Mucus in Lungs

The mucus membrane that lines the inner tissues of the respiratory tract plays the role of trapping dust and bacteria from entering the lungs. Airborne pathogens are trapped in the mucus membranes and then slowly expelled from the respiratory tract by antibodies which are found in the membrane. However, there are times when one gets an infection forcing the membrane to produce too much mucus. This will lead to an increase in the amount of mucus in the lungs, and this will cause difficulty in breathings and a lot of coughing.

What are the symptoms of mucus in the lungs?

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There are two symptoms and these are difficulty in breathing and coughing. When one coughs the mucus will be thick and have a yellowish—green color.

What are the causes of mucus in lungs?

There are several reasons why mucus may accumulate in the lungs and here are some of them:

The common cold virus can lead to the accumulation of mucus in the lungs.

Bronchitis – When the airways that lead clean air to the lungs and remove carbon dioxide are swollen, then the patient is said to be having this condition. The disease is caused by a viral infection, but it can also be caused by a bacterial infection. The inflammation of the bronchi is the one that triggers the mucus membrane to remove more mucus. The excess mucus flows down to the lungs and causes heavy coughing, and also blocks the bronchi thereby causing the patient to wheeze.

Asthma – This is an inflammation of the airways which causes them to increase mucus production making it difficult to breathe.

Sinusitis – The production of a lot of mucus is the one that causes the sinuses to be inflamed. These are hollow cavities that allow air to flow from the nose to the windpipe. The sinuses also help with the filtering of dust. A bacterial infection will cause the sinuses to produce more mucus and this will cause difficulties in breathing through the nose.

Pneumonia – Harmful pathogens cause copious amounts of mucus to fill the lungs and this could even lead to death. Pneumonia comes with fever, coughing and problems when breathing.

Emphysema – This is caused by the destruction of the air sacs of the lungs (alveoli). The condition is caused by chronic smoking or living in places with a lot of air pollution. The alveoli are unable to properly remove impurities which build up in the lungs. This causes a lot of mucus to be produced and one will always be coughing.

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Tuberculosis (TB) – This is a deadly bacterial disease which causes the patient to cough and also bleed from the lungs. There is a lot of mucus produced and it usually contains blood.

Mucus in lungs – treatment

The medicines can be used to treat the causative agent, and the mucus will decrease.

Bronchodilators – These are medicines which help the bronchi and bronchioles to dilate. This helps in reducing the inflammation and therefore the mucus membrane stops producing too much mucus. Any mucus that may have been trapped in the constricted airways is now released for better removal.

Expectorants – These are drugs that reduce the buildup of mucus in the lungs. They make the thick mucus to become loose so that it can move easily. Thin mucus will be expelled easily therefore removing the buildup in the lungs.

Decongestants – These are for nasal use and help in getting mucus out of the sinuses. They also compress the blood vessels of the nose and sinuses thereby reducing the inflammation and the mucus production is slowed down. They also reduce any swelling that may have occurred further freeing the airways for easier breathing.

Inhale Steam – This is a home remedy that helps in liquefying the mucus in the nose and sinuses. This only helps people to be comfortable but does not combat the causative agent. Asthma suffers should never inhale steam since it only makes the situation worse.

Use Eucalyptus Oil – This can be used in conjunction with inhaling steam. It helps in decongesting the nose and sinuses.

Gargle with Salt Water – when the dirty mucus moves up the throat it can irritate it making the patient have a dry cough. Garlic and salt water can be gurgled so as to relieve the irritation and reduce the coughing.

Have Spicy Foods – Spicy foods help remove mucus from the throat and lungs. They help in thinning out the thick mucus (phlegm) and this encourages easier movement of the mucus from the lungs.

You should also stay away from dairy products when you have a lot of mucus in the lungs. With the intake of these products, the mucus becomes thicker. You should also take a lot of water, and also onion juice that has honey. This way, your airways will always be clear encouraging comfortable breathing.

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