How do you know that you get the sputum at the bottom of lungs out?

Posted by @ling @wangling, Nov 20, 2022

Hi community,
From reading your postings, I have learned how crucial it is to keep our airways and lungs clean of sputum by using aerobika + saline …
I am wondering how do you know that we could get the sputum out at the bottom of our lungs?

Ling

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@ling Good morning, that's a good question about mucus collecting in our lungs. A normal lung keeps this in check – breathing and normal daily movement help it move up through the airways where we cough it out. Lungs damage by bronchiectasis or COPD (and some other disorders) don't work to expel it normally, so it collects and germs breed in the nice warm environment.
Nebulizing saline solution (.9%. 3% or 7%) thins the mucus, airway clearance exercises gets the mucus moving. For me, I find physical activity first (yoga, a brisk walk, bending and stretching) get me coughing and help move the mucus. Then I use my neb if needed followed by my Aeorbika, and finally, if I don't think enough has moved I will bend from the waist & huff cough. Others use postural drainage techniques to get help from gravity – here is a visual aid to show a few possible positions :
https://www.xopt1.com/blog/postural-drainage-techniques-home/
What has you lung doctor suggested?
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

@ling Good morning, that's a good question about mucus collecting in our lungs. A normal lung keeps this in check – breathing and normal daily movement help it move up through the airways where we cough it out. Lungs damage by bronchiectasis or COPD (and some other disorders) don't work to expel it normally, so it collects and germs breed in the nice warm environment.
Nebulizing saline solution (.9%. 3% or 7%) thins the mucus, airway clearance exercises gets the mucus moving. For me, I find physical activity first (yoga, a brisk walk, bending and stretching) get me coughing and help move the mucus. Then I use my neb if needed followed by my Aeorbika, and finally, if I don't think enough has moved I will bend from the waist & huff cough. Others use postural drainage techniques to get help from gravity – here is a visual aid to show a few possible positions :
https://www.xopt1.com/blog/postural-drainage-techniques-home/
What has you lung doctor suggested?
Sue

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I've just started on the antibiotics 2 months ago. I wasn't able to produce a sputum sample so was diagnosed via a bronchoscopy. On some mornings I'm able to cough up a bit of sputum, but I don't normally produce sputum. My doctor has so far not prescribed a nebulizer or Aerobica. My previous pulmonologist did prescribe Aerobica but even using it I did not cough or produce sputum. I'll see my pulmonologist next week and I'll ask him about the nebulizer and Aerobica. But maybe I'm just one of those people who can't cough up sputum??
Diane

REPLY
@sueinmn

@ling Good morning, that's a good question about mucus collecting in our lungs. A normal lung keeps this in check – breathing and normal daily movement help it move up through the airways where we cough it out. Lungs damage by bronchiectasis or COPD (and some other disorders) don't work to expel it normally, so it collects and germs breed in the nice warm environment.
Nebulizing saline solution (.9%. 3% or 7%) thins the mucus, airway clearance exercises gets the mucus moving. For me, I find physical activity first (yoga, a brisk walk, bending and stretching) get me coughing and help move the mucus. Then I use my neb if needed followed by my Aeorbika, and finally, if I don't think enough has moved I will bend from the waist & huff cough. Others use postural drainage techniques to get help from gravity – here is a visual aid to show a few possible positions :
https://www.xopt1.com/blog/postural-drainage-techniques-home/
What has you lung doctor suggested?
Sue

Jump to this post

Thank you so much Sue for your detailed practice on how to get mucus out. It is really helpful. It is good to know that yoga helps. I do yoga and walking. My pulmonologist asks me to use an albuterol inhaler before using the flutter. I was able to get mucus out this way. But recently, I am not able to. I am not sure if I don't produce mucus any more, or if I am not able to get it out. I need to find out from the pulmonologist what condition I am in. Thank you so much as always for your reply. Much appreciated.
Take care,
Ling

REPLY
@sueinmn

@ling Good morning, that's a good question about mucus collecting in our lungs. A normal lung keeps this in check – breathing and normal daily movement help it move up through the airways where we cough it out. Lungs damage by bronchiectasis or COPD (and some other disorders) don't work to expel it normally, so it collects and germs breed in the nice warm environment.
Nebulizing saline solution (.9%. 3% or 7%) thins the mucus, airway clearance exercises gets the mucus moving. For me, I find physical activity first (yoga, a brisk walk, bending and stretching) get me coughing and help move the mucus. Then I use my neb if needed followed by my Aeorbika, and finally, if I don't think enough has moved I will bend from the waist & huff cough. Others use postural drainage techniques to get help from gravity – here is a visual aid to show a few possible positions :
https://www.xopt1.com/blog/postural-drainage-techniques-home/
What has you lung doctor suggested?
Sue

Jump to this post

I have recently discovered that if I lie on my back late morning to mid afternoon, not completely flat because of Gerd, sputum starts to bubble up after about 15 minutes, lasting another 15 or so. Seems to be most effective if done every few days and seems more effective than chest PT- hard to explain. Whatever works…..!

