Airway Clearance


Learn to Cough Effectively and Catch Early Warning Signs of Flare-up

Coughing is the most effective and essential way to mobilize secretions to remove them from their airways.  During an exacerbation (flare-up) infected secretions collect in the lower airways.  These secretions must be mobilized and expectorated.


Technique:  Take a deep breath, close the back of your throat.  Build up pressure in your chest.  Suddenly open your throat and explode the secretions out.  A cough should have a sharp explosive sound and propel your secretions.  Not every cough will propel the secretions completely out - rather, they would mobilize. 

Also, the color and character of your secretions provide an indication as to whether an exacerbation (flare-up) is brewing.  The video above describes the difference in secretion color.  When secretions become more yellow, green or brown and become thicker or more copious, an exacerbation with bacterial infection is likely.  Get treatment!