If you have a cold, you may also suffer from a cough that is described as either dry or chesty. A dry cough is characterized by a tickling or a persistent cough, while a chesty cough involves phlegm or mucus.
Determining which type of cough you are currently experiencing will help you choose the best medicine for cold and cough.
A chesty cough is a result of having plenty of thick mucus in your airways that is too difficult to cough up. Common chesty cough symptoms include:
- A rattling sound when coughing and breathing in
- Sticky mucus coming out when coughing persistently
- Coughing that gets worse every morning
- Your chest feels congested, making it hard for you to breathe
A chesty cough is often associated with a cold that lasts for up to three weeks. Its symptoms are different from that of a dry cough, which includes irritation in the throat and a permanent stimulus to a cough.
Causes of a Chesty Cough
A chesty cough is usually a result of an infection in your upper respiratory airways due to viruses that cause common colds. It may also be a result of other viral infections and health problems like asthma, lung cancer, and tuberculosis.
When an infection happens, your airway’s mucus membranes become inflamed. Also, it produces sticky, thick mucus that can’t easily be removed through a normal mucociliary clearance. This is where coughing comes into play as a self-healing process to get this thick mucus out.
Home Remedies for a Chesty Cough
Honey is regarded as one of the most effective remedies for a chesty cough. Warm water or milk with honey will relieve such discomfort. Experts recommend drinking this before bedtime so you can have a good night’s sleep.
Turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will help remove mucus from your chest. All you have to do is to add a teaspoon of turmeric to your cup of milk. Drink this twice.
Moreover, you can add a pinch of salt in your milk as this triggers productive coughs, thus clearing out the mucus from your airways.
Getting enough rest
Taking enough rest is crucial to support the immune system of your body, which in turn helps it to repel the symptoms of a chesty cough. Whenever possible, you must avoid or limit physical activities so your body can recover easily from the symptoms of a chesty cough.
Due to the fact that frequent coughing can make you parched, it is vital for you to stay hydrated. So you must drink plenty of water aside from warm broths, soups, and clear juices. Water is vital because it makes the mucus thin so you can expel it easily.
Menthol preparations are effective for removing mucus through productive coughs. They help clear out your chest and relieve congestion.
For instance, you can rub a menthol ointment over your chest; this will help you breathe easily, especially at night.
Taking a hot shower
A hot shower will help clear the accumulated phlegm in your chest as well as loosen the secretion from your nose. Remember that moist air will ease your breathing and clear up any mucus build-up in your airways.
You can take over-the-counter cough medicines to break down and loosen the mucus in your airways and to manage pain or fever.
Also, you can take vitamin supplements to boost your immune system, but remember that these medicines will only relieve cough symptoms. So if your cough is caused by an underlying condition, it won’t be cured. If your cough does not stop or improve within two weeks or it even gets worse, you must seek medical help ASAP.
When to See a Doctor
A chesty cough can be a result of a more complicated health condition. It can indicate an underlying problem like heart failure, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. So if your cough hasn’t improved or became even worse, seek medical help immediately, especially if you are suffering from a weakened immune system, if you are elderly, or if you smoke.
Furthermore, if you are coughing up mucus that contains blood, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately. Getting medical attention is also highly recommended if you are experiencing other symptoms like weight loss, fever, difficulty breathing, headaches or chest pain.
Having a prolonged cough should be a reason for you to visit your doctor. With plenty of different cough types indicating underlying health conditions, it is crucial for you to let your doctor hear the sound of your cough so they can arrive at the right diagnosis and create a good treatment plan.