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Using saline with neb for cough


I have a home neb and ventolin nebules for occasional emergency use only. I currently have a troublesome dry asthma cough and burning sensation in my upper airways that some of you have described. Also my chest feels a bit tight despite taking salbutamol. I am not wheezing and my chest is clear. I was wanting to know if using saline only in the neb would be likely to help or make matters worse.

10 Replies

I tend to find saline nebs very good at helping to shift/bring up any gunk that’s sitting down then but always makes my asthma worse, lungs more twitchy, and it will make me cough more (to the point usually if I do a saline neb to shift the mucus, I will have to follow up with a salbutamol neb to calm my airways)

That’s my experience with saline nebs anyway 😅 (I tend to need them if I catch a cold which hits my chest for their mucus shifting abilities combined with carbocisteine). Hope it helps

in reply to EmmaF91

Thanks, it's a cold that has triggered this. My chest feels tight and airways feel inflamed. Once my airways become sensitised by a virus then they tend to stay that way for weeks. Will just have to ride it out.

I had the same problem with my asthma. I saw my GP. Drink milk and honey with pepper for cough with tumeric.

in reply to Kitty2823

Thanks, will give milk and honey a try

in reply to redstar9

When I had a cough with asthma attack. I drank it.

in reply to redstar9

Tumeric with pepper is anti-inflammatory.

When I've had a saline neb during an asthma review I've found it great as I react badly to low humidity.

Low humidity is more likely to occur in the winter when we have central heating on.

Humidity is safe at around 40% but offices, some workplaces and homes can dip below 40% due to air con and/or heating.

The flip side is high humidity that creates molds & spores. Bad for asthma & sensitive lungs.

Can you talk to your asthma nurse and ask to try a course of saline nebs, monitoring your peak flow. Unless you try it you'll never know.

NB not everyone can tolerate a saline neb and can cause irritation & coughing.

in reply to Poobah

Thanks, will definitely discuss this with my asthma nurse.

Hi redstar9

I have asthma and a home neb.

I have been nebbing hypertonic (6% solution) saline for many years.

I find it really helps to shift phlegm and muck but I I always neb salbutamol before saline - as instructed by clinic. This prevents any lung hyper reaction to the saline as it’s a more concentrated solution than normal (0.9%) saline which is the standard. I am not sure whether normal saline would have the same effect??

Anyhow as others have said it can trigger asthma in some people so be cautious but I find it works for me.

The stronger hypertonic saline is prescribed by a cons so I think you would need to approach them about whether or not it is the best thing for you.

Also be aware that there are different strengths of saline and if you use the hypertonic then you might need to check that it is suitable for your neb. It is too viscous to be used in a portable neb and will block it so you will need to be careful about which neb you use.

Best to approach your resp team and see what they advise..

Hope this helps!😊


Thanks, I think it's something that I need to discuss and try with caution.

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