Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What's the best move for me if my chest congestion won't clear up?"
I have some pretty bad chest congestion that is refusing to go away. If it doesn't go away next, what do I have to do? Like what can I expect a doctor to give me?
You definitely should see your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Chest congestion that doesn't go away is something that needs diagnosis and treatment by your doctor. Chest congestion can be caused by several different conditions. However, one of the most common is bronchitis. This is an infection in the large tubes inside the lungs. It tends to occur after a viral infection, such as a common cold. So, for example, you may begin with a cold but find that the cough and chest tightness worsens instead of getting better. Pneumonia is another possibility. This is an infection deeper inside the lung, often with worse symptoms than bronchitis, such as shortness of breath, pain with breathing, and fever. It also can develop subsequent to a viral infection such as a common cold. If you have any underlying medical conditions, especially sinus problems or asthma, these also might be a contributing factor to your persistent symptoms. Your primary care doctor will perform a complete examination of your lungs. They may decide to do some basic blood work or a chest x-ray. Based on what they find, if they decide that this is an infection that needs to be treated, then they will prescribe you a course of antibiotics.
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