how do we stop ourselves getting ches... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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how do we stop ourselves getting chest infections?


I know that we have to avoid getting chest infections but has anyone got any tips or stories on how they do this?

I have good hand hygiene and also use antibacterial hand gel all the time. I avoid crowds, use tissue on hands when using doors on public toilets, wear scarf over face on cold days and keep warm indoors.

Thanks, James

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22 Replies

it just comes to luck''sir james, i was fine up to the 9 feb'''next day the tell tail sighns.....burning feeling in my chest ,,etc''here we go again'''4 wks it lasted .i also try and wash my hands reguarlly ,travelling in buses....[ every one coughing and and sneezing ]...super market trollies !!,it 's never ending ..i try also try and crowds ,but it really is impossiple ,you would have to turn yourself into a bloody hermit ,,, o' luck

It is luck really unless you are a hermit.

The only thing I am trying, as there is some limited evidence that it does something, is that I take a spoon of Manukka honey every day. It is not cheap and you need to use the 15+ rated one, but it has antiseptic properties.

Lynne xx

Lynton in reply to Lynne1955

As I understand the medical fraternity have never scientifically established any advantage of Manuka honey over regular honey, but hey, if it works for you ..............

Getting rid the mucus in your lungs helps. An ideal breeding place for germs and bacteria.

A good diet, plenty of exercise and, as you rightly point out, good hand hygiene.

I try to do my supermarket shopping when I know it's going to be quietest and I run a mile (well, in my head I do, but in reality it's more of a shuffle) if I hear anyone coughing within yards of me :)

I also take 1 vitamin C tablet each evening, along with one of cod liver oil. Thankfully, I've been infection free now for just over a year :) *frantically touches wood*

My GP once told me that what appear to be several chest infections over a period of months, are actually the same infection which just lies dormant and is never completely eradicated.

James48 in reply to elian

Thank you to all for the replies. Luckily, I can go to the gym most days and eat a healthy diet. Doing supermarket shopping when it's quiet sounds a good idea as does the cod liver and vit C tabs. You cannot live like a hermit I agree and have to life to the full if you can,

Wishing you all a lovely day! :)

Lynton in reply to elian

That last paragraph is VERY interesting. I must challenge my own GP with that one.

Hi James I was having 2chest infections a month for over a year in and out of hostipal.Even on holiday I was in ICU fighting pneumonia My hospital sent the respirator nurse to see me at home,they gave me a nebulisa and oxygen both really helped.The great thing was on Sept I was put on ZITHROMAX 250 one tablet 3times a week and I am feeling so much better no chest infections for 6 months. This was given by my consulate I was told they dont work for everyone. The side effect only lasted a couple of months but for me these tablets where worth it.You can check these out on the web

you like me ,i don't go out i just stay home

lulu5555 in reply to 123podmore

Yes I was like you not now. I started by buying a mobilty scooter and got about .Now that I am stronger I can walk a bit better go to the cinema out for meal and booked a holiday aboard. I am taking oxygen with me on holiday. I will always need a scooter and oxygen but without infection my quailty of live has improved. Great doing my own housework and simple things .I am prositive about things and look forward to my garden Look into the tablets and get in touch with your respirator nurse they are great.Hope this helps

thanks Lulu, I'll have a look

James :)

I have been so lucky this past year,,not one infection,,i,m sure its down to walking everyday,,had copd for 6 yrs,,the thought of just sitting here did not impress me so got a rescue dog,,i,ve been out in all weathers,snow rain,fog,,yes i really huff an puff, but its making my lungs open better, and taking mucodyne keeps the phlem looser,,i struggle more with just ordinary household jobs,,also have osteo arthritus,and rhumatoid arthritus,,but its not going to stop me getting out and about,,,,getting the dog was the best thing i ever did,,,,


Hi Sir James, I think nearly all the answers have covered most things. The only other things I do are either Tea Tree Oil or Vick inside the nostrils. Also if you have trouble with nasal drip take atnti-histamines as the nasal drip can cause lung infs. KatieJJ

Thank you all again for the replies and tips. It makes a difference to have the support and knowledge/tips etc of all you lovely people out there :)

Hi sirjames - after over three months of chest infections I too am absolutely desperate not to have another one - especially after three whole weeks of blissful wellness!

Nine days ago had very sore throat so gargled with tea tree oil several times a day/night to stop it travelling 'down the tubes'.

At the same time I took effervescent vitamin c & zinc (3 for 2 at Tesco) twice daily (I know you can overdose on vit c but this is desperate speaking).

This made me drink extra fluid thereby keeping any mucus moist & easier to get out ( as puffthemagicdragon advises).

And would you blooming believe it - I don't have a chest infection!! According to GP yesterday.

How happy am I - I shall celebrate & buy myself some manuka honey (as Lynne advises) - I would have done this before but thought I couldn't afford it. False economy, l don't drink or smoke, hardly go out, deserve it.

Yes, there's mucus and yes the tubes are sore but hallelujah, not infected.

Yippie and good luck sirjames. Regards Penelope (new here and learning from these good, kind people)

Most of the points are covered ,but just one I would mention ,always close the lid of the toilet before flushing ,it stops about 70% of the germs flying around your bathroom



Sorry but I got in late on this. Infection is not 'just a matter of luck' - we make our own luck. Our hospitals have proved that infections can be reduced with good hygiene etc. So you are right to take sensible precautions, as I do. In my case, with IPF, any re-infection further damages my lungs. I'll only add one thing to all the good advice you've already received. Don't be afraid to tell friends, family, and partner to STAY AWAY if they think they have a cold - or have been close to some who has. If they care they'll understand.

Thanks for that and all the best to you Flatman :)

Sorry this is rather a late contribution but have only just read your note. VIT D. Several trials have shown that people who have persistent lung infections are low on Vit D so I have taken 25mcg per day this winter and, so far, have been fine. Also, when I got the dreaded sore throat and tightness in chest took 800 mg of Echinacea for 3 days and the symptons went. Can't say if it's coincidence but I shall continue with this strategy every winter now.

I also avoided crowds prior to christmas.

Hope this helps, Joany

James48 in reply to Joany

Thank you for the tips, Ive never heard of Echinacea so I will look it up,

James :)

Has anyone tried Sambucol as a preventative measure?

Blimey I thought I was the only one with these sorts of problems.

I'm now on another round of antibiotics having caught my son's flu over Easter. He shook his off after4 days, and I was a week plus a lingering chest and sinus infection.

I had the "aussie flu" at Christmas and ended up with a chest infection after that. It finally went after about a month and now I've got another which is more serious.

I've tried the Manuka, echinacea and lots of others but they don't seem to do to much once you are in the throes of an infection. Possibly as a preventative measure. Having said that I'm a big believer in natural medicines but only if you do it quickly enough in the infection. Once it gets too far down, you need antibiotics.

I had a stint quite a few years back and went through 4 straight courses of antibiotics over more than 3 months and couldn't shake the chest infections. I was desperate and found a product on the web/amazon called sinu pulse to basically flush out your sinuses with salt solution. It cured me in 2 weeks after no joy for 3+ months.

I need to be on the ball and use it whenever I'm starting a cold and it most times knocks it on the head. I missed out on doing it last week with my sore throat and was out for the count. I'm too far gone now and need antibiotics.

I feel relieved in a way that there are other sufferers like me.

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