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Chest Cold

Chest cold is nothing but an interchangeable term for 'bronchitis' - inflammation of the membranes lining the bronchial tubes. Get some basic inputs about this condition from this article.
As said earlier, chest cold can be called a synonym for bronchitis. Air is carried to and from the lungs with the help of what is known as bronchial tubes. Many factors may causes the lining of these tubes to suffer inflammation and then the condition is termed as 'bronchitis'. This condition may be diagnosed as acute or chronic. An acute form of this condition is often the outcome of a cold or other kinds of respiratory infection. While, when the inflammation seems persistent or constant, then it is a chronic case.

Signs and Symptoms

Someone suffering from acute chest cold is most likely to experience improvement in his condition within a few days. However, he may still bothered by a lingering cough for weeks. The chronic form is not something to resolve on its own and requires medical attention. The symptoms which are common for both the acute and chronic form of bronchitis include cough, fatigue, low-grade fever, chills and wheezing. Also, the sufferer may have to deal with shortness of breath, which again, worsens with mild exertion. Sputum may also be coughed out. It may be clear or white. Some people also notice yellowish-gray or green sputum. Chest discomfort is another symptom. While these symptoms occur for acute and chronic form of the ailment, there are a couple of other symptoms which are indicative of the chronic one, particularly. These are cough that aggravates in damp weather and in the mornings, and frequent occurrence of cold and flu, accompanied by worsening cough. Women may have their periods as a result of the worsening of the symptoms of chronic chest cold.

Treatment Measures

Relieving the symptoms and easing the breathing problems are the goals of the treatment. For the acute condition, there may be no requirement of any prescribed medication, and all the patient may need is rest, lots of fluids and breathing in warm and moist air, along with a couple of OTC medications. But chronic cases do require medical attention by an expert. So in some cases, in order to avoid any secondary infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics, which are although not helpful for viral infection. Usually, it is better not to use any cough medicine and suppress cough. Coughing is the body's natural way to get rid of mucus and other irritants. However, if the symptom is causing severe sleep deprivation, then prescribed cough suppressant may be required.

If the sufferer already has other kinds of ailments such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), then accordingly, he would be recommended to use other kinds of medications, to keep the chest cold from getting worse. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program which involves the patient working with a professional in learning to breathe more easily and other breathing exercises.

Home Remedies

Here are home remedies that may help keep yourself comfortable and hasten recovery, apart from preventing complications.
  • Slice some fresh onions, mix with honey and keep them overnight. Take this mixture the next morning and 3 more times the rest of the day.
  • Drink lemon tea several times a day.
  • Gargling with salt water also helps.
  • Boil some bay leaves in a cup of water and add some tea in it. Drinking this also helps alleviating the symptoms.
  • Ginger tea also proves to be a great remedy for the condition.
Abstaining from smoking and passive smoke, avoiding people suffering from cold and flu and exercising proper personal hygiene are a few measures which may help to prevent the onset or transmission of chest cold.
By Rajib Singha
Published: 8/27/2010
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