Fall and winter are frequently the seasons when people are likely to develop chest colds. The nights are cooler, so people spend more time indoors. A common chest cold usually only lasts 7 to 10 days with mild annoying symptoms. BASS Urgent Care wants to help you get through this time with some tips on how to get rid of a chest cold.
Chest Cold Symptoms You Might Experience
The most common chest cold symptom is chest congestion, usually with a persistent hacking cough. You should also expect a runny or congested nose or both. You may have a sore throat and cough up green or yellow phlegm. If that phlegm gets bad, you probably have an infection, which means you will need to see a physician to get an antibiotic prescription. You will also have fatigue, body aches, and pains. All of this comes from your body using its energy to fight off the cold. Chest colds will usually improve after 7 to 10 days with rest and using some of these tips on how to get rid of a chest cold. Start trying the home remedies as soon as you feel the onset of chest cold symptoms.
How to Get Rid of a Chest Cold
- The best way to get over a common chest cold is to rest. Allow your body to recognize the virus and develop the antibodies needed to fight them.
- Be sure you drink plenty of fluids. Warm drinks and soups will soothe your sore throat and your upset stomach if it is bothering you. They will also help toward your fluid intake.
- For slight body aches, muscle pain, and headaches, take over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help you feel better, and they may also help if you have a slight fever.
- For congestion, take OTC decongestants or expectorants to loosen up mucus. This may make it easier to cough up the phlegm. Blow your nose and don’t keep sniffing the drainage back up. It may help to use a nasal spray to keep your nasal passages open. You can also try a dab of mentholated salve under your nose or some rubbed on your chest.
- Studies show that certain vitamins keep you healthy and possibly avoid a common chest cold. If you do get sick, these vitamins may help speed up your recovery. Some scientifically proven to help include garlic, echinacea, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. Elderberry is also showing good results
- Eat healthy foods. The healthier your diet, the less likely you are to get sick. As with the vitamins, if you do get a chest cold, some of these foods may help with your chest cold symptoms:
- Bananas and rice to soothe an upset stomach and curb diarrhea. Blueberries also curb diarrhea and are high in natural aspirin.
- Carrots, which contain beta-carotene
- Chili peppers, if you can tolerate them, may open sinuses and help break up mucus in the lungs. Mustard and horseradish also help break up mucus.
- Onions contain phytochemicals that may help the body clear bronchitis.
- Black and green tea contain catechin, a phytochemical reported having natural effects against inflammation.
Be sure to consult a physician if you experience any of the following;
- You have a fever over 101
- You have violent vomiting
- Sinus pain or drainage in the back of your throat
- You have chest pain that does not decrease when relaxed
- you have breathing difficulties
BASS Urgent Care recommends that you seek medical attention if your chest cold seems to be lasting longer than expected or if you are concerned that it may be an infection. Contact BASS at 925.318.9822 to see our physicians and determine if you have an infection.