I have a chesty cough but unable to bring up phlegm…does anyone know how to help or techniques

I had a DR as a client and he suggested that I take a paper towel roll (inside the cardboard round tube) and pan of water on the stove. Put a little Ginger in it (spice power or a 1/4 of the root) let it boil. Suck up the steam from the pan 4x's 3-4 x's per day. This really helps me out when I get any chest congestion. I like this thought cause it's concentrated steam going into your lungs. When you do bring up even a little bit do not swallow it again get it out because it all accumulates. Also, having a crock pot with hot water and ginger going with the lid off all day is a good idea to get more moisture in the air too! I hope this helps you, it's my go to! :-)

I second the steam thing with a vaporizer or the sink (you can fill your sink bowl up with hot water and cover your head hovering over the water with a towel). Plus, adding an expectorant -eucalyptus oil is another option -to the water steaming and then get rid of the mucus that you cough up.

Hi Joe,

You should see your GP about this; especially if you've had a cold recently, as it could be a chest infection. If the phlegm is stuck, it could also be asthma, etc. If the cough has persisted for three weeks, you might also need a chest X-ray. Your Doctor may also be able to prescribe something to open your lungs up better to clear any phlegm (salbutamol inhaler for asthma, others for chest infections).

For general information for you and everyone who reads this, this is as good a time to remind everyone about a few things:

The cold and flu season is upon us. As well as the usual cold and flu season stuff, and the occasional related infections of sinus, ear, throat, and chest, ataxians might have a higher chance of chest infections due to choking on food.

Someone with a history of things like Asthma can have extra difficulty coughing up the phlegm, complicating things a little. Diabetes (in Friedreich's Ataxia, Anti-GAD Ataxia, or Mitochondrial Ataxia syndromes) can reduce immunity. In the UK, Asthmatics and Diabetics are entitled to get the Flu Jab. Ask your GP Surgery.

Chest infections often come with phlegm which is an opaque bright green, and you may have a temperature. See your Doctor as soon as possible about this.

However, in pneumonia, someone may get a higher temperature (e.g. 102F+), the phlegm usually turns a rust-brown colour, and the cough can go "dry" and no more phlegm is brought up. You need to see a Doctor urgently about these types of symptoms. This could be "aspiration pneumonia", from choking on food.

Ataxia UK have a leaflet about "Swallowing and Speech", and how to help prevent these types of problems:

Here's to hoping we all stay well this coming winter.