How To Treat A Chest Cold
How to Feel Better
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.
- Use saline nasal spray or drops to relieve a stuffy nose.
- Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water or shower.
- Suck on lozenges.
- 1 How long does a chest cold last?
- 2 What are the stages of a chest cold?
- 3 What is the difference between a chest cold and a bronchitis?
- 4 How do you know a cold is ending?
- 5 How do you know if your chest cold is getting worse?
- 6 How do I know if my chest infection is viral or bacterial?
- 7 How can I get rid of a cold in 24 hours?
How long does a chest cold last?
Overview of a Chest Cold – A chest cold is also known as Bronchitis and occurs when the lining of your bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. People with a chest cold may also experience coughing up thick, discolored mucus. A chest cold usually develops as a result of a cold or another respiratory infection. Symptoms usually improve within 7-10 days, but in some cases may last for weeks.
What is the best medicine for a chest cold?
The standard over-the-counter Robitussin and Mucinex products contain different active ingredients that relieve different symptoms from cough to congestion. Robitussin and Mucinex are two over-the-counter remedies for chest congestion. The active ingredient in Robitussin is dextromethorphan, while the active ingredient in Mucinex is guaifenesin.
Robitussin 12 Hour Cough Relief (dextromethorphan)Children’s Robitussin 12 Hour Cough Relief (dextromethorphan)Robitussin 12 Hour Cough & Mucus Relief (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)Robitussin Cough + Chest Congestion DM (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough + Chest Congestion DM (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)Children’s Robitussin Cough & Chest Congestion DM (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)
Mucinex products are packaged under these names:
Mucinex (guaifenesin)Maximum Strength Mucinex (guaifenesin)Children’s Mucinex Chest Congestion (guaifenesin)Mucinex DM (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)Maximum Strength Mucinex DM (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)Maximum Strength Mucinex Fast-Max DM (dextromethorphan and guaifenesin)
What are the stages of a chest cold?
The common cold causes symptoms such as a runny and stuffy nose and cough, and typically lasts 7 to 10 days. The stages of a cold include the incubation period, appearance of symptoms, remission, and recovery. The common cold is a mild upper respiratory infection caused by viruses,
Will a chest cold go away by itself?
Most people know how to recognize symptoms of a common cold, which usually includes a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal congestion. A chest cold, also called acute bronchitis, is different. A chest cold involves inflammation and irritation in the airways, so symptoms can be worse than a common cold.
- It affects the bronchial tubes of the lungs, and often develops as a secondary infection following a head cold,
- Here’s what you need to know about chest colds, including symptoms and how to distinguish it from other respiratory conditions.
- The difference between a chest cold and a head cold doesn’t only involve the location of symptoms, but also the type of symptoms.
Common symptoms of a chest cold include:
chest congestionpersistent hacking coughcoughing up yellowish or green phlegm (mucus)
Other symptoms that can accompany a chest cold include fatigue, sore throat, headache, and body aches, possibly triggered by coughing. You’ll feel uncomfortable for a few days or a week, but chest colds typically get better on their own. Many people treat their symptoms with over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medications.
The symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, include fever, fatigue, a cough, shortness of breath, body aches, and a sore throat. These can also happen with other conditions, including bronchitis. It’s hard to tell what you have just by how you feel.
FatigueShortness of breathSlight fever and chillsChest discomfort Cold symptoms, such as a mild headache or body aches
You might have a cough for a few weeks or months after your other symptoms clear up. To be on the safe side, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Other signs of COVID-19 include:
HeadacheLoss of taste or smellCongestion or a runny noseStomach problems like pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrheaPinkeyeSkin rash
Acute bronchitis is something that comes up suddenly and doesn’t last that long. Some people call it a chest cold. It’s usually caused by the same viruses that cause colds and the flu, But it can also be a symptom of COVID-19. Coronaviruses and other viruses that affect your respiratory system can cause bronchitis.
- This can sometimes lead to pneumonia, an infection of the tiny air sacs in your lungs.
- Pneumonia usually causes a wet cough, fever, and trouble breathing,
- These symptoms can be severe and dangerous without treatment.
- It can be easy to mistake symptoms of a cold, the flu, or bronchitis for COVID-19.
- This is especially tricky because the symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild.
