As the cold and flu season approaches, you or a loved one may be suffering phlegm, or mucus accumulation in the lungs. Though chest congestion might make you feel uneasy and make breathing difficult, your body’s natural response is to cough out the mucus that has built up in your lungs, causing the phlegm to relax and thin.
When Lung Mucus Refuses to Disappear
Mucus has a terrible image, yet it really protects your body by trapping germs and preventing the development of infections and allergies.
1 When we get sick, whether from a regular cold, the flu, or seasonal allergies, our mucus changes color and thickens, making it more difficult for our bodies to clear on their own. When this happens, your lungs become vulnerable to infection, which can lead to a worsening of symptoms.
Symptoms of Mucus Buildup in the Lungs include:
Symptoms of mucus buildup in the lungs, according to Medical News Today2, include:
Cough that Produces Phlegm
How to Naturally Remove Mucus from the Lungs
Are you looking for natural ways to clear mucus from your lungs? Medical News Today and the National Jewish Health Foundation have given some helpful techniques that your physician may recommend you attempt at home:
Drink plenty of fluids, especially warm liquids (broth, tea, warm water) if you have a cold or allergies, since these can help thin mucus and give instant relief from chest pain caused by congestion. 3
Take a Bath or Hot Shower
Slowly inhale the steam from a hot bath or shower, according to Medical News Today. Fill a bowl with hot water and slowly breathe in the steam and moisture while protecting your face with a cloth. This can help loosen mucus and remove it from your nose and throat, lowering sinus pressure and decreasing chest congestion. 4
Practice Huff Coughing
Practice huff coughing, according to the National Jewish Health Foundation: “Take a breath that is somewhat deeper than typical. To produce a “ha, ha, ha” sound, use your stomach muscles to make a sequence of three quick exhalations with the airway open. 5 To loosen and transfer mucus upward toward the bigger airways, use this method.