7 Airway Clearance Techniques


According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, there are seven major airway clearance techniques (ACTs) for patients with lung disease. Airway clearance is needed to help clear away mucus from the lungs to help prevent infections and to improve lung function. Children will need an adult to assist with ACTs, and different pulmonary fibrosis (PF) patients will prefer different methods of airway clearance.

Coughing and Huffing
Coughing is one of the easiest airway clearance techniques and helps to release mucus which can then be deposited in a tissue and disposed of. Huffing is similar to coughing although not as forceful. It’s useful if you become tired from coughing.

Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT)
ACBT uses different breathing techniques which can be adapted to suit your needs. Active cycle of breathing works by getting air behind the mucus and forcing it out and includes controlled breathing, chest expansion exercises and forced expiration–which usually consists of huffs of varying lengths and controlled breathing.

MORE: Six ways to help you take care of your lungs

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