- What is a Chest Cold or Chest Infection?
- Who are commonly targeted by Chest Cold?
- Symptoms of a Chest Cold or Bronchitis
- When to meet a doctor?
- Method to Diagnose Chest Cold
- What are the common treatments available for Chest Cold?
- How to Prevent Chest Cold?
- Potential Home Remedies for Chest Cold
Chest Cold is also known as Bronchitis and it is a special type of infection that has major impact on lungs and lower large airways of your body, they are also called as Bronchi. Although, Bronchitis and Pneumonia are almost similar kind of infections but the difference is that Bronchitis usually occurs due to viral attack whereas Pneumonia happens because of bacterial infections. The second one is considered to be much serious and patient needs immediate hospital admission in this case.
We never like cold but still we cannot avoid them; the only prevention is to live in a sterile bubble and of course that is not possible for the hyper active human beings. But, the good news is that it is possible to settle them soon with few remedies.
On the other hand, when we talk about cold feeling in chest or Bronchitis then it can range from mild to life threatening one so it becomes essential to opt right treatment on time so that serious complications can be avoided. It is right time to gather some detailed knowledge about chest cold, its causes, symptoms and available treatment options; the article below can help you to collect all useful facts about chest cold.
What is a Chest Cold or Chest Infection?
The respiratory track in human body starts from nose and it goes below to alveoli that are small air spaces inside lungs. The large airways of lungs are well known as Bronchi and these airways in combination with lungs are termed as lower respiratory tract in medical terms.
The chest infection has major impact on this lower respiratory tract and the infection that causes trouble in upper portion including throat and nose is known as Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI).
Most of the URTIs happen due to viral infections but the human immune system has power to initiate fight against it and troubles can be easily recovered within few days. Note that, as URTIs occur due to virus attack not due to bacteria so you may not find antibiotics useful in this case.
Who are commonly targeted by Chest Cold?
Chest cold or Bronchitis is very common disease, especially during winter or autumn season. Chest cold often gets turned into an infection if not treated properly.
Here are few details about who can be recognised as top targets of chest cold or infections:
- Elderly and young children are often affected by chest cold.
- People that are more addicted to smoke.
- Pregnant women are also a common target.
- It is common for people that are suffering with chest troubles from a long time such as liver disease, kidney issues, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
- People that have weak immune system due to few conditions like AIDS, cancers such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma etc.
- Some treatments also suppress ability of immune system and then body may suffer chest cold. These treatments include chemotherapy, high dose steroids etc.
Symptoms of a Chest Cold or Bronchitis
A chest cold is often known as Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. It often begins with combination of sneezing, runny/blocked nose and sometimes may cause mild fever. Chest cold is usually accompanied by cough and it can be harsh or dry; in few cases it can sound something like Phlegm.
People may also be suffering with cold chest pain and tiredness but such symptoms are mild in nature and it will rarely affect your routine activity.
Although, most of these symptoms can be treated at home but in case of some long term severe issues you may develop serious troubles that demand treatment from medical expert. You might be curious to know that how long does a chest cold last, most commonly chest cold duration is observed to be of two weeks.
There are so many symptoms associated with chest cold like fatigue, breathlessness, headache, sore throat, mild fever and coughing etc. these symptoms often stay up to 2 weeks but cough may even stay longer.
Below are few details about symptoms of chest cold so that you can identify them with ease:
- Cough: Chest cold symptoms often cause cough and it use to last so long even when all other symptoms get recovered. A wheezing, hoarseness and carking cough may also cause viral infection. Some of the most common cough remedies include anti-tussives that can suppress cough so that mucus in airways can be loosen with ease. It is advised to consume at least two quarts of liquid per day so that a proper fluidity can be maintains in mucus. Some chest cold home remedy can also be useful to control this issue. As per the medical professionals, if you find mucus in yellow color then it is good to see a physician as soon as possible.
- Fever: When body faces a rise in its normal temperature then this condition is well known as fever; note that this is actually an essential part of body’s mechanism that helps it to fight against infections. A person having fever feels flushed, hot and he sweats more as compared to normal people. In order to control the rise in body temperature, prefer to sponge neck, arms, legs and face with lukewarm water and then let it dry in natural manner. The water evaporation process on your body may help to reduce its temperature. As sweating causes increase in thirst so it is essential to drink more water or fluid as chest cold remedy.
- Sore throat: Sore throat is a common trouble caused by bacterial or viral infection; it can also happen when upper airways keep on trying to clear mucus. This condition causes inflammation or irritation in the throat area with chest pain cold. As per medical experts, the most appropriate treatment for sore throat is to drink lots of fluids or you can also prefer to suck throat lozenges. In case if pain increases more then you can prefer to take acetaminophen. Pain can also be reduced with the help of chest cold home remedies like throat sprays, gargles and mouthwashes.
