Mucus and COPD

November 2nd, 2011 | Author: COPD Coach

Dear COPD Coach,

I was diagnosed with COPD a year ago. I am constantly bringing up lots of mucus. Sometimes it is harder to get the mucus up and what I bring up is sometimes very thick. This especially happens in the morning and late in the evening. Sometimes it is like I don’t have enough strength to cough it up and I get severely short of breath trying to cough. Until I am able to get the mucus out, I just can’t breathe! What is the best way to get the mucus out?


Dear Stuffy,

Many people with COPD have a chronic bronchitis component to their COPD, and daily efforts to get the mucus out become a big part of their everyday life. The first question I would have is whether or not you have discussed this with your doctor. There is medication available that will help thin out the mucus and make it easier to “bring up.”

There are also especially effective cough techniques that you can learn from a Respiratory Therapist that can give you good results without completely tiring you out.

With that said, there are a few mucus clearing devices that are available that can greatly ease the process.


One of the more inexpensive alternatives is called the Flutter®. This device is shaped like a pipe and can be easily carried with you in your pocket or purse. The way the Flutter® works is that it vibrates the airways loosening the mucus from the airway walls. The problem with the Flutter® is that it must be held at a precise angle in order for it to have the maximum effect.

Another inexpensive device is The Acapella®. It works on the same principal but uses different mechanics that allow it to be used at any angle. Originally it came in either high flow or low flow, but now comes in an adjustable model that also breaks down for cleaning.

A more expensive alternative is High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation with units like The Vest®. This involves wearing a rubber vest that looks kind of like a life jacket that oscillates the chest wall which loosens mucous. First developed for cystic fibrosis patients, it can be very effective for COPD patients. It is also very expensive.

A newer alternative is Intrapulmonary Percussive Ventilation (IPV).  Intrapulmonary percussive ventilation delivers rapid, small volumes of air to help loosen retained secretions. Using a mouth piece, and often a nebulizing medication, you can adjust the strength of the pulse over the course of the treatment. While once only available in a hospital setting, it is now available in a home model. The cost of this unit is also significant.

There are of course other devices and variations available. Each one will have advantages and disadvantages over others in terms of effectiveness and cost and ease of use.

Again, I recommend that your situation is best determined by talking with your doctor, and then checking on your insurance reimbursement.

I hope this helps, and be sure to let us know how you are doing!

The COPD Coach

Ask the Expert is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice.

If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us We would love to hear your questions and comments. You can address your emails to any of the following: COPD Coach, Caregiver Coach, COPD Doctor or COPD RT.


  1. juliet says:

    hello viewer’s
    Am Juliet i live in USA …i don’t have much to say there are so may scam going on online so we cant detect the real herbal medicine doctors .thank GOD for leading me,please don’t ignore this post is real DR MAPIPA, is a real herbal Doctor ,he cured me and my husband from COPD and Parkinson’s ,we are living so happy and free ,we were full recovered within 4 weeks of usage of dr mapipa herbal medicine ,please viewers out there that have any deadly disease dont fail contact him via his email;drmapipaherbalmedicinehome(at)gmail(dot)com,and website www(dot)drmapipaherbal(dot)weebly(dot)com..thanks once again to dr mapipa GOD bless you abundantly….

  2. 24 hour detox says:

    It is always just so exciting to see good information such as this considering the less relevant material that’s out there. After all, you can definitely tell that alot of time and patience with into this. Do you use content writers or do you create your own material?

  3. lajuana5472 says:

    This is just the best information I’ve happened on today. It’s not what I was looking for nonetheless it sure got my attention. Now i’m glad I took the time to look it over.

  4. stat detox says:

    You can barely find content such as this anymore. I recall when you could find one or two topics like this in minutes however now it’s much more difficult.

  5. magdalene2740 says:

    This wasn’t the website I was looking for however now I’m glad I came across it. I see it’s very popular on the web. Good job.

  6. billye1357 says:

    This wasn’t the website We were trying to find however now I’m thankful I came across it. I see it’s very popular on the internet. Good job.

  7. Thanks , I’ve just been searching for information approximately
    this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far.
    But, what about the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?

  8. Millie Kiker says:


  9. lee2909 says:

    I actually nearly didn’t check this webpage out nonetheless I’m glad I did. That it is pretty good when compared to many others I’ve found. I’m going definately return.

  10. hoyt8621 says:

    You will barely find content such as this nowadays. I recall when you could find a few posts like this in less than 10 minutes but now it’s significantly more difficult.

  11. classie6929 says:

    It is evident that this specific post is probably the best I’ve found today. It’s also evident the individual who’s website this is put much work in it. Good work!

  12. martina4285 says:

    Judging by the number of comments, this is definately a truly engaged subject. Everytime I return to this post there’s an interesting visitor post better than some of the earlier ones.

  13. hue6978 says:

    Wonderful post. One of the best I’ve come across.

  14. martina4285 says:

    I must admit this is certainly one of the more impressive postings I’ve found for this niche. I will certainly follow your posts.

  15. Allan says:

    Hi all you COPD sufferers. I have been diagnosed since 2006 and have been repeatedly using drugs like symbicort and spiriva; and antibiotics and prednisolone when there are acute flare ups. However I have been using several products like Bisolvon(by Boehringer/Ingelheim),Solvin plus(by Ipca laboratories from India)to loosen the mucus. Use one at a time and see what works for you. As the body gets accustomed to the medication alternate with the other.
    I have also been inhaling menthol crystals when stuffy and use a humidifier at nights with menthol crystals or oregano oil.
    Try using NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine). I use the Solgar brand and take two or three capsules after meals.This also loosens mucus. I’ve found too that Serrapeptase has also been helping me. It is said that this enzyme helps with the scar tissue in the lungs. Try the sites or for other natural ways of assisting with this disease. Remember EXERCISE is of vital importance as it would help in building back lung capacity. Continue to research everything about COPD and various products noting any advere side effects. All my success so far was through doing my own research and trying different products/supplements/medication. Be positive, pray and take care.

