Rattling, Crackling Chest - Help! - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
44,642 members52,007 posts

Rattling, Crackling Chest - Help!


I'm a week into taking antibioics for my first real bad chest infection since having Hypersensitive Pneomonitis. I had a 'loose' cough a couple of weeks before developing a bit of a temperature. Went to the docs that same day and started the AB's and increased long-term steroids back up to 30mg.

I think it's helping although my chest is looser than ever, even plays a tune when I breathe in and out. Not sure I'm comfortable with this bubbling and crackling noise while breathing though - this is very new to me from past chest infections. I'm coughing up stuff, which is a first - usually it gets stuck and end up panicking - just wondering if I should go back to the GP for more AB's or is this the normal pattern?

Don't usually worry, but this is my first real infection since my condition worsened in the last 6 months and never had it so bad.


Jean :-)

22 Replies

If your worried go back to see your gp. Or perhaps call BLF helpline.Sorry your having such a hard time.

I am so used to these sounds in my lungs as I have bronchiectasis. It's amazing what you learn to live with.

in reply to Mocarey

Hi I have the same problems have you had mi often to help thin the mucus just wondering any more ideas



I can have these sounds, especially at nighttime. They usually shift when I get up and bring up a lot of gunge, which is probably a good thing to get rid of. I have bronchiectasis.


Good Morning, My Husband has severe COPD and does a lot of wheezing, crackling and bubbling especially when he has an infection. I think that if you are still bringing up "gunk" that is coloured and you are worried about your breathing - go back to the Doctor. He will be know if there is an infection still there. Sometimes it takes 3/4 courses of antibiotics to clear an infection for my husband. Other times though when we have thought he needed more the Doctors have said there is no infection it is just the affects of having an infection. The one thing I have learned is to go back to the Doctor! you need to be sure that you are on the right medication. (PS Last time my husband had an infection I gave him manuka honey dissolved in hot water about five times a day - definitely seemed to help). Hope you start to feel much better soon. Take good care. TAD xx

Tadaw has given sound advice. I have often needed two or more rounds of anti b's and steroids to shift a bad infection. My gp will always tell me to come back at the end of an anti b to make sure my chest is clear.

When I was getting over pleurisy and bronchitis my G.P. told me to try Albas oil to try to clear my chest !

How do you use the albas oil apart from sniffing it? Holly

put a few drops into hot water and sniff the steam !

Thank you :)

its olbas oil x

The fact you are still worried is enough reason to go back. As Mo says you can get used to the 'snap crackle and pop' but with bronchiectasis you come to expect it. Annie hit the nail on the head try and get up any gunk. If you don't take a mucus thinner or use nebbed saline you could try a steam inhalation on it's own, with menthol and eucolyptus, or as rick says a drop of albas oil.

Maybe your doc can refer you to a respiratory physiotherapist, as if you know the techniques to help you get rid of the gunk you may not be so panicky.

Good luck - get well soon.

love c x

What mucus thinner do you take

I don't - they don't suit me. I nebulise 7% ypertonic saline. cx

Hi my go doesn't want me to get a nibuliser but when I'm in hospital it helps so much how did you get yours

Thanks for getting back

I have the same condition as yourself is yours both lungs


Yes it is in both lungs. I have had it since babyhood - so basically all my life and I had a partial lobectomy, although they wouldn't do it now since it was and still is in both lungs.

I was given my nebuliser on permanent loan from my consultant.

When you say the nebuliser helped you what were you nebulising?

Does your consultant have a special interest in cystic fibrosis/bronchiectasis. If not you would be much better - check your consultant out online. Best to have one from one of the adult CF cenres in UK. Depends where you live. Your GP is not really the one to decide if you need a nebuler.

I also nebulise antibiotics 28 days on and 28 days off.

Do you take a prophelactic anti biotic at all?


No but I now have to keep on steroids once this infection settles I have to take 5mg steroids and one 500mg antibiotic 3 times a week

I'm a bit worried about staying on them .

I've never had bubbling or crackling this bad before

Sorry for taking so long to reply. If you are taking abs 3 times a week hun that would be considered a prophylactic ab rather than a treatment ab. What ab is it you take? I don't have oral steroids on an ongoing basis, although I do sometimes have a course. I do have a steroid inhaler but this is for my asthma.

love cx


Hi Jean I would go back to see the doc or arrange for a telephone appointment to have a chat with the doc for further advice.

the helpline may advise you further also.

Take good care and hope the chest infection shows signs of improvement soon.

Best wishes BC

Thank you all for your very welcome advice. I did go back and se the doc this afternoon. The Infection is still there - had a good coughing session to prove it! So another AB to take - Clarithromycin, so hopefully I won't be making so much noise when I move around. When you're not used to hearing noises when you breathe, it does get a bit worrying, but all your advice and tips are more than welcome - and well, it's just a case of learning to live with it all isn't it.

Thanks again all

Jean :-)

in reply to Jayenne

Have you ever been put on Azithromycin ?


I was wondering how long it took for you to feel better? How many round of antibiotics did you have to take. As I am currently experiencing the same symptoms and I am on the second round of antibiotics. I am worried that I will never get better.

You may also like...