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Chesty cough

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Chesty cough means your chest feels heavy due to accumulation of mucus and phlegm which comes out when you cough. Sometimes, the mucus doesn’t get expelled through cough, thereby causing considerable congestion in chest. We shall discuss more about chesty cough in the next content...

Symptoms of chesty cough

  • Coughing up thick mucus or phlegm
  • Pain and pressure in chest due to vigorous coughing. The muscles of chest get tired
  • Abdominal pain which also arises due to strained stomach muscles
  • Sore throat, ear pain, headache and fever

Causes of chesty cough

The most common reason behind chesty cough is viral infection- common cold and flu virus. Chest cough could be experienced by people who have chronic lung disease like tuberculosis and respiratory complications like the asthma, bronchitis and COPD.

People who are addicted to smoking or smoke for a long term are also prone to having chesty cough very frequently.

When to see a doctor

If you cough persists for two weeks then you must see a doctor. Apart from this, immediate medical check up is required on observing blood or clots in mucus, green discharge, chest pain, high fever or any other abnormal symptoms.

Do not medicate your child without consulting your doctor.

Diagnosis of chesty cough

The diagnosis of chesty cough is done to detect the underlying cause so that an appropriate treatment can be planned. Your doctor will ask you questions regarding the nature, frequency and duration of the cough, the colour of mucus, the possible trigger factors or any other symptoms. You breathing will be analysed first with a stethoscope and then a chest x ray will be done.

The phlegm or the mucus will be collected for laboratory analysis which will determine the germ that has caused the infection.

Depending upon the symptoms other tests like spirometry test, allergy test, asthma test, etc. might be done.

Treatment of chesty cough

The basic goal of treatment of chesty cough is to thin the mucus so that it gets expelled out. Thus, the best medicine is – an expectorant cough syrup. Your doctor will suggest a specific dose daily which you have to take. Remember expectorants might make you sleepy so avoid driving if you are excessively sleepy. If you are having fever then a regular dose of paracetamol would be prescribed to bring down the temperature.

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Antibiotics are not prescribed for chesty cough unless a bacterial infection like tuberculosis has been detected.

Apart from this, other treatment options depend on the respiratory complication you are suffering from. For example – asthma medication might be given for a certain period to manage the symptoms.

Home remedies for chesty cough

Chesty cough symptoms respond well to home remedies. They are:

  • Drink plenty of fluids including 8-10 glasses of preferably warm water. Have herbal teas like – ginger tea, green tea, chamomile tea, etc. Soups, especially warm chicken soup also help to thin the mucus
  • You can purchase VICKS vaporub from a medicine counter and rub it over your chest and throat to clear up the congestion.
  • If your kid is having chest congestion then you can massage his/her chest with some warm thyme oil or mustard oil. Add a few cloves of garlic while heating the oil and rub on the body once it’s at a tolerable temperature.
  • Inhale steam. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water and inhale the vapour at least twice a day to get quick relief.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: January 07, 2015