  16. brian4509 says:

    Wonderful entry. Possibly the best I’ve come upon.

    • Twila says:

      I agree and sounds very much like me. I have tried many alternative meds as well as what is prescribed by my pulmonologist. Some work, some don’t…..I research and then decide for myself what I am willing to try. I am now taking Symbicort and Tudorza and doing breathing treatments 3 times a day with albuterol. I, also, take “Carbocysteine” which I order from Israel. This does a great job of thinning the mucus so you can get rid of it. Sounds very much like your “Bisolvon”. I attend a maintenance pulmonary rehab program at my local hospital twice weekly where I exercise and get good info from respiratory therapist and RN and can mingle with others going through like challenges! Staying positve, counting your blessings each day is a great help. May you never let what you CAN’T do any longer interfere with what you CAN do! Bless everyone suffering with this disease.

  17. lanelle8137 says:

    I’ve got to say that this really is one of the more impressive postings I’ve found about this subject matter. I will certainly follow your posts.

  18. levitra says:

    You can adopt their styles to suit yours; this is one
    of the best ways to determine the right fashion for you.
    They are going to almost any extent to look good and attractive.
    Choose not only from the styles of the shoes but also
    make sure that they ate comfortable.

  19. torebki says:

    After his death, the business was successfully carried on by his
    three sons. It compares the design of vintage motorcycles to today’s models.
    Fresh pairs of UGG products arrive in latest designs and
    fake boots are replicas of these originals.

  20. sue1224 says:

    You will hardly find content such as this nowadays. I remember when you could find one or two topics similar to this in a few minutes but now it’s much more difficult.

  21. levitra says:

    There are hundreds of brands out there manufacturing the shoes.
    Style- Most of us looks at the design and style while buying any item.
    Wearing an elegant UGG boot with tight jeans can give you a classy and beautiful look.

  22. In no way is tobacco burned or manipulated to provide a sensation. They actually do a good job of
    taking people out, so you basically just have to adapt
    as you go. Some individuals say that the ones
    they’re using generally last for fourteen days to a month.

  23. corrinne6741 says:

    Not one of the other postings I’ve come across are like this one. You are able to tell alot of work went into this.

  24. isa1785 says:

    None of the various posts I’ve come across are like this one. You are able to tell much work went into this.

  25. eusebio3045 says:

    I believe I read a different post similar to this one in the past. It had the same material and is equally well posted.

  26. Permanent Detox says:

    Guaranteed detox programs designed for passing any drug test

  27. angelena2141 says:

    I’m really delighted I stumbled upon this post. It’s well written plus the content is great. I am hoping to uncover more like this.

  28. dorla3985 says:

    If I could run into more content like this one, that would be great.

  29. Drug Test says:

    It certainly is nice to finally find decent posts like this. I actually enjoyed this.

  30. b campbell says:

    Is there anything you can take for this cough x

  31. value addon says:

    For instance, you can set the first paragraph of a post to be free for all to see. That’s the biggest trade-off with running a membership site that lasts for a fixed term. Don’t worry about making a less than stellar impression on site visitors, it is more important to be professional and launch when you say you will.

  32. mary koziatek says:

    I was wonder if you have trail runs on the vest

  33. Very helpful post. Time-tested mucus relief I can recommend is drinking plenty of liquids. The right liquids can help loosen mucus. Also you can give yourself a steam treatment. Just let the warm steam travel down your sinus and throat to loosen up mucus that’s lodged in there. Plus get plenty of rest.

    philadelphia langhorne hand specialist

  34. Dakota.Stacy says:

    I appreciate, lead to I found just what I used to be
    having a look for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  35. Herbal products are promoted as an aid of tobacco cessation. The
    three most dangerous ingredients in cigarette are nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar.
    It looks like we can expect for Shetan Noir to be around for a long time to come.

  36. Have you tried some eucalyptus or mint or even honey to help expel some mucus out? I hope you have found a way or seek medical expert regarding your situation. – Howard Long

  37. Carin says:

    Fabulous, what a blog it is! This webpage presents helpful
    data to us, keep it up.

    My page: the vapor 123; Carin,

  38. Louanne says:

    I have successfully utilized the Acapella device for a few years, along with mucus medication, The Acapella device works great,along with drinking extra water to keep secretions manageable. However, with latter stage lung disease,( myself) there are times when more aggressive methods are required.

  39. Doug says:

    Drinking a sufficient amount of water per day also thins the mucus making it easier to expel…

  40. Probably the most frequent respiration disease signs and symptoms you have with this problem is you are going to have some coughing.

  41. Susie Johnson says:

    My husband quickly gets really great relief by using Kali Bichromicum 6x, a Homeopathic remedy for thick mucus. I have used it for the last stages of a cold when I have thick mucus and it works the same way.

  42. Linda Clemson says:

    Why has my Mum stopped coughing up Mucas, it has only just dawned on me that this has stopped.Mum used to cough alot and have a toliet roll with her at all times?

  43. Jim says:

    Very informative posting. Thanks.

  44. I can vouch for the flutter device, I struggle with this issue and the flutter really helps. It take a while to really get good at using this device properly but once you get it down, it truly does the trick, for me! Hang in there!

Leave a comment