Taking expectorants helps relieve chest congestion, according to the University of North Carolina. Self-care measures, such as drinking plenty of fluids and adding moisture to the air, also make it easier to eliminate mucus from the lungs.Continue Reading
Mucus traps dust, bacteria, allergens and other particles so they cannot enter the lungs. Once these particles are trapped in mucus, they are carried to the throat so they can be swallowed or coughed out of the body, reports Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of Mucinex. The chest becomes congested when particles irritate or attack the mucosal cells lining the airway. This results in an overproduction of thick mucus.
Drinking plenty of fluids thins the mucus stuck in the airways, making it easier to cough up. Steam also adds moisture to the airways and makes it easier to eliminate dried mucus. Taking a hot shower, using a room humidifier and breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water all help relieve chest congestion, according to Reckitt Benckiser.
Expectorants thin mucus, making it easier to cough up and eliminate from the airway, explains WebMD. Some medications contain antihistamines, pain relievers and cough suppressants in addition to expectorants. These combination medications relieve congestion, headaches, body aches and other symptomsLearn more about Medications & Vitamins