Clearing Your Lungs

What are ways to clear your lungs when you have COPD?

When you have COPD, you may be short of breath, cough a lot, and have a lot of mucus in your lungs. When mucus collects in your lungs, it increases your risk for lung infections, such as pneumonia. Learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and oxygen and may also help prevent lung infections.

There are three things you can do to clear your lungs:

  • Controlled coughing. This type of coughing comes from deep in your lungs. It loosens mucus and moves it though your airways.
  • Postural drainage. You lie down in different positions to help drain mucus from your lungs.
  • Chest percussion. You lightly clap your chest and back with a cupped hand. This loosens the mucus in your lungs.

Postural drainage and chest percussion are often used together to help loosen and remove mucus from the lungs.