British Lung Foundation


hello all, I always read all your tips and jokes, you do cheer me up a lot, mostly I am still quite new to this and still think I am dying but maybe not after listening to all yout messages, thankyou xx

I finally plucked up corouage to use my puffer and have done about three times although still quite scared, don't ask me what of!! I have another question I know subject is a bit yukky but find it easier to ask you all than doctor. I am very short of breath most mornings when I get up and it takes me ages to feel well enough to do anything, ha I hate early appointments for things because I have to get up really, really early to feel ready but that's another story, Anyway I am full of gunk in the mornings (sorry) and wonder do I get rid of it by coughing ect (sorry again, disgusting I know) or can I use puffer, will that help the sob. Going to bed is bad enough, I lie down and start wheezing but mornings are worse. How do others cope please. How do people cope when staying away from home, not that I do but isn't it embarrassing? One more question, I get out of breath going for short walk but do I use puffer before I go or wait till I get out of breath?

Thank you so much for being here all of you Micky xxxxx

5 Replies

Hi Micky, glad you enjoy this great site and have started using your inhaler. New things always seem a bit scary but you soon get used to the routine. You can get help with bringing up gunk but will need to speak to your GP or consultant about that.

My hubby Pete has a nebuliser and it goes away with us because it is essential. I do sometimes wonder what on earth the people next door to us in an Hotel must think of all the noise but cannot worry about that. I am sure others will be on soon giving you support and advice.

Take care and be assured you are doing well. xxxx


There's another link here to breathing techiques that might help you:

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First of all it's not yukky or disgusting, it's just what we have to put up with.

In terms of coughing it up, there are breathing exercises & techniques you can try, for example I find pursed-lip breathing useful (; in addition to what it shows on the video I fold my arms across my chest & lean slightly forward & to one side then just try to keep breathing out & out until eventually you just naturally start coughing & I usually bring up a lot of gunk, then lean to the other side & repeat.

That works for me but there are links online as well to other things that might work better for you.

In terms of being out in public, I just try to laugh it off...I find in general people are kind & think I've just swallowed something the wrong way or & often people start to pass me glasses of water or offer me cough sweets. Someone at work the other day said they thought I ought to get that cough seen to...I didn't bore them with the months of blood tests, scans, consultants appointments & lifetime of inhaler-puffing!!

If you can clear some of the gunk by coughing it up your (reliever) inhaler will generally work more effectively as well, so if you're exercising & getting out of breath then (& this is only my experience) I try to have a clear out then take a couple of puffs. It doesn't solve the problem fully in my case but certainly helps.

Do you use a peak flow meter as well?


Hi to cope with your sob and help with the coughing you need to take a preventer (symbicort) every 12 hours. This opens your airways so helps with the breathlessness. The Spiriva helps as well but is more a longer term bronchilator which helps strengthen the lungs.

Salbutomal inhalers (the blue one) is a reliever, to be taken as and when you need it. You will find your own routine with this but I always do 2 puffs at night and another 2 when I am feeling especially sob (short of breath) or having a coughing fit. I use it around 2/3 times a day.

If you don't take your inhalers as prescribed by your doctor then you will suffer a lot more from sob and coughing. Isn't this better than trying to cope without them? x

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Oh I cough a lot too so a few tips. When you start coughing use your blue inhaler straightaway. If you get a bus sit on the front seat so no one is in front of you as I have had people get very funny if I sit coughing behind them. It can be embarrassing but make sure you have enough tissues, and a bottle of water and sweets are handy too. Be aware of your triggers ie traffic pollution always sets me off. x


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