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Home > Living Well > Health Library > COPD: Clearing Your Lungs
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term illness that makes it hard to breathe. When you have COPD, air does not flow easily into and out of your lungs. You may be short of breath, cough a lot, and have a lot of mucus in your lungs. Learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and oxygen and may also help prevent lung infections.
There are three things you can do to clear your lungs:
Coughing is how your body tries to get rid of mucus. But the kind of coughing you cannot control makes things worse. It causes your airways to close. It also traps the mucus in your lungs.
Controlled coughing comes from deep in your lungs. It loosens mucus and moves it though your airways. It is best to do it after you use your inhaler or other medicine. Follow these steps for controlled coughing:
Postural drainage means lying down in different positions to help drain mucus from your lungs.
Hold each position for 5 minutes. Do it about 30 minutes after you use your inhaler. Make sure you have an empty stomach. If you need to cough, sit up and do controlled coughing.
Follow these steps for postural drainage:
Chest percussion means that you lightly tap your chest and back. The tapping loosens the mucus in your lungs.
Follow these steps to do chest percussion:
Current as of:
July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineHasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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