Chest congestion is a common health problem. Three easy ways to identify whether you have chest congestion are when you constantly cough, constantly need to clear your throat, and have a general feeling of unease in your phlegm. It is usually a symptom of the common cold. To prevent it being a full-blown cold, make sure you know how to get rid of the chest congestion fast. By getting rid of your chest congestion fast, you can manage your health better. Here are 15 ideas to get rid of chest congestion fast.
1. Understand Where They are Coming from
Chest congestion is a symptom of the common cold that can happen to everyone. Chest congestion happens when you inhale particles that irritate the membranes of your nose and breathing airways and when a virus or bacteria causes an infection there, which causes inflammation and results in extra mucus stuck in your airways. This extra mucus is a way of your body to get rid of the irritants. When it reaches a level where your body cannot get rid of it by coughing it up or swallowing it, it means you have more and thicker mucus than usual and this resulted in chest congestion. Once you essentially understand that getting rid of chest congestion means getting rid of those mucus stuck in your lungs, you can start to work out what kind of things can be useful and helpful to get rid of your chest congestion fast.
2. Stay Hydrated
The first step to get rid of chest congestion fast is by making sure your body stay hydrated. This can mean keeping your water consumption level higher than what you usually consume every day. If for usually, you can drink up to 6 full glasses a day, for example, make sure you increase it during periods of chest congestion. Water can help to thin the mucus that has thickened and gotten stuck in your airways. Aside from drinking water, you also need to be committed to stay away from drinks that can dehydrate you such as caffeine. Wait until you feel confident that you have gotten rid of the chest congestion. If you do not have sufficient hydration, you risk dry coughing and your breathing will be even harder. To reduce the severity of chest congestion’s symptoms, you need to stay as hydrated as possible.
3. Rest Your Body
It is also important to rest your body while you are having chest congestion, because when it is sick, your body needs to rest. Make sure that you have enough sleep and that you sleep well. This will help you to get rid of chest congestion fast. One of the best ways to sleep while you have chest congestion is by keeping your head elevated while you sleep. Using 2-3 pillows instead of just 1 pillow can ease proper drainage of mucus and prevent nose block. This can give you a really proper rest and having a proper rest helps your body speed up recovery process.
4. Keep Warm
Another way to get rid of chest congestion fast is by keeping your body warm and your surroundings humid. Sit in the bathroom with the bathtub or shower running on hot, as this will help release steam into the air and create more humidity. Higher humidity level will help you with easier breathing. Your lungs will absorb water vapour released into the air, and that can help thinning out the mucus as well as help loosen congestion in the airways. In addition, keep your body warm by always taking a hot shower when you have chest congestion. This will also ease congestion.
5. Gargle Salt Water
If you are particularly in a rush to get rid of chest congestion, this one natural trick can help you. It is fast, simple, and easy. Try to gargle a mix of warm water with dissolved 1-2 tablespoons of salt as far down your throat as possible. By doing this, you can trigger a mucus breakdown in your airways. Do this for 1-2 minutes each and up to 4 times a day until you feel confident that you have gotten rid of chest congestion. You can also add a pinch of turmeric for extra helpful effect.
6. Use Vapor Rubs
Vapor rubs contain decongestive ingredients, which are imminently hepful to get rid of chest congestion fast. There has been a research done in 2010 that shows vapor rubs scored the highest in providing congestion relief, compared to petrolatum ointment. You can buy the vapour rub in any over the counter medication stores. Before applying this topical treatment, remember to read the instruction on the packaging. Then, slather the vapor rub onto your chest and neck every night until you do not feel the symptom any more.
7. Use OTC Medication
Aside from vapor rubs, you can also use over the counter medication for cold and flu. It helps you to rest easier at night, reduce your symptom, and speed up the recovery process.
8. Keep Stock of Some of Herbal Remedies of Chest Congestion
Once you identify that you have gotten a chest congestion, immediately stock these herbal remedies in your home to get rid of chest congestion fast while you rest. These herbal remedies include lemon, onions, ginger, and honey.
Lemon helps to alleviate chest congestion caused by cold. It contains vitamin C, which reduces risk of cold and cough. It also has acidic properties, which can reduce the thickness of mucus. To get the benefits, squeeze a lemon in hot water and put some salt, and drink three to four times a day. Another way to reap the benefit of lemon is to mix warm lemon water with honey, which helps loose congestion.
Same thing with lemon, onion will also help to thin the mucus and ease the chest congestion as well. Use meals with onion to treat the congestion, or fry a well-cut onion and wrap it within two thin clothes. Put it on the chest to help ease the chest congestion.