You won’t be able to tell if COVID-19 is causing your symptoms without a lab test for the virus. Your doctor can help you know if you need a test. In some cases, bronchitis can be chronic, meaning it lasts for more than a few months or keeps coming back.
This can be caused by smoking, air pollution, lung disease, or a weakened immune system, Bronchitis doesn’t cause COVID-19 or make you more likely to get it. But if you have chronic bronchitis or other health problems, you’re more likely to get very sick if you do catch COVID-19. (Many conditions put people at higher risk with COVID-19,) Almost half of the people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms but can still spread the virus.
So if you’ve had chronic bronchitis or other lung problems like asthma or lung disease, take extra care to not get sick. Vaccines are now available and you are encouraged to get one when it is available to you. You should also, like everyone else, make sure to:
Get vaccinated against COVID-19Wear a face mask when you go out. Wash your hands often and/or use hand sanitizer.Try not to touch your face. Stay away from people who are sick, even with mild colds.Avoid contact with anyone who has traveled in the past 2 weeks.Follow local instructions about going out in public, including social distancing.Wash your hands after touching animals.Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
If you think you might have come into contact with the virus, check your temperature every day and keep an eye out for symptoms. About 97% of people who get sick show symptoms within 2 weeks of being exposed, If you feel ill, call your doctor to talk about the next steps.
- If you start to have chest pain, tightness, or trouble breathing, get medical care as soon as possible.
- If you think you might have come into contact with the virus, check your temperature every day and keep an eye out for symptoms.
- About 97% of people who get sick show symptoms within 2 weeks of being exposed.
Get a COVID-19 test if you notice symptoms like:
Fever or chillsCoughShortness of breath or difficulty breathingFatigueMuscle or body achesHeadacheNew loss of taste or smellSore throatCongestion or runny noseNausea or vomitingDiarrhea
Other reasons to get a COVID-19 test include:
Known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19Required screenings in places such as work, school, college, or large gatheringsBefore travel or if you need to enter a country that requires a COVID-19 test resultYour doctor suspects COVID-19
If you notice symptoms, call your doctor to talk about next steps. If you start to have chest pain, tightness, or trouble breathing, get medical attention as soon as possible. The best way to avoid or reduce your chances of getting a COVID-19 infection is to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible for one near you. There are several benefits to getting the vaccine, such as:
You’ll have strong protection against getting seriously ill, hospitalization, or in severe cases, death.You’re less likely to pass the virus to others.
You may travel internationally as long as ou follow COVID-19 test and vaccination protocols as set by each country. If you happen to come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you’re up to date on your vaccines, get tested 5 days after you last made contact. Wear a well-fitted mask around others for up to 10 days.
Is a chest cold serious?
When Does A Cold Turn Into Bronchitis? – A cold can turn into bronchitis when a viral infection that starts in the upper respiratory system (nose and throat) spreads to the bronchial tubes in the lungs. Characterized by inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes, bronchitis causes symptoms such as cough, chest pain, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
What is the difference between a chest cold and a bronchitis?
When you first start coughing, feeling fatigued, and noticing a low-grade fever, it can be hard to determine whether you have the common cold or bronchitis, A cold can potentially turn into bronchitis. Acute bronchitis, which lasts for seven to 10 days, is also known as a chest cold,
- Understanding the differences between a cold and bronchitis can help you determine what to do to get better.
- The most significant difference between the two is that a cold is a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract while bronchitis is a lower respiratory infection that affects the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs.
Therefore, with a cold, you will feel it in your nose or sinus area, but you will feel it in the lungs if you have bronchitis. South_agency / Getty Images
Do I need antibiotics for a chest cold?
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. UR Medicine Primary Care ‘s Dr. Michael Gavin offers advice on what to look for, when to call to your doctor, and whether or not antibiotics can help. With winter upon us and another rise in COVID cases, we are seeing more and more coughs and colds. COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. To make matters more complicated, we’re seeing a return of non-COVID viruses such as RSV, Coxsackie (hand, foot and mouth), as well as stomach viruses.
- While there is a significant amount of information on the internet, it’s hard to determine what to trust.
- Hundreds of different viruses can cause colds.
- Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to tell at this time without testing to determine whether someone has COVID, or if they have another viral illness.
