Mucus problems

Hi, not posted for a while since my wife passed away after a long struggle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Unfortunately her brother has just been diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis and Bronchiecstasis (Sorry if I spelled that wrong. He's having problems with lots of mucus in the lungs just now and I'd like to ask if anyone has tried Autogenic Drainage to clear it? And if so how did you learn the techniques? Many thanks to all for your support during my wife's illness.

32 Replies

  • Sorry, can't help with advice, but I am sad for you and the family. It is a nasty disease, PF and bronchiectasis. (Had two tries at it, I can't spell it either)

    You will, I'm sure, get help from others.

    K xxx

  • Thanks for the support Katinka

  • Hi Davy

    So sorry after all you have been through with the illness and passing of your dear Wife, that your bil has now developed pf and bronchiectasis (you spelt it right and that is an achievement in itself believe me). I am so sorry - he has a lot to deal with.

    With regard to your question. I assume your bil has a respiratory consultant, if not he should be referred, the sooner the better. Many bronchiectatics use the Autogenic Drainage method of mucus clearance but we are all different and there are lots of different methods, gadgets and medications which help clearing the gunk.

    It is really your consultant's job to refer your bil to a specialist respiratory physio who will/should go through all these techniques and gadgets to find what suits your bil best. He will of couse, once he has learnt how to carry out clearnace, do it himself.

    Your bil might also want to discuss mucus thinners (I think this can be prescribed initially by you GP - not sure because they don't suit me). He might also want to discuss nebulising isotonic saline 0.9% (the same strength of saline as is in all bodyly fluids) with his consultant. He could also ask consultant if she/he thinks nebulising hypertonic saline 3%.6% or 7% would be beneficial. A higher concentration than in the body and works by osmosis drawing in fluid to help dislodge the gunk, making it easier to remove. This has to be done through a con initially as you have to have an assessment dose at the hospital. Thereafter it can be prescribed by his GP. Ask too if hospital will loan a nebuliser - this way he should have his tubing and masks or mouthpieces, cups etc replaced annually along with nebuliser.

    You are deffo a great bil to have - he is lucky to have you.

    Don't forget to look after you.


  • many thanks for the info - he's just been diagnosed and an appointment with a consultant applied for, but in my experience that could be months away, and an early start to treatments is always a good thing - probably gonna get a rep as a pushy patient's relative but that's the last thing i'm worried about!!!

  • Just a thought mentime: bil could lay over a few pillows, hips on top of pillows and head on bed - using gravity. He could ask for a flutter PEP device from GP =you can now get them on prescription, GP may not be aware but you can.

    Sounds like you're up for chasing this appointment up - good luck.


  • Thanks again cofdrop - I'll certainly look into this flutter device - keep you up to date with progress!

  • Hi Davy

    This forum has been very helpful to myself and someone advised me on an Acapella device. My Doctor had never heard of it but it IS on prescription and easy to use.

    So sorry about your wife. I hope your brother in law gets all the help he needs.

    God bless

    Lynn 😊

  • Hi Davym, so sorry to hear of your wife's death.

    I was taught Autogenic Drainage technique by a respiratory physio at the Brompton in London. The technique is extremely simple and is supposed to be more effective then the old-fashioned clapping on the back and sides.

    You lie down with just one small pillow under your head and start taking long, slow breaths. First on your left hand side and second on your right hand side. Take 10 deep breaths each time, and cough up the ecxretions. For the upper part of the lungs you concentrated on fetting breath into first one side and then the other. Put your hand on your upper chest and feel it rising and falling, then you know yhe air is getting in.

    My condition is Bronchiectasis and this technique worked fantastically for a few years. Then thing changed, I had minimal secretions and the Autogenic Drainage was no longer any help. Now that I've become more productive again, I'm doing this type of drainage again.

    When it works, it works really well. I think a physio would be tbe best person to teach your brother-in-law how to do it.

  • Hi Billiejean - must say your explanation of how it works is much better than others online!! I will try to get a physiotherapist to teach him but in the meantime we'll try your way - again many thanks and hope you're feeling ok too

  • I'm reducing it to the bare bones and you probably will get better info online. But what was unique about it when it was first introduced, was that it did away with percussion( clapping on the back etc.) and the need to lean over pllows or off beds etc. coddrop has mentioned lots of other aids, like the flutter device and obviously you can mix and match your methods. But the Autogenic Drainage is very simple and effective. I hope it works out for him.

