Chest congestion is one of the side effects of asthma that many considered bothersome. Nevertheless, if the individual was able to achieve better control of the condition, he/she is likely to get relief from the chest congestion.
How to deal with chest congestion
Chest congestion is triggered by various factors linked to asthma. Initially, it is not considered as chest congestion at all, but the symptoms of postnasal drip that are responsible for causing the individual to have the need to clear the throat or cause coughing.
Then again, those who have asthma have inflamed airways that generate more mucus than usual which results to the symptoms of congestion. The cytokines lead to increased production of mucus that worsens the congestion along with symptoms such as the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
The increased production of mucus leads to constricted airways that makes it more likely for the individual to experience the asthma symptoms. In addition, the production of mucus increases the risk for developing pneumonia.
Guaifenesin is an expectorant that attempts to increase hydration of the secretions and drive out the mucus from the chest. If the respiratory tract is more lubricated, it is easier for the lungs to expel the mucus. This can be used for momentary relief of the symptoms, but not ideal for long-term management of asthma.
Medications for asthma
One overlooked symptom is nasal congestion that an individual can experience as chest congestion. Actually, nasal allergies that are poorly controlled are responsible for worsening asthma.
Asthma is properly managed by avoiding the potential triggers. The medical care might involve antihistamines and nasal steroids. In some cases, leukotriene modifiers are highly beneficial for those who have asthma accompanied by several symptoms.
Ipratropium works by reducing the nasal secretions and useful for symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Lastly, if the nasal or chest congestion could not be relieved by these options, allergy shots or immunotherapy is a likely option.
When to consult a doctor
If an individual experiences chest congestion that does not seem to subside or any of the following symptoms are present, it is best to set an appointment with a doctor.
- Coughing during physical activity
- Frequent episodes of coughing
- Chest tightness
- Repeated infections or episodes of bronchitis
- Rash linked with chest congestion
Remember that as long as asthma is properly controlled, it can effectively curb down chest congestion.