Mucous bronchi


A mucus production is something completely natural. The mucus is produced by the mucous membrane of the bronchi, as well as the nasal mucosa. About the so-called Flimmereptihel, small mobile hair, the mucus is transported from the bronchi into the throat. This is then swallowed down so that it gets into the stomach. Via the mucus, foreign substances, such as inhaled dust particles, can be removed from the bronchi. The slime formation thus serves a cleaning and protection mechanism. Furthermore, the mucus keeps the mucous membrane moist. Under certain conditions, however, the production of mucus may be increased, so that the mucus formed by the affected person is perceived as unpleasant, because there is permanent mucus in the mouth. This can provoke a cough and in bad cases even a breathlessness.

More information on this topic here: Cough


Probably the most common cause of congested bronchi is a cold, such as bronchitis. During a cold, there is usually increased mucus production both in the nasal mucosa and in the bronchial mucosa. This is intended to cause the pathogen of the common cold to be transported via the mucus from the respiratory tract. The pathogens are in most cases viruses, but sometimes bacteria are responsible for the disease. The infection after infection can persist for a few days over the cold because the irritated / inflamed mucosa needs more time to regenerate.

Causes of increased mucus production are pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, exhaust gases or chemicals. The lungs would like to transport the foreign bodies out of the lungs via increased mucus production. Fine hairs on the bronchial mucous membrane help. Invading bacteria causes a local inflammatory reaction in the mucous membrane. Affected mucosal areas swell. Increased immune cells and mucus are formed.

Due to the swollen bronchi, the mucus is difficult to drain and serves as a breeding ground for more bacteria. In cystic fibrosis also finds contracted bronchi. Here, the malfunction of a particular ion channel (chloride channel) is the cause. Due to altered ion concentrations, the mucus becomes viscous and can be difficult to cough off. Affected are particularly susceptible to infection. In addition to the lungs, especially the digestive tract is affected.

Cause due to smoking

Especially with smokers it can come to the development of a chronic bronchitis, thus a permanently existing inflammation of the bronchi. The chronic bronchitis is the precursor to the colloquially referred smoker's lung dar. If one speaks of the smoker's lung, one means the clinical picture of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By definition, it is a chronic bronchitis, if cough and phlegm, ie mucus, are present over a period of at least three months and for at least two consecutive years. This is the case for about ten percent of the population. But not only smoking can cause chronic bronchitis. Some people are exposed to various fumes or dusts in their workplaces, which also irritate the respiratory tract and have an effect similar to smoking.

Cause due to asthma

Also, an asthma disease is noticeable by an increased mucus production in the bronchi. Of the ongoing processes, it is equivalent to a COPD disease. However, the cause is another. And asthma does not have such far-reaching consequences as COPD. For after an asthma attack, the conditions in the bronchi are completely back. Nevertheless, there is also a constriction of the bronchi, a swelling of the mucous membrane and increased mucus production. An asthma attack is often triggered by an allergy.

Cause due to allergy

Even with an allergy it can come to an excessive secretion (formation of liquids). Typical is a stuffy nose and watery eyes, but also in the lungs can lead to an excessive production of mucus. Best shares of z. B. Bee pollen may get into the bronchi by inhalation, triggering an overshooting immune response. The bronchial mucosa produces more mucus to transport the foreign body to the outside. The longer the person is exposed to the stimulus, the more mucus is produced.

Find out more here: Symptoms of an allergy

After the sport

In sports, especially endurance sports, we change our breathing. You breathe faster and deeper, the air is not so much warmed and moistened with water, as at rest. The lung mucosa can be irritated and swells. In addition, stimulation stimulates mucus production. Particularly affected are asthmatics or persons suffering from exercise-induced asthma. Sport - in moderation - is also important for asthmatics. By moving the mucus in the bronchi is loosened and can be coughed off better.

Cause due to stress

Also psychosomatically it can lead to an increased mucus production. In a psychosomatic illness expresses a psychological stress / stress in a physical symptoms. This can also be done by increased mucus production. Affected individuals often find it difficult to accept that there is no physical cause for their condition and, accordingly, no adequate treatment. If the psyche is back in balance, the symptoms often disappear again.

