Having any illness is miserable, but it’s made even worse when one of your symptoms is chest congestion. Chest congestion makes breathing and sleeping more difficult and can be hard to control with over-the-counter medications. Homeopathic remedies for chest congestion are an option for treatment, and there are other ways to find relief as well. The following information will help you better understand what causes congestion and related symptoms and give tips to feel better while your body wages a war against the infection.
Understanding Your Cough
What causes chest congestion and accompanying cough? When you have an infection, such as the common cold, the virus or bacteria enters your lungs. Once there, your body starts fighting by producing a lot of mucus to cover the infectious materials. Coughing is the body’s way of trying to remove the infection from your lungs. Allergens can also trigger this response and resulting symptoms.
Both the congestion and cough have a purpose in fighting off the invading infection or allergen, but that doesn’t make dealing with these symptoms any easier. It’s time to explore options for obtaining relief so you can finally get some rest.
Hot Showers & Humidifiers
Humidifiers are a great way to relieve chest congestion. Mucus is generally very thick and hard to cough up. Humidifiers add warm moisture to the air, which can help make the mucus thinner and easier to remove from the lungs by coughing. Even if you don’t have a humidifier, you can take a hot shower. The steam from the shower can provide the same benefits as the humidifier and offer some much-needed respite.
The Truth About Cough Medicines
A common question people ask is, “Does cough medicine actually work?” The surprising answer is that it may not. Studies have been conducted where one group of people received cough medicine and the other received a placebo, and there wasn’t a significant difference in symptom relief between the two groups. This shows that cough medicine isn’t as effective as previously thought.
Natural Remedies for Symptom Relief
Natural remedies seem to help relieve symptoms versus just covering them up. Honey has healing properties and is used for a variety of ailments. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, which helps reduce swelling in the lungs to improve breathing. Honey is often mixed into hot drinks because they have the added benefit of thinning out mucus.
You don’t have to strictly drink hot liquids. Staying hydrated with water of any temperature will help thin the mucus as well, so it’s a good idea to keep a glass of water by your bedside.
Bedtime can be particularly difficult since you’re lying flat, allowing the mucus to settle in the back of your throat, which induces coughing. Propping yourself up with some pillows will help mucus drain and reduce discomfort.
Dealing with chest congestion and cough is frustrating and exhausting, but using these tips can help get you through it. Instead of reaching for cold medicine next time you find yourself suffering from these symptoms, set up a humidifier or try a homeopathic remedy for cough, then finally find some real relief.