COLD AND FLU BASICS
What is Chest Congestion?
Chest congestion is often a symptom of a cold or the flu. Mucus is a key line of defense for your body. Its job is to intercept irritants, which can range from household dust to viruses, so they can be coughed out or swallowed. When your mucous membranes become irritated, they produce more mucus. This mucus builds up in your airways and causes chest congestion.
Symptoms of chest congestion
- Tightness or heavy feeling in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
How to get rid of chest congestion
Your body naturally tries to clear chest congestion through coughing. That's why you cough so much when you have a cold or the flu. This process will normally make chest congestion go away on its own.
However, frequent coughing can be uncomfortable, making your throat and chest sore. Here are some simple home remedies that can relieve chest congestion and the effects of coughing, making day-to-day life a little easier.
Home remedies for chest congestion relief:
- Drink warm liquids
- Use a humidifier
- Eat honey (to ease throat soreness from coughing)
Another great option to help with chest congestion while your cold or flu clears up, are over-the-counter treatments containing guaifenesin which thins mucus to give you relief while your body gets better.