Mastering the “Good” Cough

When you simply “cough” because you need to cough, you may not be doing a very good job of clearing the mucus and phlegm out of your lungs. If you have COPD, you can do a better job of clearing your lungs, and at the same time tiring yourself out less, if you master a huff cough, also known in COPD circles as a forceful cough or “good” cough.

First, slow down your breathing. Try counting to two, slowly, as you breathe in. Then slowly count to four as you breathe out. Do this three or four times.

Then, take another slow, deep breath in and let your belly push out as you fill your lungs as much as you can.

Hold your breath for a count of four.

Raise your chin up, open your mouth, and use your belly to push the air out of your lungs in short bursts, quickly and forcefully. Make the sound “huh, huh, huh.”