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Home > Health Library > COPD: Clearing Your Lungs
When you have too much mucus in your lungs, learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and improve your breathing. It may also help prevent lung infections.
Here 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 loosens mucus and moves it through your airways. It is best to do it after you use your inhaler or other medicine. Follow these steps for controlled coughing.
Make the coughs short and sharp. Push on your belly with your arms as you cough. The first cough brings the mucus through the lung airways. The next coughs bring it up and out.
Do not take quick or deep breaths through your mouth. It can block the mucus coming out of the lungs. It also can cause uncontrolled coughing.
Postural drainage means lying down in different positions to help drain mucus from your lungs. You can do it on a bed or the floor. Use pillows to help you with different positions.
Morning is the best time to do postural drainage, because it helps clear mucus that has built up during the night. It may also be done just before bed to decrease nighttime coughing.
Do postural drainage 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.
Hold each position for at least 3 minutes.
Chest percussion means that you lightly clap your chest and back. The clapping loosens the mucus in your lungs. Follow these steps to do chest percussion.
It may be easier to have someone do the clapping for you.
Current as of:
March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineHasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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