There are plenty of myths and legends regarding health issues that we as a society have propagated over time. Naturally, quite a few exist in relation to chest congestion. Although it is a simple accumulation of mucus in the lungs, many people seem to have the wrong idea about what causes it, and how to pursue treatment as well.
You’d be surprised at how wrong of an opinion we have on how to cure chest congestion. Most commonly used pharmaceuticals are surprisingly ineffective when you look at the facts. In fact, we might be better off using simple home remedies for chest congestion relief as suggested by HomeRemedyShop instead of targeted medicine. Let’s find out why.
Most of the things we claim to know about chest congestions are actually misconstrued. Not only are many popular treatments unsuccessful, but the condition is caused by something entirely different than some people tend to believe. Here are the five most common chest congestion myths debunked for good.
1. All Coughs Are Infectious
There is a widespread common misconception among the general public according to which all coughs are caused by infections. This couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, it’s essential to note that a few small bouts here and there to clear the throat don’t mean that a larger health condition is afoot.
Of course, some are caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infections, such as the flu, bronchitis, laryngitis, or pneumonia. But chest congestion arises due to other reasons as well, such as asthma, seasonal allergies, emphysema, or gastrointestinal reflux. Therefore, it’s wrong to assume that this symptom has just one underlying cause.
2. Antibiotics Accelerate Recovery
If you’ve ever been confronted with chest congestion before, then you surely heard at least one person tell you that the fastest treatment is an antibiotic-based one. However, this is only partly accurate. If the underlying cause is a bacterial infection, then this class of pharmaceuticals can indeed take care of the situation.
Nevertheless, coughing and phlegm are sometimes caused by viruses, and antibiotics have no effect on them. And because they are quite strong, taking them willy-nilly will do more harm than good. What is more, improper administration of this medicine can lead to mutations in viruses, which is an undesirable outcome to say the least.
3. Cough Syrup Is Efficient
Let’s face it, cough syrup is the first option we think of when we start to experience congestion at the level of the chest. Due to such medicine being formulated with suppressants and expectorants, they are marketed as a viable cure for phlegm buildup in the lungs. However, reality couldn’t be more different.
The medical community backs this up. A review of multiple studies has recently proved their inefficiency. Trials conducted on 2,166 participants have delivered no relevant results to attest their properties. Therefore, while they might provide some quick relief, they are no better than placebos when it comes to treating the actual root of the problem.
4. Cold Weather Is the Cause
Perhaps the chest congestion myth that is propagated the most around the world is the one stating that cold weather causes chest congestion, as well as sneezing, a runny nose, and other flu-like symptoms. In reality, it is viruses and bacteria that are responsible for such symptoms, and not the icy winter air.
In addition, people tend to catch colds more often come the chillier months because we all tend to stay huddled up inside where we are in the proximity of others. Because pathogens are airborne, it’s more likely to fall ill in such conditions. Other than that, there is no correlation whatsoever between the cold and coughing up phlegm.
5. Dairy Worsens Symptoms
The final old wives’ tale that needs to be discussed is the one according to which dairy products lead to thicker phlegm, thus leaving the chest feeling even more congested. This belief has been popular for centuries now, with ancient Chinese medicine propagating it in its core statements. Nevertheless, its old age doesn’t necessarily imply authenticity.
In fact, a recent study has proved once and for all that drinking milk and consuming other dairy products has no impact on the quantity of mucus produced by the lungs. However, seeing as how the liquid is an emulsion, it tends to clump with when it meets saliva. This creates the feeling of thickness that many people describe.
Chest congestion is caused by phlegm buildup in the lungs. This can have a viral or bacterial nature, but it sometimes happens for other reasons as well. For this reason, it’s important not to believe everything you hear. Consulting with a health care provider is recommended if you notice that your treatment methods do not lead to any visible improvements in terms of health.
If you have any tips or suggestion on home remedies for chest congestion and coughs that have worked for you please share them in the comment section!!!