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Doctor insights on: Cough Black Mucus

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I used to cough out black mucus which has turned out to a white colour. Not much mucus, but only white. Mostly in the morning. Bad?

I used to cough out black mucus which has turned out to a white colour. Not much mucus, but only white. Mostly in the morning. Bad?

Sputum color....: Usually, white or clear sputum is considered normal. Black mucous is not usually normal and could be related to an environmental exposure. You need to quit smoking asap to avoid long-term complications like lung cancer, copd, etc. If the black sputum recurs, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

Mucus (Definition)

Like material that functions to moisten and protect inner body surfaces. The viscous slippery substance that consists chiefly of mucin, water, cells, and inorganic salts and that is secreted as a protective lubricant coating by the cells and glands of the mucous membranes. The free slime of the mucous membranes, composed of secretion of the glands, various salts, ...Read more


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Quadriplegic 62 year old male coughing up black mucus, not a smoker. Have had 2 recent cases of pneumonia in the last 6 months. What to do?

Quadriplegic 62 year old male coughing up black mucus, not a smoker. Have had 2 recent cases of pneumonia in the last 6 months. What to do?

Go to ER: The symptoms you report are very concerning for a gastrointestinal bleed. Things can become precarious in a quadriplegic and may cause problems quickly. Hence my suggestion that he goes to the hospital right away. Good luck and take care. ...Read more

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I quit smoking a year ago and still cough up mucus with black flecks in it. Is this normal?

I quit smoking a year ago and still cough up mucus with black flecks in it. Is this normal?

Black Flecks & Mucus: Coughing up black flecks is not a normal condition. It reminds me of black lung disease that is typically found in coal miners. Florida does not have coal mines, so I would not expect this finding. I would see a physician, get a chest xray and if possible save a sample of the coughed up mucus to be checked out. ...Read more

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I'm having shortness of breath/ tightening in my chest. My inhaler isn't working as much. I cough up mucus with black streaks. Cough when can't breat?

I'm having shortness of breath/ tightening in my chest. My inhaler isn't working as much. I cough up mucus with black streaks. Cough when can't breat?

Mgt: If your inhaler is not as effective in controlling the cough, your respiratory plan needs to be adjusted. The black streaks may be dried blood or tar. If you are smoking, avoid all smoke exposure, including second hand smoke. I would suggest a follow up with your PCP, and a follow up can be arranged online. Healthtap. Com/DosanjhMD Code: NCYHPZ ...Read more

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Why do I cough up dark green almost black mucus?

Why do I cough up dark green almost black mucus?

Cough: It depends where the mucous is coming from. It can be from the lungs or sinuses. See your doctor to be evaluated. ...Read more

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I cough up black spects in my mucus which is clear every time I lil on my back I cough upmucus with black spects in it?

I cough up black spects in my mucus which is clear every time I lil on my back I cough upmucus with black spects in it?

Mgt: I would recommend saving a sample and showing your PCP. If you smoke, please try to quit. Other possible causes include small amounts of bleeding. The source can vary and may include gastric and upper airway sources. ...Read more

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Every morning I wake up and cough up grey mucus wit black splotches is this bad, it has been going on for atleast two years.?

Every morning I wake up and cough up grey mucus wit black splotches is this bad, it has been going on for atleast two years.?

Not good: Need far more information and a detailed exam and possibly some imaging studies and exams of sputum. Do you smoke? Work around toxic materials you could inhale? Are you immunosuppressed? See a pulmonary doctor and get diagnosed and treated if necessary. ...Read more

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Is it bad to swallow the mucus you cough up? Even if it's blackish colored?

Typically OK: It is OK to do this in general as you swallow mucus from sinuses all the time with post nasal drip, but if you have black mucus, you should get that looked at and see a doctor. ...Read more

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I am experiencing chronic cough with bright yellow phlegm or mucus. The mucus has changed from dark brown/black to yellow. I'm an ex smoker of 1 year?

I am experiencing chronic cough with bright yellow phlegm or mucus. The mucus has changed from dark brown/black to yellow. I'm an ex smoker of 1 year?

Chronic bronchitis?: Congratulations on stopping smoking. But don't expect overnight recovery of your lungs and bronchial tree: it takes up to 5 years to recover from the effects of tobacco smoke. At only 1 year, you remain susceptible to bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. Less dark color of sputum usually is a good sign. But for sure check with your doctor and follow her advice. Good luck! ...Read more

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When I cough, I cough up mucous that is dark almost black. What does this mean?

When I cough, I cough up mucous that is dark almost black. What does this mean?

Check Environment: Most common cause of gray or black mucus is dirt and dust smoking marijuana can also cause black mucus or phlegm. Coal miners, can have black mucus. Exposure to beryllium may give black mucus chronic sinusitis and pneumonia associated with mucormycosis and aspergillosis infections (fungal). ...Read more

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My 3week old baby has a cough and has mucus what can I do?

My 3week old baby has a cough and has mucus what can I do?

Suporrtive care: As long as the child is eating well, staying pink and does not have a fever (rectal temp of 101 or under the arm 100), then salt water up the nose (ayr, nasalide, ocean nose drops) will help. Generally we recommend these babies be seen even if it seems like just a cold...Because of the age. Your doctor may also want to test for a virus called rsv. Continue feeding normally... ...Read more

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Clear mucus once in a while during cough. Is that anything to worry about?

Clear mucus once in a while during cough. Is that anything to worry about?

Postnasal drip: Most like causes of chronic cough in adults are chronic bronchitis (smokers with yellow am sputum), gastric reflux, cough variant asthma, allergy, and post nasal drip. Most cause dry cough but sometimes can expectorate clear saliva or mucous which is of infrequent concern especially if normal chest x-ray and no breathing problems. Average healthy nose makes 1-1.5 pints of mucous daily! ...Read more

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I was sick the coughing stop, but when I force myself to cough its still loud and there's still mucus, but it doesn't do it on its own, will it go away?

I was sick the coughing stop, but when I force myself to cough its still loud and there's still mucus, but it doesn't do it on its own, will it go away?

Windpipe: This may be an aftermath of tracheal irritation after a viral upper respiratory tract infection which was associated with coughing up mucus. This residual irritation should eventually resolve without antibiotics unless you are coughing up discolored sputum in which case you should consult your physician for treatment. ...Read more

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What can I take for mucus and a dry cough?

What can I take for mucus and a dry cough?

Mucus; cough: Drink plenty of fluids to loosen mucus; use saline nasal spray &/or gargle with warm salt water to clear secretions. Many otc products like Mucinex (guaifenesin) can also help. If develop purulent phlegm, raw/sore throat, fever, sinus pain/pressure, see doc for further evaluation & treatment. Humidifier can help add moisture to dry indoor environments. ...Read more

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What's it mean when u cough up white mucus?

What's it mean when u cough up white mucus?

Cough: It means there's some irritation. Need to figure out where it is and what's causing it. If you're a febrile you likely don't need to worry. If it persists, see your doctor. ...Read more

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What to do for coughing out mucus when I cough?

Mucus: Simplest thing is a mucus thinner called 'mucolytic' such as regular Robitussin or Mucinex (guaifenesin). Active ingredient is Guaifenesin which is very safe. Also drink plenty of fluids (water) to thin secretions while taking Guaifenesin and making it easier to cough out. Ask yourself why you are having a productive cough, and address the cause itself if possible. For example, quit smoking. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,539 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more