What is Mucus Hypersecretion?

Mucus hypersecretion causes due to the mucus or phlegm that is expelled from the lower respiratory tract (bronchi and lungs) through coughing. This is a slippery, clear liquid produced by mucous glands. 

Some people experience excessive production of mucus in their lungs. This leads to discomfort, breathing problems, and increased risk of infections.

This excess mucus secretion is called Sputum or Mucus Hypersecretion.



What causes Mucus Hypersecretion?



Symptoms of Mucus Hypersecretion

Given below are the most common symptoms related to Mucus Hypersecretion.

1 Sore or scratchy throat The development of excessive mucus may also make you feel hoarse and give you a sore, scratchy throat. 

2 Feeling the need to cough The mucus within the bronchi will need to an urge to cough by triggering the cough reflex

4 Trouble sleeping: Excessive amounts of mucus will gather in the lungs during the night and the urge to cough and clear the lungs can  make sleeping uncomfortable.5 Wheezing or crackling Increased mucus in the lungs can block air passages, making it difficult for you to breathe in and out and result in wheezing.


6 Tips to Manage Mucus Hypersecretion

#1 Drug therapies

Medication prescribed by a specialist may help to reduce mucus production or  promote mucus clearance from air passageways. 

Expectorants, mucolytics and mucokinetic agents are types of therapies that are used in the management ofMucus Hypersecretion. These can include therapies such hypertonic saline, carbocysteine, N-acetylcysteine and mannitol. In some cases anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory medication can be used.  It is essential that specialist consultation is made prior to initiating drug therapies as it is very important to establish a diagnosis first.

#2 Using a saline nasal spray or rinse

Sometimes the mucus being cleared from the throat does not originate from the bronchi and lungs but instead develops in the nose and moves back and down the throat. This is known as post nasal drip and is a common cause for coughing. In this situation it is important that nasal inflammation is treated. Nasal steroids are effective at treating post nasal drip. Using a saline spray for nasal douching is helpful to clear out mucus and allergens from the nose and sinuses.  

#3 Quit smoking

Cigarette smoking is closely associated with overproduction of mucus in chronic bronchitis. Smoking leads to  the cells that produce mucus in the lungs and airways grow in size and number. As a result, the amount of mucus increases and thickens causing Mucus hypersecretion.

Therefore, Quitting smoking and terminating exposure to secondhand smoke can aid in managing Mucus Hypersecretion.

#4 Avoid irritants

Exposure to other inhaled irritants can further contribute to chronic bronchitis. These irritants include secondhand smoke, air pollutants, chemical fumes, fragrances and dust from the external environment or workplace. Pollutants induce goblet cells to generate and discharge mucus, as well as harming the cilia and airway structures. Avoiding such irritants can substantially reduce exposure to Sputum hypersecretion.

 #5 Hydrate the body

Keeping the body well hydrated aids in keeping the mucus thin. Drinking plenty of water, or considering hydrating medications and avoiding dehydrating beverages are ways of keeping the body hydrated. Viscous mucus is hard to clear and therefore dehydration must be avoided.

 #6 Using Eucalyptus essential oil for inhalation

Eucalyptus oil is often inhaled as a home remedy as a natural anti-inflammatory and mucolytic agent. Eucalyptus contains the achiral aromatic compound named cineole. This compound helps break up mucus and reduce inflammation. Applying products that contain Eucalyptus or inhaling a small number (1 to 2)  drops of diffused Eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water can help subdue mucus production. It is important, however, to note that inhaling high concentrations of Eucalyptus oil or ingesting Eucalyptus oil can be toxic.

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