When in doubt, contact your doctor, or get yourself tested for COVID if you have a fever (temperature of 100°F/38°C) or higher, chills, severe body aches or fatigue, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, or diarrhea.
For accurate updates on COVID, I recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the University of Rochester Medical Center webpages, With all the other viruses going around, it’s important to note that antibiotics have no effect on viral infections.
Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat, a bad skin infection (cellulitis), or a sinus infection. Besides the fact that they won’t be effective against viruses and may be costly, there’s another good reason for limiting antibiotic use: Taking them when they aren’t needed creates antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become invincible to antibiotics, making them much harder to treat in the future. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics causes antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs.” If more superbugs are created, we will not have any effective antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.
By equipping ourselves with the right information, we can do our best to avoid COVID and the creation of superbugs by appropriately treating non-COVID viral illnesses.
Call your doctor if you’re having any symptoms potentially related to COVID or get tested at a pharmacy or urgent care. Your doctor will direct you on whether you need testing or evaluation. While there are several other viral infections that are going around, it is important to rule out COVID to protect yourself, your family, and those around you. Take preventative measures to protect yourself against COVID, Avoid crowded indoor events, wear masks in indoor public places, and get vaccinated—and boosted—if you’re eligible and haven’t already.
If you test negative for COVID and still have cold-like symptoms, remember:
Most colds are viral infections. Symptoms of viral infections are cough, runny nose, sore throat, and head and chest congestion. You may also experience low-grade fever (under 100.4°F). Antibiotics are ineffective against these infections. Your symptoms will generally start to improve after seven to 10 days. Over-the-counter medications may help ease your symptoms but will not make the cold go away any faster. Coughs can last for a while. Coughs after any cold or viral infection (especially after a COVID infection) can last for several weeks, especially for people with asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). Talk with your doctor about over-the-counter treatments for this. It’s important to know that over-the-counter medicines to treat coughs are generally not effective in children under the age of 7. Know when to call your doctor.
If you’re having trouble breathing, fevers (100.4°F or higher), or sinus pain for more than a week. Whenever a baby younger than 2 months of age has a fever, he or she should be evaluated as soon as possible.
A sore throat isn’t always strep throat. But when you also have a fever (temperature of 100.4°F or higher), you should call your doctor. Stay home if you’re sick! If you are negative for COVID, if you have fever, chills, or a significant cough, stay home from work or school. Take antibiotics correctly. If you do have a bacterial infection and your doctor orders an antibiotic, always finish the entire prescription. Even if you are feeling better, or you think the antibiotic isn’t working, always finish taking the medication as directed. In addition to curing your infection, taking it properly will help prevent antibiotic resistance, and hopefully the development of superbugs. A little prevention goes a long way. Make sure you are washing your hands frequently, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy. There is good evidence that regular exercise provides some protection against illnesses. Get yourself vaccinated against the flu and COVID if you haven’t already (no one wants to isolate and take time from work or school for this, not to mention the potential long-term effects from COVID). If you smoke (or vape), now is a great time to quit. Smoking and vaping can increase your risk of getting COVID, as well as other viral and bacterial infections.
If ever in doubt, call your doctor for guidance on testing and treatment. Have a safe and healthy winter! Michael J. Gavin, M.D., cares for adults and children at UR Medicine Primary Care—Bushnell’s Basin,
How do you know a cold is ending?
Cold and flu symptoms such as a blocked nose or cough usually subside after 7-10 days and the absence of these things is quite an obvious indication that you are on the mend.
How do you know if your chest cold is getting worse?
Continuing to get sicker instead of getting better. Coughing up blood. Having a high fever (103°F or higher) Having trouble breathing.
Does vitamin C help with colds?
5 Tips: Natural Products for the Flu and Colds: What Does the Science Say? It’s that time of year again— season. Each year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu. Although most recover without incident, flu-related complications typically lead to at least 200,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 60,000 deaths each year.
Vaccination is the best protection against getting the flu. Starting in 2010, the Federal Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has for all people aged 6 months and older. There is currently no strong scientific evidence that any natural product is useful against the flu.
