Words of Wisdom

Buckley's loud speaker

What is Chest Congestion?

Looking to get congestion off your chest? We can help. When your chest is congested, tight and you can hear a wet wheezing sound coming from inside, it’s time to get Buckley’s and help get rid of chest congestion.

Woman coughing from chest congestion

What is Chest Congestion?

Chest congestion is a symptom of a respiratory infection like a cold or more serious infections like bronchitis. It’s that heavy, tight chest, can’t breathe feeling you have when you’re sick.

What Causes Chest Congestion?

Chest congestion is caused when excess fluids (mucus and phlegm) accumulate in the lungs because the mucus membranes have gone into overproduction. They go into overproduction when bacteria or a virus irritates the membranes, causing inflammation. Your body produces extra phlegm to try and remove the irritant and reduce inflammation. This phlegm can accumulate, causing chest congestion.

Chest Congestion Symptoms

Unfortunately, a heavy chest and wheezing breath aren’t the only chest congestion symptoms. Symptoms are often worse in the morning and include:

  • Excess Phlegm: As mentioned above, phlegm and mucus production will go into overdrive to try and get rid of the bacteria or virus in your lungs. Coughed up phlegm is called sputum and can vary in colour from clear to green to brown. 
  • Coughing: Coughs that expel sputum are called productive coughs. Excess phlegm in the chest triggers your cough reflex. Though this can be annoying, it’s actually good for you and the best way to remove germs from the airways.
  • Shortness of breath: With all that phlegm buildup in your lungs, they are going to have a hard time functioning normally or allowing air to filter through. This results in shortness of breath from chest congestion. This can also be a sign of a more serious infection like bronchitis.
Image of humidifier

Steam helps moisten the airways, loosening dried mucus and phlegm, making it easier to cough up.

How to Get Rid of Chest Congestion

There are a few tried and true chest congestion remedies as well as some effective over the counter treatments. Here’s how to clear chest congestion naturally:

  • Drink water: Water is a natural chest congestion remedy. Staying hydrated helps to thin thick mucus and phlegm in the lungs, making it easier to expel.
  • Use Steam: Steam helps moisten the airways, loosening dried mucus and phlegm, making it easier to cough up. You can use a humidifier or create your own steam room with a bowl of hot water and a towel over your head. Or just have a shower. 

Here’s how to clear chest congestion with medication:

  • Cough Syrup: Not only do cough syrups help stop your cough, some go to the source of the chest congestion. Look for cough syrups with expectorants in them. Expectorants loosen phlegm in the lungs, making it easier to expel. The main ingredient to look for is guaifenesin or glyceryl guaiacolate. Expectorants are one of the most effective chest congestion remedies
  • Cough and Cold Pills: Aside from helping to relieve other cold and flu symptoms, many cold pills contain the expectorant guaifenesin as well and work to expel phlegm faster, relieving your chest congestion symptoms

Recommended Buckley’s Products

You’ll be able to find chest congestion symptom relief in many Buckley’s products. Some contain the expectorant guaifenesin, while others have natural expectorants. Pills, syrups or caps, chest congestion doesn’t stand a chance against these:

Buckley's Original Mixture

Box of Buckley's Original Mixture
  • Cough
  • Nasal Congestion

Buckley's Cough, Chest Congestion

Box of Buckley's Cough Chest Congestion
  • Cough
  • Mucus and Phlegm

Buckley's Complete + Mucus Liquid Gels – Day/Night

Box of  Buckley's Complete + Mucus Liquid Gels – Day/Night
  • Dry Cough
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Runny Nose

Buckley's Complete Cough, Cold & Flu Extra Strength - Day/Night

Box of Buckley's Complete Cough, Cold & Flu Extra Strength - Day/Night
  • Cough
  • Mucus & Phlegm
  • Sore Throat Pain
  • Headache
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Fever & Chills
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Body Aches & Pain

When to See a Doctor

Chest congestion symptoms can actually be a sign of a much more serious respiratory infection or chronic illness. Speak to your doctor if:

  • You develop a fever
  • Your breathing gets worse and you’re having severe shortness of breath
  • You’re coughing up blood
  • Your cough is keeping you up at night 
  • If you’re not getting better