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Doctor insights on: Cough Black Phlegm

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Is it normal to cough up black phlegm even after you quit smoking?

Is it normal to cough up black phlegm even after you quit smoking?

Even more so: What your lungs are doing are cleaning themselves out. The black stuff is what was down there! Now, your little hair cells and airways have recovered from being smoked on constantly and are working, bringing up the accumulated mucus and assorted crap. It can go on for weeks, and rarely longer. Stick with it and congrats on a great choice! Don't falter, have a support system, stick with it. ...Read more

Dr. Angelina Postoev
920 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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I cough up black phlegm, I quit smoking long ago. I used to sandblast for years using coal slag. Will this go away? Ever

I cough up black phlegm, I quit smoking long ago. I used to sandblast for years using coal slag. Will this go away? Ever

Pulmonary: Chances are it will especially since your are young. However if you have not had a chest xray recently it would be a good idea to get one. ...Read more

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I am coughing up black phlegm and a non smoker. What is going on?

I am coughing up black phlegm and a non smoker. What is going on?

See doctor....: You need to see your doctor so your discolored sputum can be diagnosed and treated. What kind of work do you do? There may be an occupational exposure causing this. Your doctor will likely send a sample to the lab for analysis and to rule out infection. You may need a bronchoscopy, where a lighted scope is passed into your airways. So, see your doctor asap so you can be diagnosed and treated. ...Read more

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I am coughing up black phlegm. I am a non smoker. What can it be?

I am coughing up black phlegm. I am a non smoker. What can it be?

U: Probably have an upper respiratory infection. If the color is white most probably is a viral infection, if it yellow or green u may need antibiotics so see a doctor. Same thing if it lasts long time, see your physician. ...Read more

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Why am I coughing up black phlegm? I stopped smoking a couple of weeks ago cold turkey and now have developed pneumonia. Help

Why am I coughing up black phlegm? I stopped smoking a couple of weeks ago cold turkey and now have developed pneumonia. Help

Clearing out toxins: Coughing up black phlegm in your situation is not an indication of pneumonia. Smoke paralyzes cilia, tiny hairs that line the bronchial tubes that clear debris from the lungs. Now that you have stopped, your cilia have started to do their job of clearing out all of the tars & other gunk that has accumulated. This is a temporary phase. You can see a doctor to make sure there's no infection. Congrats! ...Read more

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Coughing up black phlegm when on antibiotics help?

Coughing up black phlegm when on antibiotics help?

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

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Can you cough up phlegm with black bits in whilst taking certain vitamin tablets?

Can you cough up phlegm with black bits in whilst taking certain vitamin tablets?

Phlegm: Yes, you can cough up phlegm with black bits while taking vitamin tablets. Your specks you see in it are not parts of those tablets, as they are dissolved in your stomach. See a physician to see what is causing your cough. Good luck. ...Read more

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I coughed up thick black phlegm, what can cause this?

I coughed up thick black phlegm, what can cause this?

Dark phlegm: Very dark brown or black phlegm could be fungus, dust particles/ material from a worksite (grinding etc without a mask) or even blood that with exposure to air has become dark. Either way, an evaluation should include a sputum sample and a chest x-ray so your doctor can determine the cause and offer treatment. ...Read more

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I have acid reflux and last night  i had it come up and this morning I am coughing up light black phlegm.  what could it be. ?

I have acid reflux and last night  i had it come up and this morning I am coughing up light black phlegm.  what could it be. ?

Talk with your doc: There are many possibilities, but a very concerning possibility is old blood from your gut like your stomach when it's irritated [gastritis] or an ulcer. Please talk with your doc. ...Read more

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What does it mean when you're coughing up phlegm with black stuff in it?

What does it mean when you're coughing up phlegm with black stuff in it?

Tar?: Smoking, inhalation, or blood may cause discoloration of sputum which is mucus from lung with content of cells and contaminants to be eliminated.
Nasal blood, mucous, could mimic in some settings. ...Read more

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My husban is a smoker and has been coughing up phlegm with black spots. What could this be?

My husban is a smoker and has been coughing up phlegm with black spots. What could this be?

Abnormal sputum: This could be traces of blood or other substances. Your husband needs a thorough medical evaluation to rule out cancer and other serious disease of the lungs. ...Read more

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I've been coughing up phlegm all night and finally coughed up vomit and black phlegm? I have been a smoker for 5 years now

I've been coughing up phlegm all night and finally coughed up vomit and black phlegm? I have been a smoker for 5 years now

Go see your doctor: Post-tussive emesis is vomiting after coughing hard enough. In & of it self, vomiting after coughing really hard isn't too big of a deal as long as you're otherwise breathing & swallowing ok. However, coughing or vomiting up black phlegm can be concerning for blood, especially in a smoker. So go see your doctor or go to urgent care/emergency department if necessary. Btw, no good reason to smoke. ...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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I have a sore throat and have been coughing for 8 ays now and the 8th day, I coughed up phlegm with black phlegm dots in it. Is this bad?

I have a sore throat and have been coughing for 8 ays now and the 8th day, I coughed up phlegm with black phlegm dots in it. Is this bad?

M.D. visit: The black dots may be dried old blood. If you have had any nosebleeds this could contribute to this problem.
If you have a fever or continue to cough, I would recommend follow up. I would recommend avoiding all smoke. A virtual consult is available. ...Read more

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Can Chronic cough for more than two months due to environmental allergens cause black and rusty phlegm for four days and then becomes white?

Can Chronic cough for more than two months due to environmental allergens cause black and rusty phlegm for four days and then becomes white?

See either ENT or: Get checked by either ENT or Lung specialist to check for the presence of some toxin, pathogen, or allergen present in the respiratory tissues. Presentation of exudate could vary. ...Read more

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Is it normal to cough up blackish phlegm after you quit smoking?

Is it normal to cough up blackish phlegm after you quit smoking?

Congratulations!: Quitting smoking was one of the most important things you can do for your health so I'm very excited for you. How long ago did you stop? If it was recently, your body may still be ridding itself of the many toxins and particles you were inhaling before. If it is lasting for more than a few weeks, please see your specialist in adult care- family medicine or internal medicine. ...Read more

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Is it true that when you quit smoking you start to cough up a bunch of black phlegm?

Is it true that when you quit smoking you start to cough up a bunch of black phlegm?

See below: Smoking paralyzes the ability to mobilize lung secretions. This will resolve as one stops smoking and may present as increased lung secretions during the first few weeks after stopping. ...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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Jaw and ear pain on the right side of my face. Also, congested chest, cough, phlegm with occasional black specks - all for a week. I don’t smoke.?

Jaw and ear pain on the right side of my face. Also, congested chest, cough, phlegm with occasional black specks - all for a week. I don’t smoke.?

Chronic inflammation: The black spots are coagulated blood, you need a good exam, and ENT, allergist to sort out where and how your can decrease symptoms ...Read more

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Hi I have been having sore throat and dry resistant cough for about a month. I am coughing out phlegm that has black specks for about 2 weeks now.?

Hi I have been having sore throat and dry resistant cough for about a month. I am coughing out phlegm that has black specks for about 2 weeks now.?

? Non-productive cou: Have you talked to your doc about the possibility of an asthmatic cough. Many underlying causes for this including infection, cold temperatures, exercise-induced, allergens, emotional upset. You should see your doc and go from there. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,595 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


Dr. Sue Ferranti
619 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more