Cough and Mucus : HI again all. My next... - British Lung Foun...

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Cough and Mucus

andyrrc
andyrrc

HI again all.

My next question is regarding how you all deal with the cough. I find that, despite taking the mucus thinning meds, as soon as my head hits the pillow I start with a rasping cough, this is most prevalent when I lie on my right side or on my back. Have tried Mucinex and currently ACC long (this is a soluble form of Acetylcystein - usually used in the UK for paracetamol overdose) and tend to use it everyday. They certainly give significant relief during the day but at night its a different story.

I always have a packet of Fisherman's Friend by the bed they help a bit.

16 Replies
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Hello Andy. I don't have a cough (only when I get a chest infection) so I'm afraid that I can't be much help. I know that some members find the wedge-shaped pillows useful. I hope that someone comes along soon with some good advice for you. ☺

andyrrc
andyrrc
in reply to Pam1952

Thank Pam, Sleeping on my left side helps while I am conscious but as soon as I move I cough. My other half says that I emit gurgling sounds most of the night when I am not coughing:) I have started doubling up on the meds for thinning to try and reduce the mucus build-up so we shall see.

Sjf129903
Sjf129903
in reply to andyrrc

Do you use nebulizer or inhaler if so set it in your schedule to do it about an hour before bed

I sympathise so much. It’s awful . When I’m like that, 4 weeks now this time! I have to sleep sitting up 4 pillows and have really cold water beside me to cool my throat. I also have strepsils but they don’t work anymore. Hope it eases soon for you (and I)

You may have silent reflux which can be worse when in bed at night x

Chriskho
Chriskho
in reply to shadow4me

Yes it’s also worth reading/ considering re acid reflux and GERD. Many people have this esp after antibiotics and presume it’s a lung flare up. It causes terrible coughing esp late afternoon and night and S Of a B breathing problems and can go on forever if untreated.

andyrrc
andyrrc
in reply to Chriskho

Yes I have acid reflux and it caused me to be hospitalised in Moscow (just for a few hours) so now I take omeprazole daily to control it. My cough in the evening is I think caused by mucus and also sometimes by a dry tickle that just will not go away. My other half tells me that it is sometimes as if I am breathing underwater the amount of gurgling I do. I will speak to the doctor and check out your suggestion though, you could have something in your suggestion and it's worth checking out.

My nighttime cough has been much better since I raised the head of my bed by 6”. It seemed counter-intuitive but has worked for me. It’s more comfortable too, and if you have reflux it definitely helps that.

This is where I got the idea healthunlocked.com/blf/post....

moodygirl
moodygirl
in reply to Hanne62

It's helped me too Hanne62. I used to rattle (mainly throat) most of the night and never got a really good sleep. Our bed has been raised using a few books, I don't think it's quite 6". At first I thought it wasn't working but one morning when I woke up I realised I hadn't been rattling. I didn't immediately put it down to raising the bed, it only dawned on me later it was probably due to the raised bed 😊

Hello andyrrc .

I can sympathise. I have a cough but it is non productive as is the nature of my disease. I cannot lie flat as this makes breathing harder. I have an electrical bed that allows me to adjust the height of my head space and feet. So I am always at an angle , never flat. I can't breathe lying flat and it seems to aggravate it if I'm coughing. I also find if my room is very dry (especially in winter) it makes my throat dry and causes me to cough more. So I make sure I use a humidifier.

Best wishes.

Cas xx 🌻

I use carbocisteine 2 tablets three times a day but i still need to cough up the mucus before I lie down in bed. (Actually I am not sure the carbocisteine makes any difference!) A physiotherapist assessed me for 7% salt solution in a nebuliser (which produces a light sort of steam which is inhaled in a tube) to loosen the mucus; apparently not everyone is suitable though most people can use 7% salt solution. I then do Active Cycle of Breathing (huffing) (lots on youtube) to cough up the mucus into a pot. If I don't do these two things I cannot lie down. Occasionally the mucus gets ‘stuck’ even after I have done the above so my Flutter device, which vibrates the lungs to loosen the phlegm, helps.

I clear my lungs using the above every night at bedtime, but a few weeks ago I started 'rattling' about an hour or so after going to sleep, and had to do the ACB etc again. I then bought a bed wedge 6 inches to nothing and about 5 feet long - this is similar to raising the head of the be by 6 inches as mentioned by Hanne on this post. Now I do not wake up.

andyrrc
andyrrc
in reply to sarcoid1234

Thanks for the info. What is the flutter device? Not heard of one, I know that some people have massage and tapping on the back to help but did not know there was a machine that did it

sarcoid1234
sarcoid1234
in reply to andyrrc

The flutter device works as you breath in to it. You have to hold it at the best angle for you. It does not work on electricity. It costs about £49 on the internet, but your doctor may prescribe perhaps. There is also the Acapella which is similar but I think the technique has to be taught by a physiotherapist. More expensive is the electricity powered Aerosure Medic but that costs about £130 and I don't think can be prescribed. There is more information on Google.

However, I only use my Flutter if some mucus just won't come up. Most of it is coughed up using Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (huffing). When I started doing it it completely changed my life I think, as previously I was sleeping sitting up every night!

andyrrc
andyrrc
in reply to sarcoid1234

Many thanks I will check it out because I really have issue with the mucus even for sputum tests

I also have problems with night-time coughing. Like you, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I start to cough.

I use an electric bed and a wedge shaped pillow because I cannot lie flat but I have to lie on my right because I have severe pain in my left hip ( needs replacing ) but I still have to sit on the edge of the bed during the night in order to cough up mucus. I never get a decent sleep and consequently, I am shattered all day and can fall asleep at the drop of a hat.

I, too, find Fisherman's Friends beneficial but I would dearly love to get a good night's sleep.

I hope you find a solution that suits you.

Coughing wakes me up at night so here I am reading older conversations and it seems so many people have similar problems. I don't have anything useful to add but it's the middle of the night and jumping in on this conversation makes me feel a little less lonely. So here I am. I sleep almost upright, I can't lay flat, though haven't figured out a good way to not slide down the bed in my sleep. I keep a bottle of water and Strepsils by the bed though like someone said, they don't seem to have any effect anymore. I haven't tried Fisherman's Friends yet, I will definitely try that tomorrow. I don't sleep well anyway then I just get to sleep then wake myself up coughing.

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