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Breathing Exercises for Fluid in Lungs

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
Breathing Exercises for Fluid in Lungs
Deep breathing can help expel excess fluid in the lungs. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

When fluid collects in the various air sacs in the lungs, it's called pulmonary edema. This can result from a number of different conditions, most notably heart diseases, but also pneumonia, exercising and exposure to various toxins, according to MayoClinic.com. Other conditions that improve with breathing therapies include pleurisy and pleural effusions, when fluids build up between the lung lining and the chest cavity. Once the underlying condition that caused the edema is treated, the fluid can be managed through medication, surgery, oxygen and breathing therapy.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises help to keep the lung muscles healthy to prevent infections and pneumonia from developing, according to MedlinePlus. Deep breathing exercise can be performed hourly to maintain oxygen levels and clear the lungs of excessive carbon dioxide build-up.

Sit or stand erect with your head facing forward. You can place your hand over your abdominal region to make sure you are doing the exercise correctly. Take in a deep breath through your nose. To ensure a deep breath, count to four as you inhale. Feel your diaphragm rise up and your stomach suck in as you breathe in. Hold the breath for a count of six and push the air out of your lungs through your mouth as you count to eight. Your abdomen should expand when you exhale. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

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Coughing up excess mucus in the lungs is another important step in recovery from a lung surgery or other condition that created a build-up of fluids. There are a number of ways you can initiate productive coughing. According to the Cancer Supportive Care Programs, stacked breathing exercises can effectively create coughing when you exhale.

Take in a breath through your nose, close your throat by pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth and tighten the muscles in your throat to prevent any air from escaping. Hold for a couple of seconds and push out the air with a cough. Keep coughing if your throat tickles. Expel any mucus that comes up with the cough. You can increase the pressure on the cough by asking a family member or caregiver to press on your abdomen as you exhale and cough.

Breathing Blow Bottle

Some people are sent home from the hospital after surgical procedures with a breathing blow bottle to reduce fluid in the lungs. Patients with any lung difficulties are encouraged to use the tool at least once every 30 minutes for a count of 10.

Place the tube in front of your mouth and blow out any air in your lungs. Move the tube into your mouth and take a deep breath, making the ball in the bottle rise. Work to get the ball on the to rise to a level predetermined by your doctor. Once you hit the mark, remove the tube and exhale. Repeat 10 times.

Short Breaths

Concentrate on your breathing patterns so that you can recognize when your breathing moves from your diaphragm to your rib muscles. Proper breathing that keeps the lungs clear of fluid takes place from the diaphragm. Push out the air in your lungs through your nose for this exercise.

Inhale deeply through your mouth and exhale through your nose quickly, aiming for one exhalation every second. Relax when all the air is expelled and breathe deeply again, exhaling in quick, short breaths. Repeat five times.

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