What is Chest Cold?
In medical terms, chest cold is nothing but a synonym of bronchitis. This disorder is associated with the lower respiratory tract of the lungs, in which the bronchi (small passages in the lungs which channel the movement of air) get inflamed and produce yellow or white phlegm (thick mucus) along with fever and shortness of breath.
Mostly it presents a viral infection such as upper respiratory infection or influenza, which is the main cause behind the illness.
Chest cold can occur any season of the year. However, it is usually most common during Winter times. The disorder can attack any individual, but infants, small children, and older adults are affected the most. In addition, individuals who are exposed to lung pollution or air pollution carry a higher risk of catching the disease.
What are the Symptoms of Chest Cold?
The symptoms of chest cold are quite straight forward and thus easy to recognize. These are caused due to inflammation of the bronchi and include the following.
One of the most common and evident symptoms of chest cold is a cough, which is characterized by the development of white or yellow phlegm. Hoarseness, barking cough or wheezing may also be seen.
Chest cold is usually associated with a fever. This is because fever is the body’s mechanism to fight an infection. A feverish person may feel hot flashes and even sweat heavily.
Some individuals usually suffer from shortness of breath and running nose. Shortness of breath may not last long while the running nose is known to stay longer.
A headache and overall body pain and ache is also associated with the illness. They may be continuous or emerge after strenuous activities.
Fatigue and lack of energy are common symptoms of chest cold. However, they last for few days only.
What Causes Chest Cold?
In most of the cases, chest cold is caused by a virus infection or infection in the upper respiratory tract which spreads to the lungs. The other common causes include bacterial infection, exposure to air pollutants, flu, mild fever, and wheezing.
There are also other certain factors, that increase the chances of catching a chest cold. These include being an older adult, young child or an infant, smoking, exposure to air pollutants and having a lung disease or any other chronic illness, getting less than seven hours a sleep per day, residing in low humidity regions, and spending time with an infected person.
It must be mentioned that chest cold is contagious and spreads from one person to another when the infected person sneezes talks or coughs. This emits infectious droplets into the air and is inhaled by others.
What are the Treatment Options available for Chest Cold?
There are several treatment solutions available for a chest cold, but these depend on the cause behind the disease. It must be mentioned that all the treatment solutions aim at controlling the symptoms plus providing comfort to the sufferers.
Some of the common treatments are mentioned below.
Antibiotics are one of the most common treatment methods to control the situation. These medications are quite effective and are available in different strengths for treating mild to extreme cases.
Bronchodilators are nothing but medicines, which ease breathing and control shortness of breath. This medicine is supposed to be inhaled with the help of a device called an air inhaler.
oxygen therapy is provided through nasal prongs or masks to provide relief from shortness of breath and ensure that the vital organs of the body, such as the heart and brain, get enough oxygen. The instrument used for providing the therapy depends on the severity of the situation.
Cool Mist Vaporizer
This is a device which offers artificial air to the lungs and relives the chest congestion by assisting in the elimination of the mucus.
What are the Home Treatments available for Chest Cold?
You will be delighted to know that besides the medical treatment, there are several home remedies available, which can assist you in losing the symptoms and providing significant relief. Some of them are mentioned below.
Increased Consumption of Fluids
Chest cold is often associated with situations of dehydration and therefore, it is very vital to drink a significant amount of fluids. Consuming fluids thins the mucus and assists in its elimination.
Eat Spicy Food
Spicy food items such as onion, garlic, and cayenne pepper feature immune boasting properties and should be included in the diet.
Take Vitamin C
Besides being an immune booster, Vitamin C is also known to fight effectively against infections. The ideal way to take vitamin c is to include various citrus fruits in the diet such as oranges, lemons, and lime.
Consuming Warm Tea
A warm tea made from herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, is also known to provide significant relief.