Asthma UK community forum
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Advice needed please.. coughing

Hi just wanting a bit of help or advise please.

I know many of you are having a rotten winter, myself included.

One question i would like answered is; is it normal to constantly have a productive cough? I'd say 98% of the time i cough up mucus numerous times a day since first winter infection Last October, it wears me out. Due to see Consultant again at end of March.

I have just finished yet another course of antibiotics and phlegm i cough up is still coloured (although is yellow now) sorry about being descriptive!

Not sure if i just feel tired as not sleeping because of coughing or maybe still bit of infection or good old viral infection hanging about?

My chest feels like heavy, feel like making effort to breathe, peak flow hasn't really gone up its still loitering around 300 (best is 360, last time i managed this at least twice was October) my oxygen sats usually good when i see GP.

Thank you for reading, hope someone can give me an answer or advise.


1 Reply

Hi Lisa, no its not normal for asthmatics to have a chronic productive cough. If asthma is flaring up, the lungs produce more (clear) mucous, but the appropriate treatment, i.e. steroid inhalers dampen down this inflammatory response and keep the lungs clear of mucous.

Has your sputum been sent off for culture and sensitivity to ensure you have had the correct antibiotics? If its been just since October and not permanent, it would suggest that the antibiotics have been unsuccessful in eliminating the infection.

Some community respiratory physio's will offer things like postural drainage to help you cough up secretions in a less tiring way, and the other thing which is helpful to clear chest secretions is the Active Cycle of breathing technique. It is very good at shifting mucous and is less tiring and traumatic than coughing. I was taught it at Papworth (specialist lung hospital). Keeping well hydrated also helps to loosen secretions, making them easier to shift.

Lynda :)


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