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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2015 :  4:26:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tho I've read a lot about clearing mucus with COPD, I never really had a big problem with excessive mucus. However, in the past few months I seem to have a lot of it and it seems to be hard to really get my lungs cleared so that I am not wheezing this mucus.

I previously used the forced coughing to get rid of mucus and it felt like I could get my lungs cleared. But now it seems like I can practice the forced coughing repeatedly and tho I get rid of mucus, it seems it comes right back.

Can someone share some information with me about this particular subject? Was it unusual before when I didn't have a lot of mucus? Or is it unusual now?

Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2015 :  5:12:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Discuss nebulized saline with your doctor - 3% is a good point to start. I have some information on other things on my site, plus if you search for "huff cough" here, you will find some techniques.

Dave, Forum Administrator
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2015 :  7:33:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been using the huff cough, and I'm already on albuterol. I also take Spiriva once a day. But as I said, just recently I've been having a lot of mucus when I really never did before, and my usual remedies for loosening flem when I do have it are not working real well. Is this recent increase in flem a good sign, or a sign my COPD is getting worse?
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2015 :  8:19:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is allergy season and that could be a reason. Adding 3% saline to nebulized albuterol can make a big difference.

Dave, Forum Administrator
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DonnaB0216
Member

USA
95 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2015 :  2:55:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was given the Acapella device in the hospital and it works great for me. I saw one on Amazon but it was blue and mine is green. I think there's a difference but it is worth asking your doctor about. I was told that it was developed to help people with cystic fibrosis clear excess mucus. I still use mine when I need it.

Donna
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2015 :  7:07:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Donna. I have looked into this Acapella device and will ask my doctor the next time I have to go. Can you share any knowledge about what this sudden increase in mucus indicates? In everything I've read I had always worried a little that I didn't have more flem because it seemed to indicate that I should. Now that I've suddenly got more, and it's loose, I'm wondering about the change.
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2015 :  7:23:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave, I guess I didn't read your post correctly. Do you just add this 3% saline into the nebulizer, along with the albuterol?
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2015 :  8:28:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I now use 7%, but I used 3% for years. Talk to your doctor about it. I find it works well.

Dave, Forum Administrator
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 10 2015 :  9:03:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Can someone please answer for me -- is this sudden increase in mucus that is fairly loose a sign that the copd has gotten much worse?
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 10 2015 :  11:40:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No it is not, it could be allergy or infection.

Dave, Forum Administrator
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Sandy9s
Member

USA
316 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2015 :  12:10:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I get an increase in mucus if I have a cold of some kind. And it will last and last and last -- most recently it lasted 8 weeks until it was finally back to a manageable mucus. Everyone had the same respiratory crud, but of course with COPD it hits us harder.....more mucus, more coughing, more wheezing, more "can't breathe," etc. etc. etc. And it takes longer to completely go away. Everyone else in my chorus got over it in about 4 to 5 weeks. I counted 8 weeks from beginning to end.

Now -- with no cold -- I have some mucus to cough up once or twice a day. I can't pinpoint when it will happen, except that it usually follows the 1st "lot of talking" or the 1st "doing activity" of the day.

During exacerbations, I use my blue acapella, my nebulizer with DuoNebs solution, my usual Advair 250 (2x a day), and my Combivent Inhaler 4x a day as needed. I also will use a netipot with the little salt packets from Walmart or Walgreen's. That helps a lot! And I will use a heating pad while sitting in a chair......putting it on my back or chest -- helping to keep those tight coughing muscles feeling better.

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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  1:20:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I find myself on the opposite end of the scale. I get hardly any out. Is it common NOT to have much mucus if I am on the emphysema side of things? I often wonder if I should be doing more to get something out. Thx.

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
5841 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  2:15:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, Paul, it's very possible to have emphysema without mucous (dry emphysema, although I don't know if that's an "official" term). I never have mucous unless I have a cold. And if you don't have mucous, consider yourself lucky since mucous is an excellent breeding ground for all sorts of germs.

