There are two extremely effective ways of coughing to help expel mucus from the lungs: deep coughing and huff coughing.
- Start by taking a deep breath.
- Hold the breath for 2-3 seconds.
- Use your stomach muscles to forcefully expel the air.
- Avoid a hacking cough or merely clearing the throat.
- A deep cough is less tiring and more effective in clearing mucus out of the lungs.
- Huff coughing, or huffing, is an alternative to deep coughing if you have trouble clearing your mucus.
- Take a breath that is slightly deeper than normal.
- Use your stomach muscles to make a series of three rapid exhalations with the airway open, making a “ha, ha, ha” sound.
- Follow this by controlled diaphragmatic breathing and a deep cough if you feel mucus moving.
- If you produce a large amount of mucus, your health care provider may recommend other techniques to help clear the mucus.
- Devices such as the Acapella® or Aerobika® are small devices into which you exhale.
- Postural Drainage is a technique that uses gravity to promote drainage of mucus from the lungs.
- Each technique can be ordered and demonstrated by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider if this may be helpful for you.
- Exercise is also a good way to help bring up mucus in the lungs.