Doctor insights on:
Cough Black Phlegm
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
Possibilities....: If this is a change in color or consistency, it could be due to acute bronchitis caused by an infection of the airways, either bacterial or viral. If you have other symptoms of infection, like fever, chills, nasal congestion, body aches, etc., or if it isn't improving, then see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is present, you may need antibiotic therapy. If you smoke, you need to quit. ...Read more
Cough: Symptom of coughing can be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, possibly even strep but un cough specific syrups or tablets are readily available for relief. Decongestant medicines can help if the cough is related to sinus drainage. Giving the cough ample time to clear is advisable but if you develop fevers, shortness of breath, chest pains, or bloody sputum, it may be time to see your doc. ...Read more
Go see your doctor: While we no longer, if ever, use color of phlegm to determine if antibiotics are necessary, black stuff sounds out of the ordinary, especially if you smoke. You didn't mention any fever, sweats, chills, unexplained weight loss, or shortness of breath. Nor did you mention your (a)vocation or any environmental exposure. Still, it's a good idea to go see your family doc for an evaluation. ...Read more
Fever? : By themselves those two symptoms are hard to parse out. Do you have these all the time? Do you have a fever? Do you have a cough? Do you have muscle aches? Anyone else around you been sick? Phlegm plus sore throat makes strep unlikely unless you always have phlegm.... Hot tea, rest, and if you have fevers see your doc. ...Read more
Sore throat, cough & congested nose. Coughing up/blowing out of nose bright yellow mucus. Why is it bright yellow?
Possibilities...: If this is a change in your sputum color, it may be indicative of infection like acute bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infection with post-nasal drip. The infection could be bacterial so see your doctor for diagnosis/treatment especially if you also have fever, shortness of breath, sinus pain/congestion or if it doesn't resolve after 10-14 days. ...Read more
Facial pain, fever up to 103 (fever has stopped), yellow watery nasal discharge, cough, greenish brown sputum. Sinus infection and/or bronchitis?
Possibly: Or you may be getting over a cold. As a cold improves the nasal secretions get thicker and a little yellow. If you are coughing up thick brown sputum with a deep cough i would be more concerned about a bacterial pneumonia or possibly bronchitis. Most bronchitis is viral and happens as the last part of a cold .If not improving see your doctor. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Follow up w/your doc: We used to determine need for antibiotics based upon phlegm color, but no more, as it really makes no difference. I assume your black phlegm hasn't changed in color since starting antibiotics. Sometimes, it just takes a while to get better. If you have a viral infection, antibiotics won't help (but best to finish whatever you've started). Bottom line, follow up w/doc who prescribed antibiotics. ...Read more
Need more info: My recommendation would be to see a doctor asap since coughing up blood never has a benign cause. On the other hand it would be helpful to know how long you have been ill, to whom you were exposed, whether you smoke, have fever, chills, nausea, shortness of breath, etc. Make a list of everything and take it with you to the doctor. ...Read more
Get in: If you are having fever, shortness of breath, or achiness with your cough then you should get in right away to be seen. A cough like this can be a viral illness that can clear on its own, but if you are very sick, get in to make sur you do not have a pneumonia. Try some honey with lemon for the cough. Good luck! ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Stuffy runny nose no fever sneezing with somewhat productive cough that burns chest when coughing mucus is green yellow and white?
Just once???: If this continues or you have difficulty breathing, then see a doctor. A complication of the flu is pneumonia which can lead to discolored sputum, shortness of breath, persistent fever, chest discomfort, etc. A chest x-ray can identify the pneumonia and a sputum culture can identify the bacteria responsible. It would be treated with antibiotics. So, see your doctor if you have these symptoms. ...Read more
Cough 5+ days, constant cloudy/yellow phlegm lodged in throat-occasionally cough up. Sore throat, No fever, Dry nose, No smell/taste & Cracking Voice?
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
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