Bronchectasis/Emphysema - Mucus Suction

You will probably have seen some of my posts on here asking for help with very very copius amounts of mucus, I generally vomit wretch it out which is so gross, but I also seem to use a suction action and in the main I can feel it coming from the back of my nose/throat and I swear it feels likes its coming from the wall of my diaphragm, does any one else experience this, and why am I making so much today on and off Ive been at it 4 hours or more, any advice I just feel helpless. x

12 Replies

  • Hi carolg1,

    I am sorry you are having this problem with copious amounts of mucous. This is a problem I understand only too well, as for many months I was hunched over coughing up loads of gunge for around 2-3 hours every day. You do not mention if you are on any medication for this. Firstly, when I started having the severe mucous problem I bought a steam inhaler from Amazon and added a small menthol crystal or albas oil to boiling water, and sat with a towel over my head and shoulders (tent style) and took long deep breaths and this helped a bit. The inhaler only cost around £3 or £4, or you could use a large bowl. Then the doctor put me on a drug called Mucodyne which has helped enormously so that the problem is now much more manageable. This drug thins and breaks down the mucous making it easier to cough up and it is not so tiring or as hard on your muscles. This drug comes in capsule form and does not work instantly, so you cannot just take a few and expect results. With me, I thought I noticed a slight improvement after 6 days but was not sure, but after 10 days there was a definite improvement, and as I say I have steadily improved in that area. It also helps that I am infection free at the moment. I have read that this drug does not reach its peak until around 3 months, but I have no idea if that is true or not. If you get this drug, providing you are not already on it, then you can use steam inhalations as well. It might be that you have an infection going on as well, so you would be as well to get checked out. Hope some of this helps as it is horrible spending hours each day coughing up gunge. Good luck and I would go and see your doctor, even if you are on a drug like this, as it may need changing, and your chest should be sounded out. Take care, hugs xx

  • It may be of help to know that last year when I had a serious infection which resulted in the production of large quantities of mucous in my lungs, my specialist sent me to hospital for a "clean-out" - which involved vacuuming my lungs of emphseymeous mucous via a bronchoscopy. Absolutely painless and done via local anaesthetic. It worked wonders and I could fully breathe again. Whilst I still have emphysema, not having copious quantities of mucous to contend with make things bearable. Take care.

  • Hi Martin, It was a breath of fresh air just to see your reply, I have been struggling with massive amounts of mucus on a daily basis for above a year now, I know I had heard of the procedure you mentioned a long time ago, I mentioned this to my consultant and he literally just ignored me, I know I have got poorly lungs but over the past 2 years I have had Pneumonia virus, influenza ??? virus and other chest infections and I think what you had done would probably do me the power of good, I wonder if there is a medical name for It, thanks I will browse for it. Thanks take care Carol

  • Hi Carol, I think this is termed "bronchoalveolar lavage". I think I had that done as part of a bronchoscopy a few month back. The specialist was meant to do a lavage to collect some micro and cell samples: they squirt some fluid into the airways during the bronchoscopy and then suck it back out and send it for analysis. Afterwards specialist told me: "there was a bit of mucus in your airways and we washed that out as well". So I guess in my case the mucous clearance was not the aim of the bronchoscopy but rather a very useful byproduct. I must say my breathing improved and tightness in chest went away (and I am happy to say it is still the case after 2 months plus). I must admit the penny (about the help I got with that procedure other than the sample taking) just dropped for me when I read your and Martin's posts. I wish you all the best - that wretching sounds really terrible. I hope that your doctors can help you. In the short term I would try hugg's suggestions of enhaling steam and also getting and taking Mucodyne-from reading on the forum it seems to help lots of people! Let us know how you go. Good

  • Hi Jenss, Thanks for the information, I am with the consultant on Tuesday so I will be having a chat with him hopefully !! if he has got the time !! , as I have said I have been having these massive clearing episodes for over a year now, I have been on mucodyne capsules for a couple of years I cannot tell you wether they do any good to be honest but I dare not stop taking them incase the mucus gets any thicker and and harder to remove, I have tried steam, nasal rinses daily and nebulisers but I think after I nebulise my chest gets even tighter, I can honestly say the mucus is just the bane of my life, I have as much with an infection as without I just cant understand why as soon as I have cleared tons a couple hours later there is tons more, thankyou for replying it is really appreciated x take care Carol x

  • Carol, when you nebulise is it saline or ventolin? If saline - try taking a puff of ventolin beforehand. This will open the airways and might prevent tightening.

    I find drs are less interested in helping the problem of large amounts of gunge. They are only interested in the fact that it is coming up and not thick and sticky and staying down in the depths. This is whay I was told.

  • Thanks happyfeet Im with the consultant on tuesday so if he can afford the time !! I have a few questions, I am beginning to loose the plot a bit there is that much of the stuff, Ill post a note after I have been Thanks xx

  • Hi Carol, so sorry you still have this stubborn problem, 4hrs lung clearing is exasperating poor Carol. I hope you had a chance to ask the consultant about bronchoalveola lavage that martin and jenss mentioned, it does sound like that would help you, it will be interesting to hear what he had to say.

    Su x

  • Hi Sue str I am really struggling had my meeting with oncologist who said my xrays of lungs were quite good the tumours remain stable and slightly smaller,so that was good I suppose, spoke to him in some depth about the mucus and lung lavage, his response being that maybe my problems is the airways would be too narrow for the camera to do this procedure so just carry on as you are you are doing quite well !! god I feel like exploding so I have gone and booked myself a holiday in spain I havent been away anywhere for 5 years so what the hell , I am going with my cousin, I am sick of being too sick to do anything, some sunshine and rest and hopefully laughter will help me through, I fly on Monday to Majorca for 7 days so I will let you know how it all goes stay well my friend and I hope I come back a new woman !! xx

  • Good on you Carol, enjoy your holiday!

  • thanks Jenns Il report when I get back xx

  • Hello carolg1

    I hope that your holiday in Spain will do you some good. I seriously suggest that you change your Doctor when you get home. You are entitled to see a specialist for your request and not keep being fobbed off. Your GP is not a specialist, he's there to refer you onward to see one, so insist on it or change your GP! I have never put up with being given the run around. If I don't get a satisfactory answer the first time, I keep pushing until I do. I don't know which part of the country you live, but here in the south I find the appointment/waiting times/treatment first class?!.

    I find that many people are either too scared to question their GP or think they don't have the right? They are wrong on both counts. Your GP is there to serve you, the same way as you would be served in a shop, and he/she gets paid very well for it. Say what you want, and if it's not offered - go to another "shop".

You may also like...