Zinc taken orally (by mouth) may help to treat colds, but it can cause side effects and interact with medicines. Zinc is available in two forms—oral zinc (e.g., lozenges, tablets, syrup) and intranasal zinc (e.g., swabs and gels). A 2015 analysis of clinical trials found that oral zinc helps to reduce the length of colds when taken within 24 hours after symptoms start.
- Intranasal zinc has been linked to a severe side effect (irreversible loss of the sense of smell) and should not be used.
- A note about safety: Oral zinc can cause nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Long-term use of zinc, especially in high doses, can cause problems such as copper deficiency.
- Zinc may interact with drugs, including antibiotics and penicillamine (a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis).
Vitamin C does not prevent colds and only slightly reduces their length and severity. A 2013 review of scientific literature found that taking vitamin C regularly did not reduce the likelihood of getting a cold but was linked to small improvements in cold symptoms.
- In studies in which people took vitamin C only after they got a cold, vitamin C did not improve their symptoms.
- A note about safety: Vitamin C is generally considered safe; however, high doses can cause digestive disturbances such as diarrhea and nausea.
- Echinacea has not been proven to help prevent or treat colds.
is an herbal supplement that some people use to treat or prevent colds. Echinacea products vary widely, containing different species, parts, and preparations of the echinacea plant. Reviews of research have found limited evidence that some echinacea preparations may be useful for treating colds in adults, while other preparations did not seem to be helpful.
- In addition, echinacea has not been shown to reduce the number of colds that adults catch.
- Only a small amount of research on echinacea has been done in children, and the results of that research are inconsistent.
- A note about safety: Few side effects have been reported in clinical trials of echinacea; however, some people may have allergic reactions.
In one large clinical trial in children, those who took echinacea had an increased risk of developing rashes. The evidence that probiotic supplements may help to prevent colds is weak, and little is known about their long-term safety. are a type of “good bacteria,” similar to the microorganisms found in the body, and may be beneficial to health.
Probiotics are available as dietary supplements and yogurts, as well as other products such as suppositories and creams. Although a 2015 analysis of research indicated that probiotics might help to prevent upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold, the evidence is weak and the results have limitations.
A note about safety: Little is known about the effects of taking probiotics for long periods of time. Most people may be able to use probiotics without experiencing any side effects—or with only mild gastrointestinal side effects such as gas —but there have been some case reports of serious side effects.
Can you spread a chest cold?
Good hygiene – Although chest infections generally aren’t as contagious as other common infections, like flu, you can pass them on to others through coughing and sneezing. Therefore, it’s important to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and to wash your hands regularly. Put tissues in the bin immediately.
Classic Viral Pneumonia – Often viral cases of pneumonia begin as congestion and cough with or without fever in the first few days. When a doctor listens to the lungs and finds breathing sounds are not clear on either side of the chest, a viral cause over bacterial is even more highly suspected.
How long should I stay home with a chest cold?
It makes sense to stay home when you’re sick with a cold or flu, but when is it OK to go back to work? That timing poses a dilemma for someone who’s feeling stressed to get back but is still dealing with the sniffly remnants of a stubborn cough or flu and worried about spreading it around, said Lynora Saxinger, a University of Alberta infectious disease specialist.
RELATED: Have a cold or the flu? Stay home, says expert
For most people it’s not really practical to stay away from work for days or weeks until all symptoms are gone, she noted. What’s smartest is to stay home for the worst of the illness-about two to four days for a severe cold and five to seven days for the flu, Saxinger said.
“When you’re feeling your worst, try not to be out and about; that’s when you are most infectious.” While people can spread their cold or flu before they start feeling truly ill, they’re most contagious when they start coughing or sneezing, which sprays the viruses into the air for others to breathe in.
Though some symptoms can be similar for both, flu usually also comes with a fever, significant cough and severe aches, Saxinger noted. “You’re overloaded with the virus, and your body is trying to respond to the invasion. Usually after the fever breaks, you’re becoming less contagious.” It’s commonly recommended to wait at least one or two days after the fever is gone to return to work, she added.
What colour is COVID phlegm?
Green and cloudy: viral or bacterial infection – Cloudy, discolored drainage – like green or yellow – usually means a viral or bacterial infection, If it’s bacterial, you could see your doctor for an antibiotic or you might need to just give it some time.
- If it’s a viral infection, antibiotics won’t do you any good.
