When you have COPD, you may have too much mucus in your lungs. Learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and improves your breathing. It may also help prevent lung infections.
There are three ways to clear your lungs:
Coughing is how your body tries to get rid of mucus. But the kind of coughing you cannot control makes things worse. It causes your airways to close. It also traps the mucus in your lungs.
Controlled coughing comes from deep in your lungs. It loosens mucus and moves it though your airways. It is best to do it after you use your inhaler or other medicine.
Postural drainage means lying down in different positions to help drain mucus from your lungs.
Hold each position for 5 minutes. Do it about 30 minutes after you use your inhaler. Make sure you have an empty stomach. If you need to cough, sit up and do controlled coughing.
Chest percussion means that you lightly tap your chest and back. The tapping loosens the mucus in your lungs.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Hasmeena Kathuria, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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