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Allergies & Chest Congestion Symptoms

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Allergies & Chest Congestion Symptoms
A young businesswoman is suffering from allergies. Photo Credit Alliance/iStock/Getty Images


Allergies affect each person differently and are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to a substance, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The immune system recognizes a relatively harmless substance as a potentially dangerous substance and releases certain chemicals to fight it off. These chemicals cause common allergy symptoms such as nasal discharge, watery eyes and asthma. Chest congestion from allergies is the result of allergy-induced asthma or the effects of postnasal drip. Talk to a doctor to determine the cause of any chest congestion related to allergies.

Breathing Difficulty

If chest congestion is a result of allergy-induced asthma, an individual may find it difficult to breathe normally. Allergy-induced asthma causes the airways in the lungs to become inflamed and swollen, cutting off the ability to breathe freely. Breathing difficulty may result in shortness of breath, chest tightness and trouble sleeping. Someone with allergy-induced asthma should talk to a doctor about obtaining a prescription inhaler for asthma flare-ups. Stay away from allergens and other triggers that lead to breathing difficulty whenever possible.


Chest congestion causes a consistent cough, whether it is caused by postnasal drip or allergy-induced asthma. An allergic reaction can cause the sinuses to swell, trapping mucus in the nasal cavity. The trapped mucus finds a way to drain by dripping down the back of the throat. This condition is called postnasal drip and is a common effect of allergies, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Coughing is the body’s way of breaking up the mucus in the throat and expelling it from the body. Once the coughing reflex is initiated, it could lead to a tickle in the throat and constant coughing. Over-the-counter medications, such as expectorants and cough suppressants may be used to help thin the mucus and stop the tickle in the throat, or a small amount of honey if you prefer more natural remedies.

Chest Discomfort

Someone with chest congestion from allergies may experience chest discomfort, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Chest discomfort may feel like tightness in the chest or minor pain. Severe pain in the chest may be a sign of a more complex issue and should be evaluated by a medical doctor. Chest congestion from allergies can lead to bronchitis, an infection of the bronchial tubes, according to MedlinePlus. A doctor will determine if the bronchitis is the result of a bacteria or a virus. Bacterial bronchitis is treated with antibiotics, while viral bronchitis is treated with rest and increased fluids.

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