noise while breathing. In some cases, blood may be present in the mucus you cough out and your throat may be sore, red and swollen, both due to the presence of viruses and the fact that you cough a lot.
How To Prevent Chest Congestion
In certain seasons, it is very difficult to avoid chest congestion as we are much more exposed to ubiquitous viruses present in the air. However, if you boost your immune system and take good care of your respiratory system, you have high chances of staying clear of this problem. First of all, avoid smoking as it damages both upper and lower respiratory system. In colder months increase the intake of vitamin C, either through the diet or supplements. Keep your body well hydrated at all times and get a lot of rest so that your body has enough energy to fight off any potential infections.
It is also important to look after your blood circulation system through regular, mild exercise, which tends to be forgotten in winter months. Good blood circulation facilitates the transport of vitamins and nutrients to all the cells of the body, including the respiratory system. This way it’s easier for your lungs to face the infections, which are the most frequent causes of chest congestion.
Home Remedies For Chest Congestion
It is quite common to cure chest congestion with over the counter medicines, but their repetitive use has a bad influence on the liver and with time may become less and less effective. It also costs a lot if the problem reoccurs frequently. That’s why it’s worth trying some home remedies, which give great results in the treatment of chest congestion and are entirely safe for your health.
Salt has antiseptic properties and helps fight off the bacteria present in the throat. What’s more, it reduces the pain, swelling and redness caused by repetitive coughing. In order to get some noticeable relief from those symptoms and to facilitate the removal of mucus from the respiratory tube, prepare a gargle from boiled water and salt (2 tablespoons of salt for each glass of water) and use it four to five times a day. Don’t swallow it, just take a swig of the solution and gargle for one or two minutes, then spit it out. Use this method as soon as you notice first symptoms of chest congestion or a sore throat.
Honey is probably the best medicine that nature gave us as it has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It’s like an antibiotic that can be used without any side effects. When you suffer from chest congestion, honey will additionally help reduce the thickness of mucus, which will allow for a faster and less painful removal of it from the respiratory tract. Honey can be consumed in various ways, but you always need to make sure you don’t heat it too much as it looses it properties in high temperatures. Try eating two to three teaspoons of raw, organic honey every day or add it to a glass of warm but not too hot milk. Honey also makes a great sweetener that can be used for herbal teas. In general, it is a very good idea to incorporate honey in your diet not only when you fight chest congestion, but as a means of regular prevention against a wide range of health problems.
Onion has anti-inflammatory properties and helps fight off chest congestion in a very quick and effective way. If you like the taste of raw onion, you can simply add it to your sandwiches or salads. If you are not a big fan of this strong flavour, however, you can prepare some onion syrup with some powerful, but tasty ingredients. Peel one onion and grind it into a paste. You can use the paste for the syrup or extract the juice from it by pressing it through a sieve.