Mucous bronchi due to smoking

In addition to all the other harmful effects of smoking, the lung is most injured. Smoking causes the respiratory tract to be regularly irritated with harmful substances. It comes to a damage to the cleaning system of the lungs. The ciliated epithelium is practically paralyzed by smoking. Thus, one deprives oneself of a part of his own physical defense. In addition, the condition of a cold is mimicked in principle by the irritation. Reactive it comes to a swelling of the mucous membranes, which then increasingly produce a tough mucus. The fact that the mucus can not be removed properly, it comes to the typical smoker's cough. The cough serves as a reflex to transport the mucus from the bronchi. He mostly appears in the morning. Since one usually does not smoke at night, the ciliated epithelium can resume its work at night because the harmful effect on the hairs is no longer directly present. In order to transport the last mucus remnants from the respiratory tract, a strong cough sets in after waking up. Finally, the symptoms of continuous smoking increase more and more, so that it comes to a certain degree first to the development of chronic bronchitis. In the further course, it can then lead to a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is accompanied by severe symptoms. After a certain condition, some patients may even be dependent on oxygen ventilation. This is usually the case when those affected continue their high nicotine consumption fully on diagnosis.

The fact that the body's own cleaning system of the respiratory system no longer works properly, can also form infections easier. Normally, pathogens such as bacteria and viruses are to be transported out of the respiratory tract via the mucus. In a chronic smoker, however, increased mucus accumulates in the bronchi, which can not be transported to the pharynx. In addition, many pathogens like a moist and warm environment, which is due to the mucus in the bronchi. As a result, pathogens are more likely to be in the phlegm, leading to a common cold, which is often more protracted and more pronounced than with a non-smoker.

If you stop smoking, the ciliated epithelium can regenerate again. Until the epithelium has recovered, it comes after the smoke stop often to an increased coughing stimulus, which seems strange to many.


The symptoms associated with congested bronchial tubes are easily deduced. The body of course tries to get the increased mucus from the respiratory tract, causing it to cough. One then speaks of a productive cough, as there is mucus in the mouth mucus. If the cause of the mucus is an infection, it may have an unpleasant taste. If the cough is not effective, it can also lead to a slight shortness of breath. This is more the case with babies and small children. Since the increased mucus production often occurs in the context of an infection, it comes concomitantly to other disease symptoms, such as runny nose, sore throat, fever and head and body aches. An existing COPD disease also involves an air deficit in the advanced stage, which in turn leads to a limited resilience.

However, it may also be the case that the coughing stimulus is completely absent. Why it comes to congested bronchi, without an occasional cough is present, can not be explained. The cough belongs to the automatic protective reflex of the body. There may be a lack of coughing when the whiskers blow enough to remove the mucus. In this case, however, the bronchi can not be excessively verschleimt.

Shortness of breath due to congested bronchi

A respiratory distress occurs in connection with congested bronchi, especially when it comes to the clinical picture of chronic obstructive Lunkenerkrankung (COPD). This causes swelling of the bronchial mucosa. This produces more mucus and constricts the bronchi at the same time, so less air gets through the airways. In COPD a distinction is made between different stages. With each stage the respiratory distress gets worse. At first, it only occurs under physical as well as psychological stress. Later, however, the respiratory distress may also occur under rest conditions. Even later, it often requires oxygen ventilation, so the patient needs an oxygen device for the home. Initially, the device will often be necessary only at night, while at a later time it will also be needed during the day.

An asthma attack is also associated with shortness of breath, as the bronchi narrow during the attack and are additionally cramped by the mucus. However, in contrast to COPD, unrestricted breathing is possible again after the onset of the attack.

Even a respiratory infection, which is associated with a strong production of mucus, a respiratory distress may occur. This is especially the case with small children when the secretion builds up.

Bloody sputum on congested bronchi

A bloody cough or bloody mucus is relatively rare. Partly bloody mucus can occur with a very strong bronchitis. It is usually accompanied by a bad cough, which can lead to small mucosal bleeding due to the jerkiness of the reflex. It is something completely harmless. In smokers, on the other hand, bloody mucus may indicate lung cancer and, if it occurs regularly, it should definitely be checked by a doctor. Even patients who take a blood thinner, such as Marcumar, it can often lead to a slightly bloody cough.


