What Causes Mucus in the Lungs
COPD means chronic obstructive disease under which two spectrums of diseases are grouped- chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Chronic bronchitis is characterized by over-activity of mucus secreting glands of bronchi which lead to excess secretion of mucus which blocks the bronchioles.
While in emphysema it is characterized by over-distension of alveoli and bronchioles. Usually chronic bronchitis and emphysema co-exist.
Causes of chronic Bronchitis
- Exposure to dust, smoke, tobacco smoke, fumes occurring as specific occupational hazard or as a part of general atmospheric pollution in cities.
- Exposure to dampness, cold winds and sudden changes in temperature may be responsible. Smokers have an increased incidence of chronic bronchitis.
- Patient usually with COPD complains of repeated attacks of cough, dyspnoea (breathlessness), wheezing, tightness in chest and increased mucous secretions especially in the morning.
How to Prevent Bronchitis
- Most important preventive measure for smokers is to stop smoking and non-smokers should avoid passive smoking.
- Avoid atmospheric pollution and industrial workers should use measures to prevent inhalation of dust and smoke at the workplace.
- Respiratory infection if any, should be promptly treated.
- Keep yourself well hydrated; drink plenty of liquids (8 to 10 glasses per day) to keep the secretions loose.
- Wear a scarf around mouth and nose in cold weather.
- Use of face masks to prevent industrial pollution to enter airways.
Home Remedies for Mucus in Lungs or Bronchitis
- Take steam inhalations to keep the secretions loose and to reduce congestion. Menthol and eucalyptus oil can be added to water for better results.
- Home remedies commonly used are ginger, basil and black-pepper.
- One teaspoon of ginger extract or powder, mixed with honey and taken three times a day is very beneficial in chronic bronchitis.
- Decoction made out of basil leaves, ginger and black pepper in equal quantities is effective.
- Basil leaves crushed and mixed with honey taken three times a day is also beneficial.
- Onion juice and honey, one teaspoon each mixed, can also be taken twice daily for reducing cough.