REPLY

I believe Airway Clearance is the number one daily task for everyone in this group. Nebulising with saline helps to keep your lungs clean. It's something I will do every day, dputum or no sputum, to maintain as healthy lungs as I can. There are studies to prove its effectiveness.

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I was part of a webinar that went through airway clearance steps as thinking of with each breathing technique, the sputum getting on the escalator upwards until you huff or cough it out. I think we all find a method that suits us individually. Where it comes from, I'm not sure, but if you're getting it out, brilliant. I know the different breathing methods in airway clearance reach different areas of the lung. And it depends where your mucus is trapped, might not be down the bottom. Know your CT image and try and feel your inward breath getting to that area.

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@dulwich

I have recently discovered that if I lie on my back late morning to mid afternoon, not completely flat because of Gerd, sputum starts to bubble up after about 15 minutes, lasting another 15 or so. Seems to be most effective if done every few days and seems more effective than chest PT- hard to explain. Whatever works…..!

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That is very nice that you found a way which works for you. Many thanks for sharing the information. Greatly appreciated!

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@dulwich

I have recently discovered that if I lie on my back late morning to mid afternoon, not completely flat because of Gerd, sputum starts to bubble up after about 15 minutes, lasting another 15 or so. Seems to be most effective if done every few days and seems more effective than chest PT- hard to explain. Whatever works…..!

Jump to this post

I think what works for each person is something you just have to figure out. For a long time i only used the Aerobika sitting up. Then on a forum i read that someone's pulmonologist told her to use it also laying down and on each side. That has made a big difference for me. I lay down with my head slightly inverted and a pillow under my hips and then also on each side. i get what feels like all of the mucus out. But when i went to the dentist recently (two times) i found that after laying inverted for a long period of time in the dental chair, that even more mucus came up (they were understanding). I sometimes wonder if an inversion table would be a good idea once a week or so. But then there is the GERD issue so it would have to be done on an empty stomach. Has anyone heard of using inversion like that?

REPLY
@irenea8

I think what works for each person is something you just have to figure out. For a long time i only used the Aerobika sitting up. Then on a forum i read that someone's pulmonologist told her to use it also laying down and on each side. That has made a big difference for me. I lay down with my head slightly inverted and a pillow under my hips and then also on each side. i get what feels like all of the mucus out. But when i went to the dentist recently (two times) i found that after laying inverted for a long period of time in the dental chair, that even more mucus came up (they were understanding). I sometimes wonder if an inversion table would be a good idea once a week or so. But then there is the GERD issue so it would have to be done on an empty stomach. Has anyone heard of using inversion like that?

Jump to this post

Gosh, Irene, you said "But when i went to the dentist recently (two times) i found that after laying inverted for a long period of time in the dental chair, that even more mucus came up…" That just happened to me yesterday – spent over 3 hours in the chair, and they had to keep allowing me to sit up and clear. Duh, it never occurred to me – I had inversion & vibration (drill) going endlessly from 9 to noon to prepare for 2 crowns and I was still coughing stuff up at bedtime.
Think I will neb extra today, just to be sure that if I inhaled anything bad it will come out.
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

Gosh, Irene, you said "But when i went to the dentist recently (two times) i found that after laying inverted for a long period of time in the dental chair, that even more mucus came up…" That just happened to me yesterday – spent over 3 hours in the chair, and they had to keep allowing me to sit up and clear. Duh, it never occurred to me – I had inversion & vibration (drill) going endlessly from 9 to noon to prepare for 2 crowns and I was still coughing stuff up at bedtime.
Think I will neb extra today, just to be sure that if I inhaled anything bad it will come out.
Sue

Jump to this post

Sue i have had a number of crowns and they do take forever! Dental work is worrisome with the inhaling issue but we have to do it. My dentist has a vacuum thing they put near by but i don't think it helps that much. Interesting that you had the same experience after lying inverted for a long period of time. I also would have to sit up to clear. I felt like that part of going to the dentist was actually good therapy. They sell inversion chairs and i have been tempted to get one but doubt i would want to invert for such a long period of time to get the results or if my pulmo would recommend it. I think i will ask him.

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