If a patient presents to his doctor with congested bronchi, he first starts with a medical history (interview). It is important to know how long the symptoms persist and whether they are accompanied by other symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever or a feeling of illness. If other symptoms of illness appear, a cold is likely. The color of the slime is also interesting. If it is yellow to green, it is more of a bacterial infection. This is even more likely if the infection has been around for some time, does not get better and is also accompanied by fever. In this case should be treated with an antibiotic. After the interview, a physical examination follows. It is particularly interesting whether you hear with the stethoscope morbid sounds above the lungs. Muculous bronchi are often associated with bronchitis. In this case, a whistling sound would be heard above the lungs. This would also be the case with COPD, as it also leads to a narrowing of the bronchi in this case.

Therapy for congested bronchi

Especially with a viscous mucus in the bronchi is often necessary to support the removal of the secretion. A simple way to help the body with the removal of the slime is to drink a lot. At least two liters of liquid should be drunk every day. As a result, the mucus is diluted and can be better transported away over the ciliated epithelium. In addition to drinking, the doctor may prescribe mucus removers. These are usually also available at the pharmacy. Slime removers also ensure liquefaction of the mucus and facilitate removal. We are happy to use herbal medicines. These often contain ivy, anise, primrose root or thyme herb.

home remedies

A very good mucus remover is a homemade herbal tea, consisting of anise, thyme and cowslip root. Generally it is very important to drink a lot to make the mucus thinner, so it can be coughed off better. In addition, you can give honey in the tea or take it pure. Warm moist wraps around the ribcage also relieve the symptoms. Dry air, on the other hand, should be avoided and possibly the room air should be moistened with a humidifier. In addition, you can inhale warm water vapor. In the water you can mix common salt or essential oils. In addition, light walks in the fresh air help.


There are a number of homeopathic remedies that can be taken to help loosen the mucus. These include Antimonium tartaricum (Brechwein stone), Ipecacuanha (Brechwurzel), Hepar sulfuris (lime-sulfur liver) or Pulsatilla (Wiesenkachenschelle). The remedies should be taken in potency C12. 2-3 beads are taken four times a day. Melt the substance in the mouth and then swallow it. It is best to eat for a quarter of an hour before and then nothing to eat and drink.

If the mucus in the bronchi is triggered by smoking, the best treatment is the cessation of nicotine use. This is the only measure to prevent further progression of the disease. With drugs, one can only try to relieve the symptoms. The disease itself is not improved by this.
Read more: Stop smoking - but how?

Patients with chronic lung disease are also advised to use lung sports. This serves to prevent muscle loss and counteract. If it comes to a muscle breakdown, the breathing is made even more difficult. Also, various breathing exercises are recommended in this context.

Medication for blemished bronchi

There are drugs, as already mentioned under the topic treatment, on the one hand, the group of mucus removers. Most physicians prefer the use of herbal supplements. Only rarely used is acetylcysteine (eg ACC-acut®). There is a risk that the dissolved mucus will become too thin and then remain in the bronchi because it can no longer be transported into the pharynx. Therefore, it is only used when it is very firm, penetrating mucus. Cough suppressants should also not be taken, as these prevent, that the mucus is transported by the cough from the respiratory tract. In order to facilitate sleeping, cough stillers may be partially taken before going to bed.
Read more about: Cough and cough suppressant medications

In addition, medicines can also be prescribed that expand the bronchi and thus improve the removal of the mucus. As a result, they are usually used in the presence of COPD or asthma. One distinguishes between short and long-acting drugs. Short-acting drugs are used as needed, while long-acting bronchial tubes are used as a permanent medication. In addition to these drugs are used, which relieve inflammation. One of the most well-known remedies is cortisone. Since irritation of the respiratory tract with pathogens or pollutants causes inflammation, the mucous membrane swells. Relieves the inflammation, the mucous membrane swells and less mucus is produced. Anti-inflammatory drugs are more likely to be used in advanced stages of asthma or COPD.

Inhalation of congested bronchi

Inhaling is a useful method to dissolve the mucus in the bronchi. For inhalation, various substances are suitable. Camomile, for example, either in the form of a tea or as a liquid extract, has an anti-inflammatory effect. Alternatively, essential oils such as eucalyptus or mountain pine can be used. The problem with inhaling bronchial congestion is that the effect usually does not go down to the bronchi. Inhalation develops its effect mainly in the upper respiratory tract, such as the nose. In order for the bronchi to benefit as well, small droplets are needed that can moisturize the mucous membranes of the bronchi. These droplets can reach the bronchi by means of ultrasonic or jet nebulizers. For example, a simple saline solution, which is available in the pharmacy, is suitable for use. The previously mentioned essential oils are suitable for normal inhalation, but less for the droplet inhalation. Because they irritate the respiratory tract and can then trigger a shortness of breath.

