Mucus lines the tissues of your nose, mouth, throat, and lungs and keeps these areas from drying out as well as protects them from infection. While some amount of mucus is normal, too much can cause discomfort.
Here are 8 ways to get rid of mucus in your chest at home and when to see a doctor.
8 ways to get rid of mucus in your chest at home
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, clear soups, and other fluids to keep your mucus thin and help drain your sinuses. Those who suffer from seasonal allergies may find that maintaining a healthy level of hydration helps them prevent congestion.
- Apply a warm, damp washcloth on your face. This can be an effective cure for sinus pain and help drain out mucus.
- Use a humidifier. Keeping the air around you moist can help you loosen mucus and clear up some congestion.
- Take a warm shower or bath. Mucus in the nasal passages and chest may loosen after a steamy bath, making the mucus easier to get rid of. Steam inhalation can also provide relief from sinus pressure or pain.
- Avoid cough suppressants. If you are suffering from a persistent cough full of phlegm, it may be tempting to take cough suppressants. Coughing, however, is your body’s way of clearing mucus from your chest and lungs.
- Use essential oils. Eucalyptus oil has been used to reduce mucus and alleviate coughing for many years. Applying some on the chest or putting a few drops in a diffuser or warm bath may help clear congestion.
- Use a vapor rub. Vapor rubs may help relieve some of the discomfort caused by congestion. You can massage it on your neck and chest to help with your symptoms.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Both smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke increase mucus production in the body. Quit smoking and do your best to avoid secondhand smoke.
What can cause mucus in your chest?
Some of the most common causes of mucus accumulation in the chest include:
When to call a doctor about mucus in your chest
If your symptoms do not subside, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. This is particularly important if you are experiencing a fever, chest discomfort, or difficulty breathing.
Seek medical attention if the following occurs:
- Congestion becomes much more severe and continues for more than 3-4 days
- Mucus shifts from liquid to a more viscous consistency
- Mucus has a green or yellow color, which is a sign of infection
Cleveland Clinic. Phlegm and Mucus: How To Get Rid of It. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/mucus-and-phlegm-what-to-do-if-you-have-too-much/amp/
KidsHealth. Bronchiolitis. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/bronchiolitis.html
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