- A lot of the symptoms of viral infections – fever, cough, headache, loss of smell – overlap for COVID-19 and other viral infections like the flu, respiratory syncytial virus and the common cold.
- That’s why COVID-19 testing and seeing a doctor is so important. If you have symptoms, call 402.472.5000 to get tested at the University Health Center.
You can treat most infections with rest, hydration and symptom control. Whether it’s COVID-19 or another contagious illness, please stay home if you’re sick. Don’t go out in public or to work. Ask someone healthy to get you groceries or medicine or use at-home delivery.
Why do I have a chesty cough?
WHAT CAUSES A CHESTY COUGH? – Chesty coughs are often triggered by a virus, meaning that antibiotics won’t be an effective treatment. They also often follow a sore throat, a cold or the flu, Other chesty cough causes include more serious conditions like asthma, heart failure, chronic bronchitis or a respiratory infection. You can be more at risk of these if you smoke or have low immunity.
How can I get rid of a cold in 24 hours?
Zinc – The scientific evidence regarding zinc and colds is mixed. A 2019 randomized controlled trial concluded that there was no observable difference in the cold recovery rates of people who took zinc lozenges versus those who did not. However, the 2020 review states that zinc supplementation could reduce colds from occurring in children under 10 years old by up to 53%,
restingstaying hydratedusing a clean air humidifierusing saline nasal spray or dropsinhaling steam from a bowl of hot water, or in the showersucking throat lozenges to soothe a sore throatusing honey to relieve a cough
Children over the age of 1 can also benefit from honey if they have a cough. A 2012 study showed that honey improved cough symptoms and sleep quality in children compared to a placebo, Over-the-counter (OTC) cold medications may also help. However, the best cold relieving medicines will depend on what symptoms a person has, whether they have any underlying conditions, or take other medications.
- Some people should not take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), decongestants, or cough medicines.
- Talk to a pharmacist or doctor before taking medications for colds, and before administering medications to children.
- Learn about the best cold medicines for a runny nose, stuffy nose, or cough.
Antibiotics target bacteria rather than viruses, so they will not cure a cold. However, according to the American Lung Association, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics if someone develops a bacterial infection and a viral illness. Some products on the market claim to stop or prevent cold viruses.
difficulty breathingsymptoms of dehydration a fever that lasts longer than 4 dayssymptoms that last longer than 10 days with no improvementsymptoms that go away but then comes back or worsenworsened symptoms of pre-existing chronic health conditions
If a child younger than 3 months old has a fever of 100.4 o F (38 o C) or above, a parent or caretaker should take them to see a doctor right away. There is no way to get rid of a cold fast. A cold will usually go away on its own without treatment. However, a person may experience uncomfortable symptoms while they recover.
What brings up mucus in chest?
by Editorial Staff | July 14, 2021 Mucus in the lungs is known as phlegm or sputum. It is a common symptom in chronic lung diseases such as COPD (including chronic bronchitis and emphysema ), cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, NTM lung disease or asthma,
In undamaged airways, oxygenated air moves easily through tubes, helped along by tiny hairs that line the airways called cilia. Mucus has an important role in your lung’s immune response because it traps irritants in your airways and helps allow your body to expel them through coughing. This helps protect you from infection.
You can see how this works in our new animation that explains how a cough works, and the important part that mucus plays in clearing your airways from smoke, germs, dust and chemicals. More than just an unpleasant nuisance, mucus that collects in your airways can make breathing more difficult and increase your risk of infection, which can further damage your lungs.
- Living with a chronic lung disease means you are likely experiencing an excess of this thick and sticky fluid in your lungs.
- Learning more about how to prevent, treat and manage symptoms, including mucus, of your chronic lung disease can help improve your overall lung health.
- Many people living with COPD, especially those who smoke and may not have yet been diagnosed with COPD, develop progressively more cough and mucus and initially discount it as ‘normal, smoker’s cough’,” says Irina Petrache, MD, Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at National Jewish Health.
“Coughing up mucus is not normal, and it should raise the alarm that something is wrong.” She suggests patients consider use a diary to record when coughing up mucus starts to track how long it goes on. If for more than a few weeks, Dr. Petrache recommends you seek answers as to what may be causing it from your doctor.