How to clear your chest with breathing techniques

5) Managing your cough better

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Coughing alone will only clear the sputum that is sitting in your trachea/windpipe.

  • By using an Airway Clearance Technique you will give the whole of your lungs a proper clear out – right down to the tiny air sacs (alveoli).
  • You will not need to cough as much when you use the breathing exercises in your Airway Clearance Technique to move the sputum right up to the back of your throat.
  • This will let you plan your day to avoid lots of coughing at times when you would rather be doing other things. For example at the cinema, socialising or sleeping!
  • Less coughing means feeling less breathless, less pain and having more energy.

By managing your cough better:

  • You can make socialising more enjoyable.
  • Feel less tired and sore.
  • Get a better nights sleep.
  • Reduce stress urinary incontinence. Repeated coughing or sneezing can often cause women to have problems with leaking or incontinence. For more help and advice about this see section about stress urinary incontinence.

Q. Is it all right to swallow sputum?

It is safe to either cough and spit or cough and swallow you can use either or both
If you cough and still hear and feel a rattle – your chest is not cleared. Try again.