The first step towards treating cystic fibrosis is to get the mucus from the patient’s lungs by means of bronchial airway drainage techniques which involve coughing and huffing.
Instruct the patient to regularly practice active-cycle breathing techniques (ACBT) in tandem with a number of breathing-control exercises. Furthermore, instruct the patient to practice thoracic-expansion exercises as well.
For at least 30 times twice a day, ask a person to lightly thump on the patient’s chest and back. This is called the CTP technique and is aimed at loosening mucus.
Instruct the patient to change his physical position frequently in order to help gravity at bronchial drainage. This technique is a part of the postural drainage method.
Mechanical devices such as electric chest clapper or a high-frequency chest oscillation device should be used to perform chest percussion, thus paving way for clearing the patient’s bronchial airways.
Instruct the cystic fibrosis patient to use oscillatory positive expiratory pressure (OPEP) devices. These devices loosen and eventually clear mucus through vibrations which are created when the patient exhales into a hand-held device for a certain period of time regularly.
Another possible way to clear mucus is to perform the Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) therapy. In this therapy, patients are required to use breathing mask or mouthpiece which in turn, is attached to a resistance providing devices. The PEP therapy is mainly aimed at opening bronchial airways.
The best way to get rid of mucus starting with smaller bronchial airways and moving to the larger ones is to make the patient practice the Autogenic Drainage (AD) technique. This technique requires the patient to vary the time taken to inhale and exhale with each breath taken. Keep in mind that cystic fibrosis patients below the age of 8 may not be able to perform this technique effectively because it is very difficult to master.