Sinus and chest congestion are both frustrating and annoying aspects when suffering from a cold or upper respiratory illness, making the sufferer feel terrible. More importantly, congestion, especially of the chest, can cause hazardous health issues if not cleared up. In fact, chest congestion that moves from the head to the upper chest, then to the lower chest can result in more serious health conditions like bronchitis or pneumonia. It is wise to do all you can do to relieve and clear up congestion before it worsens. This article will help you learn how to clear chest congestion using standard common sense methods and herbal or homeopathic remedies before, if necessary, seeking medical treatment.
Try Old-Fashioned Home Remedies
Utilize a vaporizer, hot shower, or pan of boiling water to produce steam which helps soothe and clear your airways, lungs and throat.
Elevate your head with additional pillows or by raising the head of your bed. Doing so will help clear the airways of drainage or mucus and increase air flow.
Drink 8 or more 8-ounce (240 ml) glasses of water to help keep phlegm and drainage clear and thin.
Place a hot pack or steaming hot cloth on your throat and chest to sooth the congestion and warm the airways externally.
Utilize Herbal, Homeopathic or Other Natural Methods
Try any variety of herbal teas to help clear congestion, including angelic root, cardamom, cayenne pepper, anise, rosemary, ginseng and other soothing herbs. The warm herbs provide an aromatherapy benefit, helping soothe your congestion while the warmth of the liquid will help loosen phlegm and mucus in your throat and chest.
Add lemon or honey to tea for an added soothing benefit. Infusing aromatherapy oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint oil into a vaporizer or aroma lamps can be both soothing and refreshing to help revive mental fatigue problems and lift spirits.
Use a soothing rub on the chest made from fragrant herbs to help encourage deeper breathing, which will clear congestion.
Talk to a massage therapist about reflexology to help clear congestion, such as holding back your toes while pressing on the ball of your foot with the thumb, a method thought to relieve congestion of the chest.
Try a yoga class that teaches restorative poses such as the chest-opening pose or the reclining bound angle pose to help clear congestion.
Turn to Over-the-Counter (OTC) or Prescription Help
Ask your doctor about inhalers or nebulizers with which you can administer your own breathing treatments.
Discuss prescription-strength expectorants to help break up chest congestion.
Inquire about an antibiotic shot, nasal spray, prescription vitamin therapy or antibiotic pills to clear up stubborn or deep chest congestion.
Avoid foods such as dairy, fried foods and meats, as these actually increase the production of mucus in your airways.
Smokers have a greater recurrence of chest congestion than non-smokers while also having a harder time knocking it out once it sets in.
If your infant or toddler suffers from chest congestion, refrain from using any methods to clear the congestion that involve ingesting anything other than natural clear liquids like water or juice to help keep mucus as thin as possible. Stick to the use of humidifiers, chest rubs, sleeping with the head elevated and other common sense methods until you've checked with your physician about how to clear chest congestion in your child. This especially includes OTC medications.
Try not to use OTC cough suppressant treatments as they are designed to merely suppress the symptoms. If your cough produces mucus, it needs to get out of your system so try an expectorant instead.