Wet, productive cough


I'm new here. But not new to asthma. My symptoms have progressively gotten worse in the last 10 years. In the last 3 years i've had a disgusting, productive cough. It started out every 2-3 days but improved some when I went on 1.25 Spiriva. Since a freak bout of bacterial pneumonia this past May, I'm worse than ever, coughing productively almost daily, all day long. This ranges thick, paste-like substance to thinner but always opaque. I've shown my photo logs to pulm and allergist and they say it's just asthma. I've had every test out there and have been on Xoliar 2.5 years. My allergies are not severe but my reaction seems to be. They all say I'm really "twitchy". I can't seem to get a handle on the specific triggers; it depends on the day. I have all the typical triggers (fragrances, smoke, dust). Coughing is also a trigger. Talking is now a trigger as well. My allergist thinks maybe I begin coughing up stuff when my "bucket it full". Full of mucus that is building up over time, I suppose. I could go on and on about all of the meds i'm on and other treatments and how much i've had to check out of my old life. But I'd love to hear you share experiences/ideas about triggers like talking, heavy mucus production, bronchial thermoplasty, nutrition advice or cleanses that do the trick? And i'm really curious about any experiences with National Jewish Health or other comprehensive, interdisciplinary centers that deal with asthma.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks! 


Comments 7

  • Melissa G

    Hi Kerry R! Welcome to AAFA!

    Wow, you have been through a lot! I don't have any personal advice for you, just want to send some  your way. I know others will be chiming in soon! 

  • Kerry R.

    Not really. It's in the "i'm considering it" phase. I have obtained a second opinion from another pulm practice in Grand Rapids and their feedback was in keeping with my regular practice. My allergist is a little more off the beaten path. She gave me the idea of going to Jewish National. But so far, i've not really explored what I need to do to get there or what to expect.


  • Deborah Bartlett

    Hello and welcome. Sorry to hear of your health issues. I have asthma and COPD. One of my maintenance medications is the Bevespi Aerosphere inhaler. It works to slow up your mucus production. My airway was getting clogged with mucus, therefore closing. Bevespi has lessened my mucus production by 80 percent. My advice would be to keep bringing up the mucus and expelling it. The less mucus you have in there, the better. Take care and keep on trying to reach a good solution. ☺ Debbie

  • K8sMom2002

    Kerry, hugs … this has to be so frustrating!

    I have trouble with mucus as well. I used to have far more trouble before I got my pneumonia shot. For some reason, getting that shot helped prevent the usual upper respiratory infections that I kept getting that would ramp up my mucus production. 

    Whenever my mucus does ramp up on me, my lungs definitely get more twitchy, and I wind up with what my doc has called "mucus plugs" which block my airflow and cause my lungs to go into an asthma attack. I can actually FEEL the blockage. 

    Could you ask your doctor about techniques and methods to thin out and expel the mucus? My doc has suggested a decongestant, meds like Mucinex and drinking lots of water whenever my mucus production goes up. She has also suggested that gentle percussion on my back could help — it loosens up the mucus and helps me cough it up.

    You say you've had all the tests. What tests were there? Did they include tests for things like Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis and Cystic fibrosis? Did they check your immune system to see if it were properly responding to infections?

    That's what a place like National Jewish can do for you — research hospitals that are leaders in pulmonary care tend to think way outside the box and pick up lots of rocks and look under them. 

  • Kerry R.

    Thanks all for sharing your thoughts/ideas.

    I believe I was checked for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. But will double check. It sure sounds like me.