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Is there a right way to cough when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD?

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COPD causes your lungs to make extra mucus. This often leads to a cough that won’t go away. It’s your body’s way of trying to clear your lungs. But if you aren’t coughing the right way, it can make things worse. Your airways might narrow and start to spasm, or contract. This can trap mucus and trigger an ongoing cycle.

Try a technique called controlled coughing. This cough starts deep in your lungs. It saves energy and helps you get rid of as much mucus as possible. Here’s how you do it:

  • Sit on the edge of your chair and keep both feet on the floor.
  • Lean forward a little.
  • Relax and breathe in slowly through your nose.
  • Fold your arms over your belly.
  • Lean forward and push your arms against your belly while you breathe out.
  • Cough two or three times as you breathe out.
  • Make the coughs short and sharp, and push on your belly with your arms at the same time.
  • Breathe in again slowly and gently through your nose.
  • Rest and do it again if you need to.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Coughing: Controlled Coughing.”

CDC: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment.”

University of Wisconsin Health: “COPD: Clearing Your Lungs.”

Mayo Clinic: “COPD.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 3, 2020

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Coughing: Controlled Coughing.”

CDC: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment.”

University of Wisconsin Health: “COPD: Clearing Your Lungs.”

Mayo Clinic: “COPD.”

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 3, 2020

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What is controlled coughing for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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