Physiotherapy can help with CF patients with mucus clearance in CF patients. Removing this mucus is very important for preventing infections in the airways and for making it easier for CF patients to breathe. Two common physiotherapy techniques are used in CF: a two-step procedure called postural drainage and percussion, and a set of breathing exercises called active cycle of breathing techniques.
Oxygen therapy is a treatment in which a patient breathes pure oxygen through a mask or nose tube. Many CF patients wear an oxygen mask at night to ensure they are receiving enough oxygen while they are sleeping. Some use oxygen while they are exercising so they will not become oxygen-deprived; others may need to have a machine in their home or take a portable oxygen tank with them when they travel.
High-frequency Chest Wall Oscillation
High-frequency chest wall oscillation is an airway clearance strategy used for CF and other pulmonary diseases. It is typically performed using an inflatable vest and an air pulse generator. The generator sends rapid pulses of air to the vest, causing it to inflate and deflate, putting pressure on the chest walls. The percussive pressure produced by the vest helps separate mucus from the airway walls in the lungs, helping it move up and out.
Positive Expiratory Pressure
In the positive expiratory pressure technique, the patient breathes in normally through a PEP mouthpiece and then exhales out forcefully against airway resistance created by the device. This generates a positive expiratory force that drives out mucus from the clogged-up airways. Multiple iterations of breathing-in and forced-exhalation maneuvers, followed by huff coughs, help in clearing out mucus.