  • Thanks again, and I'll post updates as we go along - been through it all before, so my expectations are quite low, but thanks for the support

  • Hi Billiejean

    I am so glad AD works well for you and I know others who it also works well for. In fact I mix and match a bit with my own persona clearance. I know postural draining with percussion is considered 'old hat' at present by many folks, but I often feel trivialising this method (and I don't think you have done this hun) makes a mockery of the technique I have relied on since babyhood, along with a lot of other bronchies. I am sure we haven't wasted our time and would be in a much worse condidion if we hadn't.

    I mix and match active cycle of breathing, AD, use flutter, acapella choice but when I am really bad I always revert back to pd with percussion.

    Whatever works for us - go for it I believe.

    Love cx

  • Exactly ! Whatever works for you. During my two years of non- productive illness, the Acapella and Saline nebs, were the only things that helped. Now I'm so 'productive' that very little intervention is needed. It just flows like a river ar certain times of the day. But what I'm finding difficult now is that there is constantly mucous pooling in my throat. BTW, sorry for the typo above, where called you Codrop :)

  • He he. You shouldn't have said owt hun, I hadn't noticed. I've been called worse!

    love cx

  • So sorry for your loss Davym and hope you get some answers soon. xxx

  • Many thanks for your support Sassy

  • Hi Davym, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and it must be awful for you to learn that now her brother has it.

    I can't advise on your question, but, I'd just like to say how wonderful of you to be supporting your brother-in-law after what you've been through. xx

  • Hi Casper99 - never been called wonderful before!!! But Casper it's family - ya gotta do what you can when they need you. Thanks for your support.

  • Hi Davy. This is a really good video link from the Brompton which shows you exactly how to do the Autogenic Drainage & Active Cycle of Breathing. I do AD, combined with acapella and nebulising 7% hypertonic saline, and it definitely shifts a lot of c*** from my lungs, which as you know is essential for keeping bugs out. I wish your b-in-law well & am thinking how happy your wife would be to know how you're helping him :)

  • Hi Flibberti - many thanks for this - I've looked at this and it's a great resource! Hope you're doing well yourself.

  • Thanks for this flib. I think it is good for all of us to have a re-cap every now and again. You have a knack my lovely of rooting out good stuff. There was no sound however, on the AD but this might be due to my ipad which seems to be plays silly bs of late.


  • Agh no! You're right, I just checked & the sound's gone from the AD film, but the others are fine. I'll see if I can find another video link cos it's much better to see how it's done (tho still not as good as instruction from a physio, as we know)

  • Hi Flib :) thanks for sharing. Really good resource link x

  • HI, I am the brother my brother in law has just spoken about- went to the Doctor 18mths ago and after waiting for Xrays, gt scanners, and having a thing stuck down my throat, I have now been informed that I have pulmonary fibrosis and Bronchiectasis. 4 months have now passed since leaving the hospital! and still waiting for an appointment at the respriatory clinc for treatment. it goes on and on.

  • Nice to meet you tom. You have a great team there with you and your bil. Sorry to hear about your dx. Make the most of your upcoming consultation 'cos you don't get long, as I'm sure you already know. Perhaps make notes (but in bullet points or you tend to get a bit lost). I guess she/he will cover a lot of stuff before you get chance to ask stuff.

    Good luck to you and let us know how you get on.


  • Hi Tom. I don't have IPF but it's something I'm interested in for other reasons. I'm sure you're familiar with this website so forgive me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs

    Are you also aware of the NICE quality standard published earlier this year & in particular the quality statements: It seems to me this isn't being adhered to by your hospital?

  • flib where and why have you dissapeared. Will be in contact tomorrow - you are too valuable a member.

    I'm shocked and sad.


  • HI, Thanks for your help, I have just downloaded the info although might take some time for me to read it - may let my smart B in Law help me as this is all new to me!

    Thanks again.

  • Hi don´t know if has refered you to this

    I think these people are fantastic and have found thier videos of great help

    I have Pulmanory fibrosis and am three years in since diagnosis

  • Hi Joke - many thanks for the info - i'll certainly have a look!

  • hi my name is alan you should drink at least 4 pints of water every day to thin it down to make it come away quicker .hope it works for you.

  • Thanks Alan and that works too so much better

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