How to Get Rid of a Chest Cold


Things You'll Need

  • Medication
  • Fluids
  • Humidifier
Chest cold
Chest cold (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Chest colds, which are also known as bronchitis, are viral infections that affect the lungs. Symptoms of a chest cold include mucus congestion, chest pain, wheezing and fatigue. Whereas anyone can develop a chest cold, this infection is common in people who smoke, children and those who live with heart and lung disease. If left untreated, chest colds can worsen. Thus, it's imperative to treat the condition at the first sign of infection.

Step 1

Suppress a cough with over-the-counter medication. Coughing is common with chest colds because of the presence of mucus. Use OTC cold medications with an added cough suppressant to help remedy a cough and clear congestion in the chest. Use medication as directed.

Over-the-counter medicine
Over-the-counter medicine (Image: Mark Herreid/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 2

Take an anti-inflammatory medication to stop aches. Coughing can produce chest and back pains, and fevers are common with infections. Choose a cold medication with a pain reliever or take a separate anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen to relieve pain.

Coughing (Image: Alexander Raths/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 3

Drink up to help clear congestion. Mucus trapped in the chest triggers congestion, which can lead to coughing and wheezing. Drink extra fluids such as water, hot teas, soup and juices to break up mucus.

Drink hot tea
Drink hot tea (Image: Valentyn Volkov/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 4

Take off a few days to recuperate. Rest is imperative when battling a chest cold and other infections because it gives your body a chance to heal. Call in sick and take a couple of days off work or school to help your body fight the infection.

Resting while sick
Resting while sick (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Step 5

Turn on the humidifier. Use a cool-mist humidifier (available from drugstores) to increase moisture in the air and help break up congestion in your chest.

Use a humidifier
Use a humidifier (Image: Sergiy Tryapitsyn/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 6

Apply vapor rub to your chest. Use over-the-counter vapor rub and apply a generous amount to your chest throughout the day to help clear your lungs and stop coughing from a chest cold. Use as directed.

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Tips & Warnings

  • See a doctor if you develop a fever that lasts more than 24 hours, or if you begin to cough up blood or experience breathing troubles.


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