Keeping your chest clear

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Keeping your chest clear

Treatments to help reduce the risk of chest infections due to a weakened cough

Weakening of the breathing muscles due to MND/ALS means your cough loses strength. It becomes harder to cough up mucus from the lungs. This can make you more prone to chest infections, which can have more impact on someone living with MND/ALS. Reducing the risk of chest infections is really important.

In this video respiratory physiotherapist Katie demonstrates some of the key techniques and kit that can help. This includes breath stacking and cough assist. She also outlines some of the key medications to manage secretions (mucus and saliva) and keep your mouth comfortable.

To reduce your risk of catching chest infections try to minimise contact with people who have coughs and colds. You should be able to get a flu jab in winter from your GP practice.

Weakening mouth and tongue muscles can lead to choking on food. You might inhale small particles of food, which can cause chest infections. See our resource myTube for information around eating and feeding tubes.

Top tip:  If you experience any choking and changes to your swallow ask to be referred to a Speech and Language Therapist