You may have learned to ignore many chest congestion symptoms. In a busy world, few have time to be stopped by something as seemingly trivial as a little cough. But chest congestion can indicate more than just a case of the common cold. The flu, measles, even pneumonia can all be indicated by chest congestion symptoms. It is especially important to recognize chest congestion signs in the very young and the elderly as they are most susceptible to potentially devastating effects of letting the symptoms go unchecked.
- Productive Cough. This is probably the easiest chest congestion symptom to recognize. If you cough up phlegm (mucus) or sputum (saliva mixed with mucus or pus) it's a good indicator that you should see a doctor.
- Dry Cough. A dry cough is a far less obvious chest congestion symptom. In certain cases, a cough may not bring up materials from the lungs, and still indicate a problem. A persistent dry cough shouldn't be ignored.
- Hemoptysis (Coughing up blood). Most of us would realize that this chest congestion symptom in an indicator that something is potentially very wrong. Seek medical attention if you are coughing up blood.
- Wheezing or Shortness of Breath. Wheezing, shortness of breath, or any other difficulty breathing can indicate a multitude of medical issues. If can be a sure chest congestion symptom as well. If you are wheezing, and you haven't been running a marathon, your body is not getting the oxygen it needs without a lot of effort. Seek medical help.
- Tightness in chest. Tightness or other discomfort in your chest can be a sign of many problems, including heart issues. It can also be a chest congestion symptom, especially when paired with any of the other symptoms above.
Many of us tough it out when we have a cough or a little discomfort in our chest. And while we don't need to run to the doctor every time we sneeze, it's a bad idea to ignore chest congestion symptoms. A small problem, left untreated can escalate into a much bigger one. Recognizing the signs early on can help you avoid sick days, and, when recognized in in those most vulnerable, can save lives.