Lung mucus, otherwise known as phlegm, is made up of dead bacteria, tissues, and cells that are needed to wash away outside particles in the lungs–like dust, pollen, and industrial pollutants–so that its airways can function properly. While phlegm is an indication that the body’s immune system is working, too much mucus in the lungs can do more harm than good. An overabundance of mucus in the lungs can exacerbate colds, flu, and respiratory diseases. Treat mucus in the lungs by investing in proper medications and maintaining a healthier lifestyle to avoid any mucus problems in the future.
1. Treat any nasal or sinus infections with prescribed medication or over-the-counter decongestants. Phlegm that resides in the lungs is often due to a nasal infection. A nasal infection will block the throat’s airways, causing mucus to accumulate in the lungs.
2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Drink pure, all-natural juice as well to loosen up mucus within the lungs. Wear a face mask in extremely cold temperatures.
3. Don’t swallow phlegm when it comes back up. Coughing up mucus from the lungs is a sign that the mucus has effectively done its job by releasing immunoglobulins and glycoproteins, which help the body fight off viruses and infections.
4. Stop smoking. Nicotine and other harmful ingredients in cigarette smoke can kill cilia, the tiny hair-like structures that brush away outside particles, making it harder for the body to cough up phlegm. Cigarette smoke can also interfere with the body’s ability to fight off infection, prolonging infection symptoms and exacerbating mucus production in the lungs.
5. Use prescribed medications. Too much mucus production is caused by bronchospasm in the lungs as a result of upper respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD. Therefore, medications such as steroids, bronchodilators, expectorants, nasal decongestants, or cough suppressants can loosen up lung mucus, allowing for better breathing and more airflow into the lungs.
6. Use home remedies in moderation to clear out lung mucus. Mix 1 to 2 drops of eucalyptus or menthol oil in steamed water or in a humidifier so that it may be inhaled. Asthma and other respiratory disease sufferers should not use a humidifier or inhale steam because it can aggravate their symptoms.