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Well, it is a regular part of the recommended treatment routine for bronchiectasis at National Jewish Health (https://www.nationaljewish.org/conditions/bronchiectasis/bronchiectasis-overview/treatment) and they are pretty much the gold standard for quality in this disease.

I'll share my personal experience. My first pulmonologist didn't want me to neb saline or anything, even though I have asthma & bronchiectasis, had a very bad case of MAC, was quite ill, coughed a lot and had copious mucus. He blithely said "there's nothing to that" and just use the Acapella (he didn't like the Aerobika either.) As I continued to get worse over one year on the Big 3, 3x a week, I asked him if there was more we could do, and he told me to "go home & be patient."

My primary got me a consult with an infectious disease doc (this is all within one large medical/multi-clinic group) who did a CT that showed I was getting worse, increased my meds to every day, and added a nebulized med every day. At my next pulmonology appointment, the original pulmonologist "fired" me! Said if I wanted to see someone else, I didn't need him any more – even though I still have asthma, bronchiectasis and MAC. The ID doc referred me to another, excellent pulmo, just down the hall.

About that time (late 2019) a few people on Connect started talking about 7% saline, and how it was helping them. I was getting desperate – the side effects of the Big 3 were worse and worse, but my MAC was "not quite gone." With the consent of my ID & pulmo docs, who consulted with NJH, I decided to stop the antibiotics and switch to daily airway clearance and 7% saline nebs only.

Fast forward 29 months to today – I still use the nebs, once a day, and airway clearance. If I don't use saline, my airway clearance doesn't bring up mucus, but if I use it a lot of junk comes out. If I skip for a few days, I get a pretty tight chest and begin to wheeze.

While still short of breath pretty often, I have regained my lost weight and most of my energy. I have had just one exacerbation since stopping the meds, and it was treated with steroids and a short course of antibiotics. But – through everything – I have continued to be (carefully) around people and been able to stay healthy, haven't even caught my grandkids' colds.

Mark me down as a big believer in saline therapy. I will be very interested in hearing why your doctor doesn't use it. Did the doctor take sputum samples to see what might be in the nodules in your lungs?

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Replies to "Well, it is a regular part of the recommended treatment routine for bronchiectasis at National Jewish..."

I was doing pretty well with Saline 3%, guifenesin & flutter valve. I caught pseudomonas after being intubated during breast surgery last summer. Levoquin didn't get rid of it and now to make things worse, there is a shortage of saline…I suppose because of the supply chain issue
going on now. I managed to find a box of 0.9% but now I'm producing more mucus, coughing more and my oxygen saturation levels are falling. I also have MAI, Bronchiectasis and numerous lung nodules. Is anyone else having trouble finding the saline?
Please let me know if you are…

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