- Headache: chest cold symptoms often lead to headache and may also cause generalized aches in whole body. In case if the headache rises above tolerable level and starts restricting head movements then it is essential to consult doctors as soon as possible.
- Body aches and Fatigue: Weakness, lack of energy, fatigue and aching body are some of the most common symptoms associated with chest cold. It is believed to get rid from generalized fatigue soon when body becomes able to win the fight against virus. Sufferers can use pain relieving medicines to get rid of body aches. Drink plenty of fluid and take rest so that immune system can win the battle against disease. All these symptoms are believed to affect your body for one or two weeks but if they stay so longer then consult doctors for proper tests and treatments; they may recommend few chest cold medicine.
When to meet a doctor?
Generally the symptoms of chest cold gets recovered itself within some time so there is no essential need to meet medical expert. But in case if you are facing symptoms of COPD or asthma then you may need to consider doctor’s advice. These professionals can recommend you to improve your inhaler medication doses and may also prescribe a course of antibiotic with steroid tablets to recover the signs of infection.
Here are few cases that demand immediate attention from doctors for chest cold treatment:
- When fever, headache or wheezing goes severe or worst.
- If patient develops chest pain, shortness of breath or have fast breathing.
- In case if you observe blood in cough or phlegm becomes rusty or dark in color.
- When person feels confused or drowsy.
- In case if cough stays for duration longer than 3 or 4 weeks.
- Those who face repeated bouts of chest cold.
Method to Diagnose Chest Cold
In most common cases doctor will listen to your story and follow some exams to check the level of cold or infection. They will try to know about duration of symptoms that you are facing and the common feelings inside your body. In few cases they may also be interested to know about your detailed medical history and it may also include details about medical history of family. You may also need to let them know that whether you are addicted to smoke and if yes then from how long and how often you do it.
The medical examination procedure include test for fever. The expert will also note the volume of oxygen that is circulating inside your body. It can be noted with the help of a small device that is attached to the end portion of your finger. Doctors will ask you to lift breath up and down while listening to your chest. In case if you are suffering with asthma then they will prefer to check peak measurement for flow.
There is no need to carry any test if your symptoms are mild in nature and you are facing infection in large airways.
But in case if symptoms become severe then you need to visit hospital and professionals may carry following tests:
- To check the level of infection and possible diagnosis, they will recommend chest X-ray to carry chest cold treatments.
- Phlegm and blood tests are often recommended to check if germs are leading to some serious kind of lung infection. It will help the practitioners to know about most suitable medicine for your condition. There are cases when germs become resistant to first antibiotic package so in these cases doctors may need to recommend you second type of antibiotics.
What are the common treatments available for Chest Cold?
Most of the chest cold symptoms are observed to have mild action and they often get recovered automatically with time but in few worst cases they may go severe or life threatening. Generally, it must come to normal flow within 7 to 10 days even without taking any medication but if you find it to stay within so longer then it is good to see doctor.
Which medications or antibiotics?
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat germ infections that never get recovered by their own within limited time but they are not going to recover viruses. As, bronchitis condition is caused by viruses so it cannot be controlled with the help of antibiotics. If you take antibiotics without prescription of doctor then it may lead to harmful side effects and will cause more trouble to your body.
Those who are suffering with Pneumonia can avail treatment with the help of antibiotics as it is caused by bacterium or germs. Mild pneumonia can be easily recovered with the help of antibiotics whereas for serious one you may need to get admitted in the hospital. There are few cases when pneumonia goes severe due to some aggressive kind of bacteria then patient may be shifted to intensive care unit.
What kind of basic treatment can be followed by the person itself?
In case if you are suffering with chest cold then:
- If you need to know how to treat a chest cold then best idea is to take more rest.
- It is advised to drink more fluid so that dehydration can be avoided; it will assist your mucus inside lungs to maintain flow of cough with ease.
- Prefer to inhale steam vapour by adding menthol into it. It leads to major relief to mucus inside chest. Note that it is not good to use hot water for cough of a child otherwise it may cause serious damage inside.
- Do not sleep plat at night because it will add difficulty in self clearing process of mucus, a side sleep will make your breathing process much easier.
- Prefer to consume aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol as chest cold medicines to bring high temperature conditions under control. It will also help to relax your body from headache, pains and aches. Note that aspirin is not recommended for children that fall in the below 16 age group.
