This condition, which can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, is generally caused by excess mucus and fluid in the lungs, often accompanied by a cough and may be audible [a crackling sound] when the person breathes in or out [air traveling through the airways of the congested lungs].
Symptoms of this condition
* labored breathing
* shortness of breath
* chest pain or discomfort
* runny nose
* fever and chills
* body aches
* general malaise
These symptoms can vary [all at once or mixed and matched] in accordance to what the underlying cause is [flu, bronchitis etc]
* common cold
serious but not life threatening
more serious and life threatening
* lung cancer
* cystic fibrosis
* heart failure
* pulmonary edema
Treatments vary in accordance with the severity of the patients illness but in this article I am only going to deal with the non-life threatening [but still serious] chest congestion [the more serious chest problems need medical treatment as soon as possible]
Using a nebulizer [machine that warms a decongestant oil – karvol for example] will help relieve the congestion and ease any chest discomfort as it helps clear the airways of the patient by loosening the phlegm which is then easier to cough up.
Steam – this is also a great way to loosen any phlegm, boil a liter of water, pour into a bowl, add karvol [or any other decongestant med], get the patient to lean over the steam and cover their heads with a towel to keep the steam focused around the patients face while they inhale as deeply as possible.
Topical application – applying aromatherapy oils to the chest [eucalyptus, Clary sage, pine or rosemary for example] can also assist in the relieve of a congested chest.
Breathing exercises – there are yoga exercises out there that help strengthen the lungs and improve its capacity. Find a exercise to suit your needs and try do this daily.
Ensure the patient eats a diet that is rich in all the nutrients [especially vitamin C and E] the body needs, this will assist the immune system while it fights to clear the blocked airways. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons etc are rich in vitamin C and this vitamin is very important in boosting the immune system at this time. Get the patient to drink as much herbal tea as they possibly can [at least 3x a day] as these contain many essential nutrients and can also assist in making the immune system stronger.
Whatever the outcome of the home remedies you have tried, always get some medical advice and medication from your doctor, this is a serious problem and can be a symptom of a more severe medical condition.