Our bodies have many defence mechanisms to protect us from infection, sputum is one of these. Sputum filters out harmful particles that we can breathe in and reduces our risk of developing infections.
|The benefits of sputum
||The downside of sputum
- We all have sputum in our lungs.
- Sputum helps to protect our airways from infection. More about this can be found in the section on ‘What is COPD’.
- A change in our sputum can give us an ‘early warning’ sign. More about this can be found in the section on ‘Managing an exacerbation’.
- Some people have more sputum than is usual.
- Sometimes it can be difficult to shift.
- Sometimes it can be distressing.
- Sometimes it clogs up the airways making breathing feel more difficult.
- Lots of coughing can be tiring and sore.
- Coughing can be embarrassing.
Please note there is no audio for this animation.