Cold, flu, and allergies are some of the most common causes that trigger congestion. It is prevalent mostly in babies and children but also affects adults. While common in all seasons, these illness are more prominent during cold weather. They trigger irritation and breathing difficulties. Due to cold or allergies, there is inflammation in the inner lining of nasal passages. This produces more mucus causing congestion in nose and chest. To soothe the irritation and congestion many home remedies can be implemented. In severe cases, consult a doctor.
Home remedies for congestion
- Use a humidifier or vaporizer: Humidifier or vaporizer helps to moisten the nasal tract. It also helps to loosen the mucus accumulated in the nasal tract and prevents it from drying and blocking the nose passage. It’s very effective in reducing chest congestion and breathing difficulties.
- Steam inhalation: Breathe in steam from a warm water pot. It also helps in loosening mucus and gives relief from difficult breathing. A long warm shower also helps as the steam is inhaled during the bath.
- Warm salt water gargling: It gives temporary relief by moistening sore or scratchy throat.
- Lots of warm fluids: Drinking warm fluids like hot warm water, vegetable, and chicken soups loosen and thin out mucus and prevents congestion. It also helps in remaining hydrated.
- Prop your head up: While sleeping try to keep the head elevated by placing more pillows under your head. This makes breathing more comfortable.
- Turmeric milk: Turmeric is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Warm milk with turmeric is very effective in clearing chest congestion. It is a widely used home remedy.
- Honey with ginger juice: Ginger has great anti-inflammatory properties. Grate ginger and squeeze the juice. Add it with one tablespoon of honey and take at regular intervals throughout the day. It helps in reducing congestion and relieves a sore throat.
- Honey lemon water: Honey lemon water fights the infection and soothes a sore throat and chest. Honey promotes a strong immune system and fights infections.
- Medication: Some drugs don’t need doctor’s prescription but it’s always better to consult a doctor before using them. Decongestant medicines help in reducing inflammation. They clear the nasal passage and prevent stuffiness. If allergies are the cause of your illness, you should look for allergy medicine having antihistamine for relief. Pain relievers can be used to ease pain that congestion causes, although they don’t give any relief from congestion.
When to see a doctor
- When the condition doesn’t improve for more than seven days.
- When the congestion and symptoms are more severe.
- When there is no relief from breathing difficulties.