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Doctor insights on: Can't Stop Coughing Up Phlegm

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Dr. Peter Kurzweil
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Dr. Gerald Mandell
719 doctors shared insights

Phlegm (Definition)

Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus secreted by the surface of the respiratory tract during a cold or other respiratory infection. The respiratory tract includes the nose and sinuses, throat, voice box, bronchi, and lungs. Phlegm is mucus that may contain bacteria, viruses, respiratory surface cells, and inflammatory cells. Normal mucus is not phlegm, but a protective layer secreted ...Read more


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Had a cold over a week ago symptoms subsided still some conjestion in chest coughing up phlegm clear, ,cough 4 perhour when to worry about a cough.

Had a cold over a week ago symptoms subsided still some conjestion in chest coughing up phlegm clear, ,cough 4 perhour when to worry about a cough.

Generally normal: It may take a few weeks for the cilia (lung hair cells) and edema (swelling) to subside. Over the counter cough suppressants may help. Increase water intake. If cough persists more than a few weeks or mucus becomes discolored it's time to see your physician. ...Read more

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Dr. Peter Kurzweil
44 years in practice
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I diagnosed and treated me for whooping cough. Is it normal for me to be coughing up phlegm and blood and having a runny nose with mucus and blood?

Yes: Whooping cough, or pertussis can cause excessive, protracted coughing. Small membranes in the throat may burst with hard coughing and blood may come up with phlegm. You may benefit from meds to supress the cough, especially to help you sleep. ...Read more

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I have had a cough for almost two months now. Now with the cough my jaw hurts & im coughing up phlegm & stomach acid. My sinuses are also very conjest?

I have had a cough for almost two months now. Now with the cough my jaw hurts & im coughing up phlegm & stomach acid. My sinuses are also very conjest?

Two weeks: If your infection has not resolved in two weeks, then you should go visit a doc. I had a coworker have sinus infection and he ended up in icu. ...Read more

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I've been coughing up phlegm all night and finally coughed up vomit and black phlegm twice? I still can't stop coughing I have been a smoker for 5 year

I've been coughing up phlegm all night and finally coughed up vomit and black phlegm twice? I still can't stop coughing  I have been a smoker for 5 year

Possibilities...,: You may have acute bronchitis from either a viral or bacterial infection. You may also have bronchospasm contributing to this cough. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. You really need to quit smoking asap to decrease your airway inflammation. If this cough has been present for more than 3 weeks, chronic bronchitis needs to be ruled out as well. Treatment for all these is available. ...Read more

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Dr. Peter Kurzweil
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Is it bad that i've been coughing up phlegm for about 3 weeks now?

Is it bad that i've been coughing up phlegm for about 3 weeks now?

Needs Eval: A persistent cough that is productive needs to be evaluated. You may have chronic bronchitis, a form of copd. Other possibilities include bronchospasm of any etiology, gerd, post-nasal drip or even a combination of factors. It needs evaluation so proper treatment can be rendered. If you smoke, you need to quit today! ...Read more

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I wake up at night coughing up phlegm. Is there anything wrong?

I wake up at night coughing up phlegm. Is there anything wrong?

Possibilities: Acid reflux and post nasal drainage can both cause nighttime coughing spells. Raising the head of the bed may help some. ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,097 doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry, while others are considered productive. A productive cough is one ...Read more


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