Chest Congestion Relief: Your OTC and Natural Options

Chest congestion in individuals is usually caused by mucus in the chest that will not easily be excreted by the body. This will usually be accompanied by a cough that is persistent and the feeling of having a congested chest. Medical experts agree that this is not a life-threatening or fatal condition but it can greatly affect the quality of life of individuals.

woman holding chest in pain

People will primarily avoid adverse medical conditions that can negatively affect their health and overall quality of life. One such condition that people will try to avoid is the feeling of having a congested chest.  This is most usually caused by the presence of mucus in the chest and people may wonder what their natural options and Over The Counter Choices for the said medical condition. In this article, we will look at how people can get chest congestion relief by using natural options and other Over the counter medications.

Chest Congestion: A Brief Backgrounder

Chest congestion in individuals is usually caused by mucus in the chest that will not easily be excreted by the body. This will usually be accompanied by a cough that is persistent and the feeling of having a congested chest. Medical experts agree that this is not a life-threatening or fatal condition but it can greatly affect the quality of life of individuals.

If this build-up of mucus in the chest goes untreated, there is a possibility that the said condition will lead to other more serious complications. Luckily, there are some things that people can do before heading out to consult with their healthcare partner or medical professional.

Home Remedies Against Chest Congestion?

The majority of patients will most probably prefer some home treatments or remedies that are readily available and accessible. Enumerated below are some of these treatment options:

Drinking liquids can help against congestion of the chest caused by mucus buildup

Patients with chest congestion are advised to drink plenty of fluids particularly water. It may sound a little bit cliche but water and liquids are indeed one of the most effective ways to make mucus thinner and easily expelled by the body.

Warm liquids have been shown to be quite effective in decongesting the chest and the nose of any blockages caused by excess buildup of mucus. Once symptoms are somewhat relieved, patients can then get some form of relief or comfort. People may wish to take or ingest green or black tea that is decaffeinated, apple juice that is warm, chicken soup, and water.

Using a Humidifier can help with chest congestion

Steam can also be utilized to aid in the breakdown and loosening of the mucus. Depending on the needs of the patient, people can come up with their own personal steam room or simply use a humidifier. Cool mist humidifiers are readily available in stores and local pharmacies. These humidifiers may be more practical especially for people living in climates that are warmer wherein steam may not be the best decongestant.

Humidifiers may be very useful during nighttime and while people try to get some sleep. It should ideally be placed near beds. This, in theory, can help people get better quality of sleep and help make chest congestion easier to manage all through the night. Bedroom doors and windows should also be sealed or closed to ensure that the steam or the vapor from the humidifier does not readily escape from the room. People can also try coming up with their own personal humidifier.

One idea is to turn their shower into their personal sauna. This can be achieved by letting the water run to build enough steam. Once there is enough steam, the person can then step into the shower while closing the shower curtain behind him or her to retain and maximize the steam present. It is important to remind individuals to keep the showerhead pointed in a different direction to avoid being scalded by the hot water. People can also use a towel and a bowl.

This is a form of steam that is more targeted where a bowl in the sink filled with hot water will be used by the individual by leaning over face first. They will then have to cover their head with a towel to trap and direct the steam to their faces and their nasal cavity. It is totally up to the patient if he or she will stay for long periods of time over the bowl. One reminder, however, is that if they start to feel uncomfortable from being exposed to the steam, patients can simply step away and drink a cool glass of water to rehydrate.

Taking Honey can help patients with chest congestion

A study conducted in 2007 showed evidence that buckwheat honey can be effective in treating chest congestion better than the traditional medications for cough relief. The researchers gave the members of the group either buckwheat honey or nothing at all for their chest congestion.

Results for the said study showed that the members of the group that received buckwheat honey experienced better symptom relief than those who did not. In addition, buckwheat honey is readily available in many retail stores. It is also easy to take as its dosage is similar to that of a cough medicine where it can be taken every few hours.

Over the Counter (OTC) Medications for Chest Congestion Caused by Mucus Buildup

If the said home remedies are not enough to help address the chest congestion experienced by the patient, then certain OTC or over the counter medications may be taken by the patient. Some OTC drugs for chest congestion are:

Decongestants

Decongestants come in different forms and dosages ranging from nasal spray to tablets and liquids. They are also available and accessible in pharmacies. Some common decongestants are oxymetazoline and pseudoephedrine. Patients are advised to follow package instructions as too much or excess decongestants can make it harder for people to sleep due to increased heart rate. As such, it may be better to take the said decongestants in the morning.

Vapor Rubs

People can also use OTC vapor rubs as they are known to have properties that are decongestant. However, they are applied topically to the chest and other areas rather than being ingested.

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