Thank you

To all that replied re salt pipe,I have decided that I will have a chat with g.p. I don't know what is happening. Sputum is so thick.asked if g.p. would supply drugs if I bought nebuliser and was told try breathing exercises,I take 6 carbosistine I have stated about half a teaspoonful daily after a lot of huffing. The sputum is there.. I can feel and hear it contributing to my breathlessness.i find it exhausting.i hate this disease and try to be accepting of it.i also take..uniphyllin twice daily and after being so ill and hospitalised 10months ago I also takeclarithromycin..1dailyand of course ventolin spirea and seri tide.if anyone can help with suggestings I would be very grateful. My lung function is 27%.......thank you, nellie

19 Replies

I can't give any advice but I feel for you. For me, I find blowing bubbles really really helps me bring up the sputum - after huffing. I am constantly coughing lately and like you I can hear it and feel it...just know I have to get it out....what a way to live eh? - could be worse though. Good luck will be interested to read advice sent to you. Cheer :)

Thank you.will try later as just eaten.i hope something as simple works

Much appreciated....regards nellie

I put water in a 4litre milk carton (about half full) and tape 2 or 3 straws together, so the straw is long enough and then take deep breaths and then blow until I can't blow any more...I do this a few times and then start obviously could do this in a jug, any kind of bottle, etc....good luck!! :)

Thanks,I am smiling...sitting here with a 500ml bottle and one straw.shall try the "tougher/grown up"method later and report in.I hope this helps,living with this gunk encroaches into all areas -walking moving and sleeping etc

Nellieagain thanks for taking the time to explain method.

And, Louisiana, any kind of tubing too. YOu can have a large piece of tubing and you don't need to fill the bottle (jug) to the brim. YO only need a little bit of water, just enough to put pressure on your lungs. Gently does it!

Doooooooo let me know....another member of the group wrote about it so I decided to have a has helped me quite a lot. Nite Nite

Don't know if it will help but have you tried a flutter device as Physio recommended using one to us to help move the mucus and hubby did find it helpful x

I really feel for you,Nellie

It is so awful when you can't get your breath. I have severe COPD & am on oxygen 1/2 litre for 15 hours daily. I still work 4 days a week. When I was in hospital a fellow COPD patient suggested I try Symbicourt instead of Seretide. I never felt any benefit taking Sereitide but with the Symicourt I did feel some improvement. My sputum was thick when I got a chest infection in Januray. That's how I wound up in the hospital & was prescribed the oxygen because I am apparently a CO2 retainer. I did try Mucodyne but I just coughed constantly and not always productively. I also discovered that milk caused a tickly throat and terrible coughing fits whenever I did the pursed lip breathing so I switched to Soy milk (only in porridge as it is vile in tea or coffee) and coughing fits diminished drastically.

Hope you feel better soon.


I use a neb that I bought of the internet. i know the dangers of using ventolin etc through the neb but I just bought saline or sterile water. I then went back to my GP and informed him of what I had been doing and he agreed to supply saline capsules on prescription...he nearly had a dicky fit when he found that the saline or sterilised water was more than three times the cost of the drugs. I only use it, as like now, when I am struggling with asthma or if I get an infection.

thank you. wll ask my g.p.when i see him next week. probably tell me

however i will buy myself .will look at all over weekend and make list....meanwhile i will continue to blow ive stated, not much mucus expelled but lungs feel a lot better.mind you,in all honesty, dont have proper equipment.

again, thanking you all for the kindness you have shown me

off course l will report back with results

regards nellie

Just a suggestion,you could ask your pharmacist for a peice of tubing to use rather than just a straw,the wider the better.Explain to pharmacist what it,s for ,they should be aware.I get on really well with our pharmacist,she,s like a stand in doctor .Good luck Nellie.D.

nellie, This is what the physiotherapist explained I should do: sit down and breathe quietly, then breathe into your belly a few times (gently). Breathe three or four times to fill your lungs, when you reach the top of each breath, add a little sniff> Breathe in your belly again to rest your lungs. Now, do a huff or two (gently). If no or little sputum comes up, don't worry, your body will at one point

I did this in hospital. Then I did this before bed and on rising ( there's a lot of stagnation during the night). Eventually, oyou will produce some stuff, but, my pulmonary nunrse specified that I should do these gently, not to hurt the muscles (because i did it forcefully and really hurt for a few days! That was not pleasant!) Hope it helps you.

thought you might like to hear what a friend of mine told me yesterday. First, she has a blow machine where she has to keep the ball between lines in a plastic tube. this stops her infections as it helps clear her chest and she can cough up sputum better.(sounds the equivalent to the milk bottle and straw !) She also does breathing exercises where she does shallow breathing 5 times and deep breathing 5 times, then back to shallow breathing 5 times. She then huffs and coughs....stops her infections according to her!!!

You are correct Louisiana: the device your friend has is one of those to conduct the PEP (positive expiratory pressure) method. There are several devices including acapalla, flutter and bubble method to conduct this method (basically exhaling against a pressure). As you say it helps to loosen the mucous/phlegm in respiratory tracts. I have used the bubble-PEP method on advice of specialist earlier this year when I had a bad chest and sinus infection, and found it helped with loosening mucous in lungs, windpipe and sinuses which made it much easier to clear the mucous by huff coughing, blowing nose etc. Luckily, I needed to only use it short term for this infection. I think for long term use it is advisable to get one of the other devices as they are easier to apply and are more portable than the water bubble PEP (I used to have a second bottle and tubing in my car and used it at lunch time at work). I am planning to get the acapella device ( you can just have these with you in your bag and use anytime anywhere) as this can be used in any position (for example lying down) and the pressure you blow against is easily adjustable (have not gotten around to getting one as I have no real need for it at present). In the UK you can go to the GP and get one of these devices on prescription.

By the way, how did you go with the visit of your grandchildren? Best wishesxx

Thanks.i know your post wasn't for me .i will ask what is available on prescription..nellie

Of course it was for you as well darl. Take care and good luck with your GP. I think it will be great to have a chat with him about the devices for PEP and good idea to check how best to apply which one to your condition. Also great idea to ask to see and talk with a resp nurse as they tend to have much more practical knowledge and experience (and probably interest) with lung conditions than the GP. Also, have you tried the antibiotic Azithromycin either to combat infection or as prophylactic? May want to ask about trying that (maybe again if you tried before as may work now?)? Let us know what they say? Best wishesxxx

Thank you .has her machine got a name.i am still using bottle and straw .i will be tele surgery tomorrow for app.the gp I deal with is only in two hrs on Thursday.has a longer slot on fir.the only problem is that you have to tele at 8.00am .and often when you get through there is nothing left for that day.i want his opinion on bubbles pep.i am wanting to know the risks involved,overinflated lungs or indeed collapsed lungs if used incorrectly.also if I can get appointment with resp. Nurse.still hard to understand why these various aids were never mentioned.will be making list tonight...if anyone can suggest questions I would be grateful.done lots yesterday then couldn't sleep,at quorter to four I took 2mgs Valium and feel lousy today.when I get answers I will post. Again thanks...Nellie x

please see my reply to Louisiana abovexx How did you go today?xx

There is an excellent diagram with details on the Gosh site for a PEP device. It consists of a 2ltr milk carton, a length of plastic tubing (such as a length from a cannula). Half fill carton with water. Add a squirt of washing - up liquid (a spot of food dye if it is for children). Insert tube into top of carton and down into the handle to the bottom. Then try to blow bubbles. By expelling all your air through the water it sets up a mild vacuum that suck the mucus and loosens it. Regards Rib

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