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My mucus is so thick I have trouble breaking it up. Any ideas?

Community Answers
  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Assuming this is “just” from COPD and not an infection brewing, there are remedies. First, stay hydrated! It’s very important in keeping sputum thinned. Also, be sure you’re using a mucous clearing device. If you don’t have one, ask your doctor about getting one. There are a number on the market that are excellent. If you Google “mucous clearing device” the more popular ones will come up. I’ve had patients tell me they really like Acapella™ and the Aerobika™.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    One strategy is to try to HUFF Cough, and this is described here: If this continues to be a problem, you can talk to your doctor about getting a neat little device called an Acapella. It’s a small handheld device you blow into. When you do this, it causes vibrations in your chest to knock stubborn secretions from your airways so you can bring them up. Both strategies are easy to do and can bring you some good results.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    All of us produce mucus and it provides a very important role to normal body function. However, COPD is characterized by an increase in the production of mucus and often times an increase in its tenacity and thickness. As well, in disease states, mucus can become infected and cause other, more significant issues when that occurs. Staying hydrated by drinking sufficient fluids, like water and juices, can help to thin the mucus and make it easier to cough up and out. If an infection occurs, physician prescribed medication(s), such as antibiotics, may be indicated. This article from our website provides a more in depth explanation of COPD and mucus production:

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