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How to Treat a Wet Feeling in the Lungs

Updated April 17, 2017

A wet feeling in the lungs can be cause by fluid in the lungs or mucus secretions. Mucus secretions or phlegm build-up can be attributed to a number of factors including diet, toxins in the air and infections. It is best to clear up the lungs by coughing up the excess secretions. There are over-the-counter medicines, home remedies, changes in diet and prescription drugs that can aid in the healing of the lungs. However, if you're experiencing more serious illnesses associated with fluid in the lungs, it is best to get medical attention as soon as possible.

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  1. Inhale steam. This can be done through humidifiers, vaporisers or by simply taking deep breathes during a hot shower. The steam will help loosen the phlegm and mucus secretions and make them easier to cough up. Drinking lots of water also will help hydrate your body and lungs. It will help thin out the mucus and is helpful in loosening up mucus in the lungs.

  2. Take expectorants. Expectorants contains chemicals such as guaifenesin, ipecacuanha or ammonium citrate that also help loosen phlegm in the chest. Expectorants produce what is called productive coughs, as they aid in releasing more mucus from the lungs.

  3. Take antihistamines. Sometimes allergies can cause a postnasal drip, which means mucus is secreting to the back of the throat, affecting mucus build-up. Antihistamines or allergy medicines help dry up the nasal secretions.

  4. Go to the doctor. Doctors can prescribe antibiotics, as fluid build-up is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection of the lungs and is treated by antibiotics. However, antibiotics cannot cure viral infections. For persistent and severe coughs, it might be a good idea to get tested by the doctor with a chest X-ray for tuberculosis (TB) or lung cancer. Though having such conditions is unlikely, the doctor's visit may reveal another source for the chronic coughing and fluid in the lungs such as chronic bronchitis, which, if untreated, can lead to pneumonia.

  5. Tip

    Quit smoking. A smoker's cough can persist and also cause irritants to enter the lungs causing phlegm build-up.


    Seek professional medical attention when experiencing shortness of breath, chills, chest pain, bloody mucus, night sweats, weight loss or painful breathing.

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About the Author

Nikki Cash graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in film/TV, where she won an MPAA Scholarship. Since graduating, she has written and produced an independent feature film starting her career as a writer in 2005. Cash enjoys writing eHow articles with topics ranging from home improvement to crafts.

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