Another great remedy is honey, which is a good cough suppressant. Honey functions to lessen the respiratory tract and soothes inflamed membranes. It has also been proven in several studies to be even more effective than any over-the-counter medicine to cure cough. Consume it in a glass of warm water or mix it with herbal tea.
Last but not least, ginger also helps to reduce mucus’ inflammation and provides chest congestion relief. Prepare a ginger tea or mix a powdered ginger with honey and drink it to reap the benefits.
9. Consume Warm Drinks Only
As mentioned above, it helps to stay hydrated because liquids help to thin out the mucus. However, one thing to note is that you should drink lots of warm liquids in particular. This is because they can help clear out the mucus that causes chest congestion. This will lead you to feel relieved from the congestion. You can try to drink warm water, warm apple drink, and even also black and green tea, but make sure you drink the decaffeinated version of black and green tea as caffeine will dehydrate you. Other kinds of tea that also help include peppermint tea, ginger, chamomile, rosemary, and ginseng. Drink them throughout the day and you can also add a bit of honey for added power to fight to mucus.
10. Consume Food That Can Ease Chest Congestion
For the period where you have chest congestion, learn to be picky with your food. Prioritize those known to ease chest congestion, such as warm chicken soup, garlic and lime soup, spicy food, citrus fruits, and meals containing onions or ginger, and use ingredients like parsley and turmeric. Also need to be prioritized is food items that can improve your immunity, such as food items that are rich in vitamin E and C. Vegetable such as celery is helpful to reduce mucus production. Better still, make sure you have it warm as it will help open the airways and therefore eliminate the mucus from your body.
11. Avoid These Food Items You Should Not Eat
Being picky with your food also means avoiding some of the food items that you should not eat, because of an existing correlation between the food items and the increase of mucus production. The food items that you should avoid include dairy products, salted food, sugar, and fried food, which greatly increase mucus production. You must cut all of the food items from your diet if you want to get rid of chest congestion fast. After your chest has cleared, you can continue to consume them again. Think carefully before you purchase any food items – will this help me to ease my chest congestion fast? If not, it is better for you to choose another option that will.
12. Use Chest Clearing Steam
Another quick and easy home remedy to get rid of chest congestion fast is by using a chest clearing steam. Fill a bowl with very hot water. Lean your head over the bowl and cover your head with a towel to trap in the steam. Inhale it as deeply as possible, and stay over the bowl for at least ten minutes. It will help to provide a relief from your chest congestion. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary essential oil as they have analgesic and antibacterial properties. If possible, you can also get a humidifier and run it in your room when you sleep for extra effect.
13. Take A Flu Shot
For added protection in the future from chest congestion, it helps to get a yearly flu vaccination. It will aid you and defend your body against flu viruses. In addition, they also guard against derivative bronchitis. Ideally, if you are at high-risk for flu complications, such as when you are a pregnant woman, an elderly adult or people with heart disease and asthma, you should get the vaccine.
14. Consult Doctor If All Else Fail
If all else fail, you should consult a doctor. Generally, mucus and chest congestion will clear up within seven to nine days. If it persists, especially if you have a fever, chest pain, or difficulty with breathing, then you need to start making an appointment to see a doctor. Pay attention to your conditions after seven days. Is the congestion getting worse after three or four days? Does it changes to a thicker texture instead? Does the mucus have a yellow or green colour? Those questions will help you to track whether the home remedies options above work for your or not. If the answers to those questions are a resounding yes, then it has not been working to help you get rid of chest congestion fast. That means, you need medical intervention from a doctor fast, instead.
15. Prevention is The Best Cure
If the chest congestion finally cleared up, remember that prevention is still the best cure. There are some ways of life that you should implement which can greatly reduce your chance of getting a chest congestion. Some of these ways include: always remember to wash your hands well (this means using soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol, and take at least 20 seconds) and regularly (especially when during and after handling food, caring for sick people, and using a restroom), keeping a distance from people who are sick with flu, making sure that you have enough rest and sleep that your body needs, and consuming food mentioned above that can help increase your immunity.
You can implement the 15 ways discussed above immediately once you realize that you have chest congestion. Through a combination of food, drink, and practices that help you lose the mucus stuck in lungs, you can get rid of chest congestion fast. Getting rid of chest congestion fast will help you nip a full blown cold in the bud, before it gets worse, and help you avoid losing longer time to illness. Getting your health in top shape will ensure that you can live well.