A build-up of fluid or mucus in the chest results in congestion, and this is a common symptom of a cold, flu or other respiratory problem. Chest congestion can produce coughing and wheezing, which may become severe. But fortunately, there are techniques to thin mucus and break up congestion.
Things You'll Need
- Over the counter medication
- Vitamin C supplements
- Heat (humidifier)
- Prescription inhaler (possible)
- Antibiotic (possible)
Choose an OTC medication. Look for an over-the-counter cold medication that contains the ingredient guaifenesin, an expectorant. These medications thin mucus and induce the removal of mucus from the chest.
Drink fluids. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the body hydrated and thin mucus. Also, the citrus in orange juice acts as an natural expectorant, and expels mucus through coughing.
Take vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C improves the immune system, which helps you fight infections.
Use heat. Heat from a humidifier or steam shower thins mucus and cures chest congestion. Position a heat humidifier in your bedroom, or sit in the bathroom with the shower on.
Get a prescription inhaler. If chest congestion doesn't improve with home remedies, ask your doctor for a prescription inhaler to open your bronchial tubes.
Inquire about an antibiotic. Oftentimes, chest congestion results from an upper respiratory infection. In this cases, you'll need an antibiotic to kill the infection and get rid of congestion.