What can I do to ease cough/break up phlegm?

Hi everyone.

Wondering if anyone can give me some tips for clearing mucus/making airway clearer.

I had a cough with green phlegm last week, so GP gave me a course of amox. Improved, but got worse yesterday so saw GP. Now on 40mg pred and stronger antibiotic.

I can get air into my lungs ok and am not wheezing, but airway feels a bit like sandpaper and I have a lot of congestion. STeroids don't seem to have made a difference so far - on to day 2, is that normal?

Had to get a chest x-ray yesterday as I coughed up blood, but I think it was actually from nasal cavity.

What can I do to ease chest? Taking Seretide and Ventolin, can breathe and walk about ok. Haven't had an attack. Peak flow is at 87% (370ish).

6 Replies

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  • Not an expert and just going on how I feel, which is sort of similar. The sandpaper feeling is inflammation, so my doctor put me on an antihistamine which has helped reduce that itchy inside sort of feeling. Also means I don't keel over when my son sprays his deodorant! I'm on citirizine which you can buy over the counter.

    Paracetamol if your chest aches or ibuprofen is better as it'santi-inflammatory but many asthmatics can't take it.

    Apart from that lots of honey, and a gentle steam inhalation over a bowl of hot water might loosen the phlegm enough to cough up or you can ask the doctor for a phlegm loosener.

    Good luck. In a few days the steroids should have kicked in but they always take nearer a week with me. Everyone is different!

  • a weeks course of antibiotics should clear the infection on your chest.

  • Thank you for your advice 😊

  • Drink around 2 litres of water through the day to help thin down the mucus and try following the 'active cycle of breathing' exercises. YouTube has clips of NHS Physiotherapists showing how to do this. Is your phlegm still green, or is the colour improving?

  • Thanks for your kind advice. The colour is improving - it's now yellow! I will look at the breathing exercises.

  • I had the same thing recently and still recovering. It took 3 days for Pred to work then I felt great and started doing too much thinking about returning to work! Needless to say I got worse again when steroids stopped. Gp now treating my sinuses with nasal steroids as I'd already had a course of antibiotics at the start of the illness and I 'm inhaling steam with eucalyptus oil regularly and having a bowl in the bedroom at night. Along with drinking plenty and resting (just doing gentle walks and keeping nose and mouth covered outside ) my peak flow has started to rise again( had fallen again to 320-now 390) . Take it easy and rest up until clear of infection. Good luck!.

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