Chest Infection Treatments

by Shaun Damon


An infection in the chest affects your lungs, occurring either in the larger airways (bronchitis) or in the smaller sacs (pneumonia). A build up of mucus, pus and fluid tend to make the airway passages swollen, hence making it difficult to breathe. The main causes of a chest infection may be due to a virus, bacteria or mycoplasma. People of all ages are susceptible to chest infections although, young children, the elderly and smokers are at a higher risk of developing this condition.

The symptoms of a chest infection are difficulty in breathing, a chest cough and chest pain. These symptoms might sometime be accompanied by a high fever or headaches. The two main types of chest infection are acute bronchitis or pneumonia. In acute bronchitis, the main symptom is cough, accompanied by fever, headaches, cold symptoms and aches and pains. The symptoms crop up after 2 to 3 days of the infection and then gradually start to clear. The cough can however take almost 2 to 3 weeks, to go as the inflammation in the airways takes some time to settle. In pneumonia, you will face bouts of coughing that may either be dry or be phlegm producing (yellow, green, brownish or blood stained). Some other symptoms might include difficulty in breathing, fever, rapid heartbeat, shivering and sweating, appetite loss and chest pain.

Chest infections home remedies are most often than not, enough to cure the condition however if the underlying cause is serious, you should consult a doctor. Some home remedies for a chest infection are:

  • Drinking Fluids: Plenty of fluids should be had to avoid dehydration. Drinking water is the best and should be had in sufficient amounts every hour.
  • Lemon and Honey: To soothe a cough and your throat, take a glass of hot water, squeeze half a lemon’s juice in it and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture sip by sip.
  • Eating Right: Foods are known to either increase or assist in eliminating an infection. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons have shown to have beneficial effects. In vegetables, asparagus, onions, cauliflower, celery, spinach and garlic, can help to fight mucus creation. Warm broths of vegetable and chicken are said to work fight respiratory related problems. Foods to avoid are dairy products, sugars, salts, refined flour and bread as they help in mucus production.
  • Steam Inhalation: Helps in loosening up mucus in the lungs. For this, boil a pot of water, remove it from the cooking range, and place on a table. Place your head face over the pot without directly touching the pot or the water. Drape a towel over your head and the pot. Inhale the steam through your nose for 30 seconds, remove the towel for less than a minute and then repeat the procedure.
  • Caraway Seeds: Take a teaspoon of caraway seeds, roast and crush it. Inhale the aroma of the seeds to help in excess mucus reduction.
  • Smoking: Causes severe health conditions. Quit smoking completely during this period. Smoking aggravates respiratory infections and also, irritates mucus.
  • Avoid Cough Syrups: Pharmaceutical cough syrups temporarily ease coughing however it leads to the build up of phlegm in the lungs, resulting in a prolonged infection.
  • Avoid Caffeine: Drinking tea, caffeinated and carbonated drinks should be avoided.

While trying natural home remedies, it is also best to consult your doctor if the symptoms don't reduce. Vaccinations are available for some types of chest infections. People with chronic conditions can be vaccinated against bacterial infections like pneumonia. A different vaccination is used for children though.

Reference

  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000145.htm

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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