Mucus Retention

Understanding Mucus Retention

Mucus retention is when thick mucus accumulates in the respiratory system and is unable to be cleared naturally, leading to blockages in the airways. The mucus can cause extensive damage to the airways, create a breeding ground for infection, and lead to serious respiratory complications. If left unchecked, this mucus retention can be fatal.

The mucus accumulation is often caused by inappropriate ventilation, weak coughing muscles, or an obstruction in the airways. Those with conditions such as cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, chronic bronchitis, or asthma are more likely to suffer from mucus retention.

Symptoms of mucus retention include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Throat tightness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fever
  • Headache

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may perform any number of tests in order to diagnose your condition, such as a chest X-ray or a CT scan, or a bronchoscopy. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics, inhalers, mucolytics, or nebulizer treatments.

It is important to take the necessary steps to avoid mucus retention. These can include avoiding exposure to environmental irritants, drinking plenty of fluids to keep the airways hydrated, take frequent breaks from activities that cause shortness of breath, and consulting your doctor if you are experiencing respiratory symptoms.