- If you are addicted to smoke then it is right time to leave it otherwise your body may suffer major harm. Chest infections, bronchitis and serious lung diseases are commonly found in people who are heavy smokers.
- When throat gets sore due to coughing then it may cause discomfort in breathing; to treat this condition prefer to drink warm water with mixture of lemon or honey.
How to Prevent Chest Cold?
It is good to take few measures to prevent chest cold issues so that one can get rid of it on time and it cannot get spread to others. In several cases, bronchitis gets transferred to other people around via sneezing or coughing. Thus in case if you are suffering with chest cold then always prefer to cover your mouth properly while sneezing; also prefer to wash your hands on regular basis. Never use same tissues again and again; throw them on time.
The most common cause of chest cold is pneumococcal germ so it is essential to use higher immunisation against that. Virus immunization is another essential need to stay safe from chest infections. Kids often stay at high risk of chest cold troubles and they often pass it to others around. Thus it is more important to take preventive actions for them. Generally kids falling below age group of 2 years or 3 years are often advised to take annual influenza vaccination along with nasal spray.
Studies reveal that addicted cigarette smokers are going to develop thinning between airways inside body and it makes lungs prone to common infections. It is good to stop smoking so that your lungs can stay safe from infections. On the other side, people who consume alcohol are going to have weaker immune system and it naturally put them easily under the risk of chest cold and related infections.
As per medical experts:
- It is not good to drink more than 14 units of alcohol in a week, for both males and females.
- These recommended units are advised to be spread for whole weak instead of consuming them all within one or two days.
- It is essential to have at least two days that go alcohol free in a week.
Regular exercises and healthy diet is best solution to make your immune system more stronger so that it can initiate fight against chest infections or cold symptoms. One can avail healthy diet by improving consumption of minerals and vitamins that are present in healthy diet.
Potential Home Remedies for Chest Cold
Chest cold is a common condition that anyone can face during his lifetime. Various symptoms associated with this medical condition are described above. You will be glad to know that these troubles can be treated well with several home based remedies.
Below we have listed some of the most useful ones that can help you to know how to get rid of a chest cold soon:
1. Gargles with salt water:
The best idea is to do gargling with salt water multiple times in a day to get rid of chest cold. Here salt helps to get rid of mucus from respiratory tract and hot water is capable enough to get rid of throat irritation.
- Simply mix one tablespoon of salt into warm water.
- Mix it well inside a glass and let salt get dissolved properly.
- Gargle with this mixture at least 2 or 3 times in a day.
2. Steam Inhaling:
Here is another effective remedy for chest cold that can help to break up and then dissolve mucus.
- Take very hot water inside a bowl and mix few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil into it. Now bring your face closer to this warm water by surrounding towel around you head. Inhale this solution in form of steam for few minutes and you will soon find relief with your breathing mechanism.
- It is also good to take hot shower to simply breathe with steam vapour for a while.
Note: This remedy is not advised for pregnant women, young children and people that are already suffering from severe heart disease or high blood pressure. Otherwise you can follow this remedy two or three times in a day for chest cold relief.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
It is one of the highly recommended treatments for cold sensation in chest and infections. It works by thinning mucus inside your chest and work to improve breathing mechanism. Apple cider vinegar is also proven to be effective enough for improving immunity inside human body.
- Mix two teaspoons of unfiltered, organic raw Apple Cider Vinegar with warm water.
- Add raw honey – one teaspoon.
- You can drink this blend at least two or three times in a day and repeat this remedy for at least one week.
Curcumin is one of the most essential compounds inside turmeric that helps to take away mucus from chest so that you can have relief from chest cold. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric deals with pain, cough and all associated symptoms of chest cold.
- Take some turmeric power and get it mixed inside warm water in one glass. Prefer to gargle with this solution for at least 2 or 3 times in a day.
- It is also recommended to mix turmeric power into milk and then boil it. Blend it with two teaspoons of honey and small amount of black pepper. Consume this hot solution at least 3 times in a day.
- Mixture of apple cider vinegar and turmeric powder can also work like best chest cold remedies.
Note: This remedy is not suitable for people suffering with stomach ulcers, hyperacidity and gallstones.
Indeed, this is one of the best medicine for chest cold. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger work so effectively on chest cold and it also helps to boost the immunity power inside human body.
- Take one tablespoon of chopped raw ginger and mix it inside a hot water cup. Let it stay inside for 5 minutes and cover your cup for this duration. Now add small amount o honey into this solution. Prefer to consume at least 3 cups of this liquid per day.
- Grind dry ginger, cloves and black pepper together and consume this mixture in three different doses per day with milk or honey.