COPD & Emphysema Support Group

COPD is a progressive disease characterized by airflow obstruction or limitation. Emphysema is characterized by loss of elasticity of the lung tissue, destruction of structures supporting the alveoli and of capillaries feeding the alveoli. Both have symptoms that include shortness of breath, among other respiratory troubles. If you are a COPD or Emphysema sufferer, join the group and find support.

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I am wondering if anyone has the same problem as myself. I am bringing up a lot of phlem it is clear but thick at times and I get very breathless. It is really getting me down, as even when I drink or eat it comes up in mouthfulls. Some days it almost constant and at night I have to sleep elevated as it feels as if it is laying on my lungs. I recently had to go into the ER as I could not get my breath. The doctor said that my oxygen levels were fine and he thinks that it is acid reflux that is causing this phlem. He has referred me to see a Gastroendrologist that deals with acid reflux to see if she can find out where this think phlem is coming from. I also suffer from a Hiatus Hernia and I do not know if this is aggravating it. I would appreciate any advice anyone can give me, as it is making me feel very depressed.



I have the same issue, although not as bad as what you are experiencing. When my doctor was first diagnosing me for COPD he indicated that it could be caused by acid reflux. He put me on Nexium, but it was too strong, so we went to Pepcid (over the counter). No more heartburn, but I kept coughing up mucous.

As the coughing continued to worsen, he did a MRI and then indicated that I had bronchiectasis. Your can find out about this disease at:

I don't know if you have the same thing, but I asked the doctor about taking Mucinex DM and he approved. It does give some relief for the mucous.
There are other methods of relief you might want to investigate such as "chest physical therapy." But of course, always check with your health care professional -- especially since I'm not one!

I'd love to hear what others add to this discussion!

I am glad someone else also brought this up for I have the same problem.

Copious amounts of mucous that do not seem to be coming from my lungs, but rather from my sinuses, but so far doctors just shrug off that possibility.

It feels like there is something stuck in my throat and I feel like I am choking on it.

I do not have GERD, do not smoke - am just told it is asthma or COPD, though it does not feel like either one. It is really frustrating.

The only thing that has helped me is an over the counter allergy pill, which seems to dry it up somehat and I can breathe more easily.

I, too, get depressed over it, for it seems constant.

My next step is a nasal wash to see if that will help. (I have heard it does).

I hope others respond as well.

Hi, I have had GERD for a pretty long time now and I also have a hiatal hernia. I have also been coughing up phlegm that is usually colorless, sometimes thick, sometimes not. I hope that someone here can offer us some good advice on this, as the coughing is constant and pretty much so is the mucous. The doctor gave me Advair and that has seemed to help lessen it a bit. Anyways, good luck and hope it gets better for you!

hi bizzyliz
i too had the same problem till my doctor started me on three sachets of acetylcysteine 200mg daily since then i hardly cough up any phelm, it is pleasant to take like an orange drink,i hope this is of some help to you. kathy

I found this at Don't know if this applies to you or not. Common questions and shared effects of COPD*

Q. How come my nose runs so much when I exert? It just flows like you turned on a faucet. Yet when I sit, it dries up?

A: This, for most folks is the result of a response from the nervous system that is part of the "fight or flight" system of reflexes - - - the same mechanisms that cause your heart rate to increase, your heart to pound, your blood pressure to increase and your pupils to dilate in response to sudden excitation/fear/fright, etc. Not only may you experience a runny nose, but your sinuses may clear during this phenomenon, making breathing through your nose remarkably improved only to rebound to stuffiness once you relax and return to your resting state.

Generally speaking, you should accommodate this phenomenon, refraining from using sprays or medications to dry up your nose as they will not work during the time the problem is occurring, but may work with a vengeance AFTER the problem has passed!

My pulmonologist is treating me for both GERD and post-nasal drip. I use Nasonex, one spray only in each nostril at bedtime, for the drip. I had sinus surgery about 10 years ago, but I still have the tendency to drip. Also I take Aciphex for the acid reflux. It's expensive, but it has really helped. He also has me take 1200mg of Mucinex DM morning and night to keep secretions loose. I think that all 3 of these meds are really helping. I cough much less, and even things like sore mouth or throat are much better. Good luck!

kyliesnan, thank you!!! i've had that happen to me for some time now. i'd asked about it and never got a reason for it. almost as if i was nuts. i'm glad to hear that a runny nose follows exertion and it does happen to others!!thanks, margaret
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