Blemished bronchi at the baby

Babies are more susceptible to infections because of their immature immune system. Especially in the winter months, they often cause respiratory tract infections. Bronchitis is characteristically associated with mucus formation in the bronchi. In babies and toddlers, this is often associated with a narrowing of the respiratory tract due to the strong mucus formation. The oxygen content of the blood is slightly reduced in these children.

Also, by smoking people in the environment, such as the parents, a bronchitis can be triggered. If the symptoms recur again and again, the acute bronchitis can even turn into chronic bronchitis. Passive smoking for children should definitely be avoided.

Mucous bronchi in hay fever

Mucillated bronchi are not a typical symptom of hay fever. Hay fever is a seasonally occurring allergy to various pollens and grasses. It is mainly characterized by watery and itchy eyes, as well as sneezing and a runny nose. Here it comes to an increased formation of secretions in order to transport the supposed foreign substance, the allergen, out of the body. There may also be a similar reaction in the bronchi. Because the mucus, which is formed by the bronchial mucous membrane, also serves to eliminate harmful substances. The symptoms of hay fever in affected individuals vary in severity and with different symptoms. In some cases, there may also be increased mucus production in the bronchi and cough, although it is not a typical symptom of hay fever.

Mucous bronchi without cough and cold

Even a healthy lung produces mucus to transport foreign bodies that fall into the lungs back out. The mucus is transported with the help of ciliated epithelium back into the throat, where we usually swallow it together with the spit unnoticed.

A typical disease that causes increased mucus production in the bronchi is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Chronic inflammation causes many immune cells in the bronchial mucosa. Likewise, the mucus cells in the bronchi multiply and there is hypersecretion (increased mucus production). The bronchial mucus is actually used to foreign substances, such as particles of tobacco smoke from the lungs to transport outside.

In long-term smokers, however, this mucociliary clearance (cleaning) is overloaded and the mucus settles in the lungs. In the case of COPD, the bronchi are additionally constricted so that the mucus can not be coughed up or made difficult to cough up. Especially in the early stages of COPD many sufferers are free of complaints for a long time. Only in the course of cough, sputum and respiratory distress are added.

Cystic fibrosis (cystic fibrosis), an inherited metabolic disease, also causes excessive mucus production. The viscous mucus closes the smaller bronchi and parts of the lung can no longer participate in gas exchange. The mucus in the bronchi is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. Patients with COPD or cystic fibrosis are therefore very susceptible to infection.

Mucous bronchi in back pain

Bruised bronchi and chest or upper back pain are typical in acute bronchitis. The pain is respiratory dependent. Especially the deep inhalation causes pain. The pain in the back are mostly muscular. Increased coughing puts a heavy strain on the accessory muscles, which can manifest as tension. A warm hot water bottle can provide relief here. As a rule, the pain disappears after a short time or after the bronchitis subsides. However, it can also be a sign of pleurisy. The pain here is also breath-dependent and pungent. Often, however, only one side is affected here. In addition, there are strong general symptoms such as fever and night sweats.

Mucous bronchi with irritating cough

The irritating cough is a dry cough, in which no mucus is formed. Often the stimulus comes from upper lung sections or the throat (scratching in the throat). In addition, the lung can be irritated by pollutants such as cigarette smoke or exhaust gases that produce a coughing fit. Long and loud speech can also cause a cough. Through a dry mouth and throat mucous membrane it comes to a constant Räusperzwang and coughing.

Even with laryngitis, sufferers have to cough more dry, in addition to suffering from dysphagia and hoarseness. Cough can also be a side effect of drugs such. As ACE inhibitors that are taken to lower blood pressure, be. By the drug codeine the coughing stimulus can be suppressed. However, if the cough is productive / slimy, no cough suppressant should be taken, as the coughing up of mucus is important.

Bloody sputum on congested bronchi

A bloody cough or bloody mucus is relatively rare. Partly bloody mucus can occur with a very strong bronchitis. It is usually accompanied by a bad cough, which can lead to small mucosal bleeding due to the jerkiness of the reflex. It is something completely harmless. In smokers, on the other hand, bloody mucus may indicate lung cancer and, if it occurs regularly, it should definitely be checked by a doctor. Even patients who take a blood thinner, such as Marcumar, it can often lead to a slightly bloody cough.

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