****************************************************************
Do Not Regret Growing Older. It is a Privilege Denied to Many

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS





Edited by - PennyPA on Apr 14 2015 2:16:34 PM
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jmrommes
Contributing Member

1774 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  2:24:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm another one with little mucous unless I have some sort of bug. I'm sure it's one of the reasons that I don't get sick very often.

Jean

Exercise not only lets me live, it enables me to have a life.
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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  4:17:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks ladies!--- another question. Do either of you use a flutter valve or Acapella, daily, weekly or whatever?

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  8:10:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use an acapella on a regular basis.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
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Rita1
Senior Member

543 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  9:29:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Paul, if you don't have mucus, you don't need to use a device to bring it up. You would know if you have it. Dave, who has bronchiectasis, and I, who have chronic bronchitis as well as some areas of bronchiectasis, have mucus so we have treatments to bring it up and out. Penny and Jean, who, like you, have emphysema, have stated that they don't have mucus so I would be surprised if they ever use an acapella or flutter valve. You can't bring up what's not there.

Rita
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2015 :  11:25:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see they have this acapella on amazon. Can one just order and use it without prescription?
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
5841 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  12:12:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why don't you find out the cause of the mucous, too? It could be sinus problems or allergies.

****************************************************************
Do Not Regret Growing Older. It is a Privilege Denied to Many

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  12:49:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Talk to your doctor's office. They are supposed to be Rx items. Also, there are several versions, and you want to buy the right one.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  08:05:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Rita I agree and makes perfect sense. The reason I put that out there was my Pulmo told me to Flutter valve everyday. Said it can't hurt cause there are no adverse side affects. Thanks for your thoughts-- I agree, that is why I stopped, just wondered if others done it as a precaution.

Nikilet- I ordered a Flutter Valve and an Acapella and had no RX. I beleive the difference in the two Acapellas, Blue and green is the difference in the amount of air needed to blow thru each one. The green has more resistance than the blue one. They also make one that is adjustable but it is a little more money. Dave is right thou talk to the doc.

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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DonnaB0216
Member

USA
95 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  08:32:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have the green one and it is adjustable. I only use it when I have mucus which is only a problem when I am sick. both of my parents have COPD and although my mother is every bit as sick if not sicker than my Dad she rarely has mucus. He is practically strangling in it. They both chain smoke and have for 70 years. My mucus issues mostly cleared up after I quit smoking. I love my Acapella, I can really tell it's working when I need it. Not sure what a flutter valve is?

Donna
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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  1:06:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Donna- works on same principle as your Acapella. Looks like a small white pipe, and has a stainless steel ball inside. Just google flutter valve and you can see what it looks like. Your Acapella works just as well and maybe easier in some ways.

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  1:37:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The flutter is position sensitive and has fallen out of favor.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2015 :  1:51:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yep you have to hold it in the proper position but when I was using it, I found it pretty simple to use. Sure not rocket science to figure it out. :-)

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  12:36:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, Sokcap48, would you recommend it over the acapella?
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  12:43:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recommend the acapella over the flutter.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com
Mobile chat room for pads and phone Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com/m

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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  1:24:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nikilet- I use the flutter only when I have a cold etc, anymore as otherwise I don't really have a Mucus problem. None, nada, zilch. Dave makes the point that the flutter is position sensetive, meaning you need to hold it properly to make it work and the Acapella is is easier. Dave deals with mucus much more than I have so he would probably be the one to listen to. I will say if buying one I would buy the the adjustable Acapella that way depending on your breathing capabilities you would be covered.

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  1:34:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I actually prefer the huff cough. You can search for it here.

Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com
Mobile chat room for pads and phone Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com/m

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Sokcap48
Senior Member

USA
866 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  3:05:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave- I thought about this some time ago but didn't bring it up, and now seems like the perfect time.
I thought it would be great if you would make a voiced vidieo of the proper way to do the Huff Cough. I am one of those that learn better if I can see it rather than read about it as I am sure there are others like me also. Something to think about anyway. Thanks for all you do.

