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increased mucous

Hello peeps

Hope everyone is as well as possible. I have a question for you.....

I was in hossers at Christmas with pneumonia, and then I was no sooner home when I got another chest infection.......I now feel better, but I have loads and loads of mucous on my chest. I don't have a cough, although I am trying to cough up the mucous as often as possible. The mucous is still quite green, although I definitely no longer have an infection (no temperature, asthma is not exacerbated, peak flow is ok).

This is unusual for me, to have so much gunk on my chest - although obviously I have loads when I am ill with an infection /exacerbation, I don't usually have it with just my ""normal"" every day asthma, if you know what I mean.

Why so much gunk do you think? Is there anything that will get rid of it quicker?

Cheers in advance for your replies.....



13 Replies

My resp nurse (At hospital) always tells me it takes your lungs 6 months to recover from chest infection let alone pnuemmonia. The mucus is a normal response after infection etc. It will take time to stop. You can do things like saline nebs, breathing in steam, or the famous huffing excercises. These will help get rid of gunk. As the only problem you may have if lots of gunk is there it may become infected if exposed to the right conditions. As for a referral to chest physio tell will help.


Thanks for that Bowmei. Don't think I have ever gone 6 months in my life clear of a chest infection / pneumonia! Obviously my lungs just never get the chance to recover........and as you say, while there is mucous in your chest, there is more chance of an infection taking hold. I am going to the respiratory clinic next Tuesday for the first time in many years, and will ask about chest physio. I keep meaning to ask my GP for saline nebs, will write it on my list for next time...

Thanks again for your advice,




HI Maz

have to agree with bowmi, to add to that make sure you are drinking enough, in fact more than usual would be better to keep lungs hydrated, also helps with getting up mucus. good lung with getting physio - really good idea




Thanks parys. I am going to the respiratory clinic tomorrow, and I have a whole list of questions I want to ask him, and getting chest physio is high on the list of prioirities.

I am just a bit worried because I think the guy I've to see is the cons I saw the last time I was in hospital - I am not exaggerating when I say that this guy had the WORST bedside manner I have ever encountered in my life. He was arrogant, patronising, aggressive, curt, uncaring, and just really a total nightmare. The way he spoke to the junior doctors had to be heard to be believed. I wanted to put in a complaint about him, but as I am a ""frequent flier"" in the respiratory ward and he is the head honcho consultant, I was worried that a complaint against him might compromise my care in the future.

Anyway, if it is him, I don't expect to get very far with my list. However, if that happens, I think I will have to ask to see another consultant the next time I go. I'll let you know how I get on anwyay.....





sorry have no words of wisdom other than stuff already suggested but I can so relate to the probs with con. We should hold a 'worst bedside manner' competition :-)) Our cons are on a rota, three out the four are fantastic..the fourth , well we have had several run ins over the years. His cutting remarks have ranged from.. yes i know your son has had 100 apnoeas over night but im not interested unless they longer than 20 secs... well i cant have mums like you leaving the hospital crying as it will ruin my reputation...yes his sats are only 86% in oxygen but he is in hdu with staff watching him so im turning oxygen off to see what happens !!!

We have reached a sort of truce now as afterwards when I have flipped out big time he sends a junior doc back to me to explain lol. They should make all docs take bedside manner exams!!

Hope u get some advice at clinic

J x


hi, just to add my ten pennyworth.

I also get gunk, for ages after an infection, but sometimes another antibiotic has done the trick, (but usually I have had reduced peak flow when this has been prescribed) As others say it is normal to get lots of mucus after a bad infection. The other thing I have been prescribed for stuck gunk is Atrovent, you can get it as a neb or as an inhaler (or at least in the states you can get the inhaler) in the UK I've only had the neb. It helps break down the thickness of the gunk, and then it is easier to get rid of... ie cough up.

Its something to mention anyway.




so that's what atrovent does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been taking it for ages and had no Idea why, thanks for the info Rihobbs.


Atrovent isnt used for mucous alone its an antimuscarinic broncodilator, so opens up your airways like salbutamol and terbutaline, it only provide short term relief 30 - 60 mins peak. its usually used as an add on in chronic or severe asthma not responding to other treatments, it is available overhere in inhaler form aswell as nebs. Saline nebs are good but should be used under strict supervision as can cause broncospasm. It s not un common for chest people to have mucous daily so antibiotics are not always needed or the best treatment. They are however needed if the mucous changes colour and you have other symptoms suggesting infection.

hope this helps

andrea xx


could do with that myself in the hope that the elephants disapear in a puff of smoke or 4 puffs of ventolin anyway. i wish. lol


ooo andrea i know that saline bronchospasm response well lol! Done it spectacularly in the past. I find atrovent v helpful esp nebbed when unwell. Find the inhaler just tastes disgusting and not enough dose in 2 puffs!


My daughter has atrovent inhaler . she hates taking it .Even through a spacer it gags her for a few seconds. We much prefer nebs but try to limit these for attacks as we get a better response when taken with salbutamol nebs . Nikki xx


Just watch with atrovent nebs and make sure you use with a mouthpiece not a mask if possible as they cause cateracts!!

andrea xxx


Another Dc. with no 'bed side manner', it's bad enough stuggling with mucous in ordinary social situations, why do Dr's have to give you that patronising look on top!

hopw your feeling better Sleepymazza, and glad to hear I'm not the only one who can keep a chesty cough rolling for weeks at a time.


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