Cough, cough, coughing: At present I am... - British Lung Foun...

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Cough, cough, coughing


At present I am wondering how much longer I can go on with my constant coughing - brought on by a cold. I feel sure a much older person could not survive with such relentless coughing. Doctors/therapists talk about bringing up the mucus, which I have always found difficult, and appear to be able to offer nothing more helpful. Breathing control doesn't really help me nor does the Aerobika. I am at my worst at the moment but everyday I do get coughing attacks, especially first thing in the morning when I get out of bed. One specialist just listened to me talking about my symptoms, shrugged his shoulders and said "that's bronchiectasis" which definitely showed his lack of understanding when it came to this horrible illness. Has anybody found anything which has helped them which I could try?

26 Replies

How on earth can someone diagnose Bronchiectasis by just listening to you? I admit that I've always had difficulty with lung clearance. ☹️

Hopefully not much longer for you Spanielblue.

They only ever said my horrendous cough for 60 yrs (to my knowledge) was Asthma, and Bronchiectasis only diagnosed two years ago, after CT Scans and blood tests, so agree with poemsgalore1.

I’ve never smoked but invariably sounds as though I’ve been on 40+ a day. 😂.

Get well soon.

I feel I ought to be helping you. Such a very, very, long time being treated for asthma without bronchiectasis being spotted. Unbelievable! Since writing my tale of woe, I have received lots of helpful replies so I hope you are able to see them. All sorts of things have been suggested so will try a few of them. I hope somebody is now trying to help you with your bronchiectasis. I have been told to ask for a consultant who has a special interest in the illness but have only just been referred to one. Don't give up!


My friend has one of them vests that vibrates and boy oh boy does that bring some shit up.

Oldharpi in reply to Hidden

Where did he get it from ?

Thanks for telling us about it 😀😀

Have you got a nebuliser ?

Carbocysteine capsules thin the mucus.

They have really helped me.

Perhaps they would help you.?

Spanielblue in reply to Oshgosh

No, I haven't Oshgosh but I will ask about having one when I see the specialist on Monday.

I will mention the capsules too. Thank you for your help.

Oshgosh in reply to Spanielblue

Write down everything you want to ask the consultant,leave spaces so you can write the answers down. Take a pen that will clip to your top,so you don’t lose it.

If he says something you don’t understand,ask him to explain in layman’s terms.

Hope it goes well

I had a cough which lasted 2 months, as it was a reaction to medication, I was given Antibiotics, and it stopped after that month, I was also asked by my GP to have a Chest X-ray, which was fine.

I would suggest you need to be referred to a proactive resp con with a special interest in bronciectasis. Ditch this ‘specialist.’


If you are ok with paracetamol, you could try one tablet ( dose is usually 2). It dries my mucus up for a few hours and it’s the mucus that makes me cough. I take 5 tablets in a day and hardly cough now. As a tablet wears off, the mucus thins and I start to cough. I make sure I clear my chest at least once a day. ( abc breathing cycle) If you have too much, the mucus gets very thick and sticky and hard to cough up. I use a nebuliser then. I experimented with a lot of different things when I needed an eye op, and this was the best for me. I tablet gave me 4 hours of no coughing. However I have sarcoid fibrosis and we are all different so you need to find what works for you.

Best of luck. Coughing is exhausting.

Jo xx

Spanielblue in reply to Jomo46

Thank you very much, Jo, for this information. I didn't know that Paracetamol could help to dry up mucus so I will definitely give it a go. I think we all reach a point when we say we will try anything, don't you? Is your abc breathing cycle the same as the "huffing" one? I have tried the latter but never able to complete the cycle because I have to keep stopping to cough. At present I haven't been prescribed a nebuliser but will ask about it when I go to the respiratory clinic next week. I will now go and look up "sarcoid fribrosis" because I don't know what this is. Once again, many thanks.

Jomo46 in reply to Spanielblue

Abc briefly, as I do it, is breathe in with diaphragm, hold until you cough, relax, do it again. It makes all the cilla in the breathing tubes, point the same way. I do it about 5 times, then get breathing back to normal a bit, followed by huffing the mucus out.

Sarcoid is probably inherited and can attack body all over, but mine is in lungs and hopefully stays there. It causes granules to grow( non cancerous) but cause pulmonary fibrosis. They treat me with chemo that withers the granules .

As regards the coughing, I also take an antihistamine daily tablet, that is supposed to dampen allergy symptoms.

You have a few suggestions in the replies so good luck with finding something that works for you. Coughing is exhausting.

Xx jo

Margot13 in reply to Jomo46

You are right Mojo46, I have been experimenting too and found that paracetamol helps with the cough and the mucus, although the cough hasn't gone completely it is easier now.


Jomo46 in reply to Margot13

That’s. Good news, you could try some of the other suggestions too.


Margot13 in reply to Jomo46

Thank you, I will try.

Hi there😊I have a Cornet, if you've heard of one, it helps me clear mucus. I hope you feel better soon, Bev xx😊💐🎈

I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis in March last year when I saw the doctor with a relentless cough, and was sent for a CT scan. Nothing helped me until my partner decided to buy me the Dyson Cool Fan which is now at the side of my bed. Within two nights of using it (setting no 2) the coughing started to lessen and the phlegm build up got less and less. Yes I get the odd cough even now but I would say since buying that and using it every night I am 99% Peter. I don't know why it helps me but it certainly does. When I decided to leave it off for a few nights back came the troublesome cough so I know the fan is doing something worthwhile.

I have just got rid of my relentless cough by taking Covonia cough medicine .I had the cough which was driving me crazy for 6/7 weeks but it is now gone . Hope this helps certainly did me .

Best wishes Babs xx


I hope you feel better soon.

What a pain for you. Do you have an acapella ....I think that's what it is called? It's a device you suck and it vibrates. Supposed to help get the mucus up?

Manuka Honey and lemon warm drink? Stay off dairy products ? Take Vit D? Its anti- inflammatory and immune boosting. Good luck.

Great advice as I use all of those things to keep my chest clear! The mucus clearance and lung expansion device I use is called Air Physio and it will causes you to cough but it pulls the mucus up. It also helps you strengthen your lungs. I also take a tincture of Thyme which quiets my cough in seconds!! Ask about trying the herb Boswella! Great stuff and it opens your lungs so you can breathe. Good luck All.

How do you use tincture of thyme and Boswellia?

krylan in reply to Spanielblue

Ck out this site where you can buy these items on line or Check for them in your area. I’m in the USA.

The thyme is a tincture which is a liquid and you add it to water. Boswella is Frankincense and I have it in tablet form. Just took one bc I felt short of breath and it opened me right up! Ck with your dr or do your research! This is what works for me but my asthma is mild. Good luck.


Hi, Have you tried carbocisteine with an flutterer. the carbocisteine the loosens the mucus and the flutter machine helps to bring it up. Another thing you could try is sleeping in an upright position so the mucus doesn't lay on the chest. Idelly you need a "Hospital" bed but you can make do with pillows. All helps to keep coughing down or is more productive.


I totally understand how you feel, sometimes the cough can be exasperated by post nasal drip, this is what happened to me, I got it under control with antihistamine. My GP put me on long term antihistamine and and nasal spray and it actually worked for me. I also pushed for a CT scan.

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