Paul-Ut
The Journey Continues.
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  6:18:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do the huff cough, but perhaps I don't do it correctly. The idea about making a video to show how to do it properly appeals to me as I am also one who learns better if I can see it.
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Dave-OH
Administrator

USA
4038 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2015 :  11:52:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I found some videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqZUt3cAb0g

Here is a video with some other ideas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8gF7gy2DcA&spfreload=10



Dave, Forum Administrator
COPD Support, Inc. http://www.copd-support.com/
Your source for peer support and COPD Info

Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com
Mobile chat room for pads and phone Chat room http://chat.copd-support.com/m

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Helen-CO
Member

243 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2015 :  11:22:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've found this thread very helpful. Up until 6 mos. ago I had totally dry emphysema, then the copious amounts of mucus began, which my pulmo dr. feels sure is from sinuses. When my 02 sats suddenly drop into the 70s, I know it's mucus and increase 02 and use methods you all suggest. The only question I have, which doc can't answer, is why sinus drainage now and could it be from 12 yrs of supplementary 02 use...
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2015 :  8:38:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I found some videos on YouTube also and I wasn't doing it correctly. I spent a considerable amount of time on it last night and I do have to say that it helped. I'm sure puzzled though. I wear my oxygen (level 2) 24/7 and even with oxygen, it can just feel like I can't get any air after walking a short distance.
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
5841 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2015 :  10:43:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Didn't your doctor tell you to turn it up when you're being active? It's sort of a "titrate as you migrate". Ask your doctor about turning it up 1 or 2 notches when you go walking.

****************************************************************
Do Not Regret Growing Older. It is a Privilege Denied to Many

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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CarolCA
Contributing Member

USA
3366 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2015 :  9:09:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
it is unusual for a person to not need more when they are walking or doing something physical.
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Nikilet
Member

USA
45 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2015 :  10:44:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had always heard that they don't like to turn it higher than 2 for copd patients -- something to do with not being able to get the air out and carbon dioxide or something. I can't really remember it all right now. But even the guy who comes to bring my oxygen supplies said this. I am using a concentrator at home and the small oxygen bottles when I get out, which hasn't been much lately because of my problem with breathing when I walk very far.
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PennyPA
Contributing Member

USA
5841 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2015 :  11:53:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's an old, old wive's tale, Nikilet. Where did you hear that? Just ask your doctor and see what he says. And you might tell your delivery guy that he shouldn't be telling people this since it is totally untrue.

****************************************************************
Do Not Regret Growing Older. It is a Privilege Denied to Many

You canít change the past but you can ruin the present worrying about the future.

The Bad News: Time flies as you get older.
The Good News: Youíre still the pilot.

Penny's Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

And Our Travel Blog After LVRS




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Helen-CO
Member

243 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2015 :  09:24:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You do have an oximeter, right Nikilet? I like to keep my 02 level around 95--which requires 6 liters for exercise (and is encouraged by my pulmo dr). I think the reason I have heart problems now is from inadequate oxygen prior to supplemental 02.

p.s. Good videos, Dave. The 1st is quite clever.
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CarolCA
Contributing Member

USA
3366 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2015 :  3:11:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You might ask him then why do the machines go to 5 liters and some go to 10. Even my nursing friends have said the same thing to me as they were taught that 3 was the highest a COPD patient could go. They insisted that the people I know that are higher than that have other lung diseases. I am not sure they believed me but they are all retired now so I guess it is a moot point. I do have one friend that works still in hospice and keep forgetting to ask her.
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DonnaB0216
Member

USA
95 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2015 :  4:20:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My mother has interstitial damage that we were told was the result of high levels of oxygen for an extended period of time (while hospitalized). I honestly don't know how high her oxygen was but am thinking it surely is higher than our machines go.

Donna
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