Advice about airway clearance devices

Posted by dulwich @dulwich, Mon, Apr 8 4:36pm

I'm newly diagnosed with bronchiectasis and MAC, based on CT findings and bronchoscopy. No symptoms yet and not bringing up much mucus after 6 weeks of airway clearance with nebulizer and acapella, although adding some chest percussion recently might be helping. CT scan to review whether this is working planned after 6 months. The philosophy seems to start with the simplest treatment, even if it is possibly not that effective, but I'd like to get the gunk out of there the most effective way possible. I'm willing to invest more in time or resources if that would be useful. Does anyone have opinions or experience about the Aerobika versus Acapella and has anyone used the Vibralung, which uses soundwaves to break up mucus? Are any of you non CF patients using mucolytics and if so, which?
Thanks for any advice

Liked by Dee

I use a nebulizer with 7% saline followed by my Aerobica twice a day. My husband also "beats" on my back after that. I seem to get quite a bit up this way. I was diagnosed 6 months ago. We are trying this for 3 months to see how it works.

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@dulwich Hi. Let me formally welcome you to our group. It sounds like you may have caught your mac early. That is a good thing! I reccomend that you learn ALL that you can about it to help stave off progression. Have you visited the Discussion Board located on this group's home page? It has a list of Topics that you can scroll down through. I have some helpful info that I have posted there about how to avoid infection and re-infection of mac. Have you read these by any chance? You are early in this disease and can do things now to keep it from getting worse. I am here for you if you have questions or need help navigating through this site.

Liked by Jennifer, Brenda R.

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@tinaesims

I use a nebulizer with 7% saline followed by my Aerobica twice a day. My husband also "beats" on my back after that. I seem to get quite a bit up this way. I was diagnosed 6 months ago. We are trying this for 3 months to see how it works.

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@tinaesims Ha! I get used to get my husband to beat on my back too, (percuss) is what that is called. He hasn't done it in a long time as my infection is gone now.

Liked by Brenda R.

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Thanks for the welcome and site information- really a mine of useful material!. I am doing a lot of things to avoid exposure and stay healthy and feel grateful the infection was discovered early. So helpful to hear that a lot of people are using 7% saline in their nebulizers. I could not get that prescribed even for an induced sputum and ended up needing a bronchoscopy – everyone around here seems to only use 3%, which is what I am using at present in my nebulizer and the docs seem scared that it will irritate the lungs too much, although 3% has little effect on me most days and I am always able to exercise afterwards. I am gathering up all the info that I can and will then circle back to the chest PT and pulmonologist to review .

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@windwalker

@dulwich Hi. Let me formally welcome you to our group. It sounds like you may have caught your mac early. That is a good thing! I reccomend that you learn ALL that you can about it to help stave off progression. Have you visited the Discussion Board located on this group's home page? It has a list of Topics that you can scroll down through. I have some helpful info that I have posted there about how to avoid infection and re-infection of mac. Have you read these by any chance? You are early in this disease and can do things now to keep it from getting worse. I am here for you if you have questions or need help navigating through this site.

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@windwalker , where can I find your info on "how to avoid infection and re-infection"?
Thanks @glendamoseley

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@dulwich

Thanks for the welcome and site information- really a mine of useful material!. I am doing a lot of things to avoid exposure and stay healthy and feel grateful the infection was discovered early. So helpful to hear that a lot of people are using 7% saline in their nebulizers. I could not get that prescribed even for an induced sputum and ended up needing a bronchoscopy – everyone around here seems to only use 3%, which is what I am using at present in my nebulizer and the docs seem scared that it will irritate the lungs too much, although 3% has little effect on me most days and I am always able to exercise afterwards. I am gathering up all the info that I can and will then circle back to the chest PT and pulmonologist to review .

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@dulwich My doctor also has me on 3.5% saline. I did try the 7% and it did irritate my lungs a great deal, as she had predicted.

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I transitioned to the Aerobika from the Accapella at least 2 years ago. I am not sure it works better, but it is easier to use and easier to sterilize. I also like the form factor more. I am still using the original one I purchased.

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@elainet

I transitioned to the Aerobika from the Accapella at least 2 years ago. I am not sure it works better, but it is easier to use and easier to sterilize. I also like the form factor more. I am still using the original one I purchased.

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Elaine – Can you tell me, other than the ease of use, how the Aerobika differs from the Acapela? My daughter (who also has bronchiectasis) has suggested I change. Can it be used in combination with the neb, or is it used separately like Acapela? I would love to streamline my treatment routine.

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Checkout this YouTube video on Aerobika. Some respirator models can be attached to the Aerobika but my respirator is an older model and is not compatible. Hope this helps. Elaine

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@flib

@dulwich My doctor also has me on 3.5% saline. I did try the 7% and it did irritate my lungs a great deal, as she had predicted.

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@migizii I was prescribed the 7% saline solution immediately upon diagnosis and other than the shaky feeling people describe (perhaps from the albuterol I use before the saline), I do fine with the 7%. It seems we are all different inhow our body responds.

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Hi Janet — I saw your reply to my post about the NTM conference. Glad you will be there and will look out for you. I have used both acapella and Aerobika and like the latter a little better. I started using them in 2015 but have to admit that neither device did much in terms of bringing up mucus. I added the nebulizer a few years later. I use 7% as it does not irritate me at all. I have had a number of extremely long surgeries and the device was very helpful post-surgery- that was about the only times it was effective. I was advised to use both Aerobika and the neb but eventually gave up on the Aerobika. I started out with one daily but found that I had to do it twice a day in the past month when there was a lot more mucus after a cold. I am doing a lot better now so I am probably back to just once daily.. One other thing — it was a real struggle but somehow I got Medicare to cover both the neb and the supplies.
Hope this helps. We can talk more at the conference 🙂

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@windwalker @sueinmn @merpreb and others. As I have mentioned, I recently started anoro daily(powder inhalor). I asked my doctor to also prescribe for me levalbuterol inhalor(Xopenex) as I read in some of your posts that it helps clear the airways. Do you all take the levalbuterol with or without steroid in it and how often do you use it. Thanks for your input. Well wishes to all xx

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@soflo, I could be wrong, but I don't think levalbuterol has a steroid in it. I am back to using albuterol because my insurance wouldn't cover the levabuterol. It is wickedly expensive.

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@windwalker I don't know :(….I heard it is expensive and if that is the case I will ask for albuterol. But do you take it with or without the steroid?

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@windwalker, I don't even know much about the albuterol. I thought I heard it comes with or without the steroid and I'm not sure which is the better way to go.

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