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How can I help my boyfriend when he has a coughing spell?

My boyfriend has COPD. Lately his cough has gotten worse and more frequent. How can I help him when he gets into a coughing spell where his face turns red and he can’t catch his breath even when he has his O2 on?


Community Answers
  • Janet Plank moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi audreyhipsley. Those coughing spells can get very scary and he should definitely talk with his doctor about them. Have him drink water regularly, sometimes that can help. Leon posted some good and very helpful links. I have used lozenges and if I know what kind of cough I’m having or feel coming on, it will help me to do huff coughing or other kinds. Sometimes if I struggle, my husband will hit me in the back and that has helped me to get things coughed up as well.
    Also, give your boyfriend a pillow to put across his abdomen and ribs when coughing, it will be easier for him, plus it will help to prevent muscle tear, fractured ribs, etc.
    I also do the pursed lip breathing when I have a chance, it helps to slow me down, to slow my diaphragm down as well as to slow my breathing and heart rate down.
    Definitely have him talk with his doctor.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • Jerry
    1 year ago

    I have had the same problem, so bad I would just about pass out. Thought for sure this would do me in. Talked to my Dr. and she prescribed Daliresp 500mcb. Thank God I haven’t had any problems since.Scary!!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Glad to hear you found something that works for you, Jerry. Thanks for letting us know, too. You must be very much relieved!
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi audreyhipsley and thanks for your questions. My thinking is it’s best to keep yourself close by and remain available should he need anything. He’s got to get through the coughing spell on his own. If the cause of the coughing spell can be determined, and that cause can be avoided or prevented, that might keep the number of episodes down. While others may offer their own suggestions I thought you might benefit from looking over these three articles:
    First, this one on persistent cough:https://copd.net/symptoms/persistent-cough/.
    Second, this one on ‘not just a cough’:https://copd.net/living/not-just-cough/.
    Third, this one on managing a cough: https://copd.net/stories/managing-cough-copd/.

    You may find something is any one of these article to be helpful for you and your boyfriend.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator0

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