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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Black Phlegm Non Smoker

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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

Dr. Angelina Postoev
871 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 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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I have had a cough for 2+ months. In morning shower I cough up phlegm. Cough and runny nose sometimes extends thru the day. I don't feel sick, and a non-smoker.

I have had a cough for 2+ months. In morning shower I cough up phlegm. Cough and runny nose sometimes extends thru the day. I don't feel sick, and a non-smoker.

Chronic cough : A chronic cough with nasal symptoms and not feeling sick sounds like an allergic problem. Allergies are a chronic disease that often is annoying but not severe. When severe, allergy patients can have a worse average quality of life than cancer patients. A chronic cough for two months could be a viral bronchitis resolving slowly, or asthma, or a subacute sinus infection. Time to see an allergist. ...Read more

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Sore throat, persistent painful cough, had high fever, little blood in phlegm, blocked nose. Hot cold flashes, and weakness. Non smoker. Serious?

Sore throat, persistent painful cough, had high fever, little blood in phlegm, blocked nose. Hot cold flashes, and weakness. Non smoker. Serious?

Seasonal flu: is very common viral infection. Usually the condition resolves on its own with home care. Drink water and get a good rest. NSAIDs (e.g. Aleve, Advil) or Tylenol (acetaminophen) are also recommended every 6 hours. If concerned, see your PCP for examination. ...Read more

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When I wake up I have to hack up some phlegm. ( very little) it is brown in color. I am 38 f. Former smoker. I don't have a cough. Is this normal?

When I wake up I have to hack up some phlegm.  ( very little) it is brown in color. I am 38 f. Former smoker. I don't have a cough. Is this normal?

Maybe postnasal drip: Mild nasal allergies can cause some muscus dripping in back of throat/mouth and collects there during sleep and can turn a bit brown in the am. During day, little mucus/drip is pulled down by gravity, but when sleeping mucus tends to stay in back of throat and thus productive coughing/coughing in the early am. If worsens, call doc for eval. Good luck. ...Read more

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I am a smoker and cough up green phlegm a lot through the night. Why is this?

Chronic bronchitis: Smokers are more likely to cough at night and first thing in the morning because the smoke damages the lungs ability to clean itself so mucus sits during periods of inactivity, becomes discolored, and then is coughed out. If the green mucus is recent consider viral illness or pneumonia. ...Read more

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Is it good idea for smokers to take mucinex-d everyday? It makes u cough up more phlegm so wouldnt it make u cough up more tar and other junk as well?

Is it good idea for smokers to take mucinex-d everyday? It makes u cough up more phlegm so wouldnt it make u cough up more tar and other junk as well?

Hi John,BP check: Hi John, please check with your primary doctor to see if you can take Mucinex (guaifenesin) D for more than a few days as the D ingredient can raise your BP. It's safer to take the plain Mucinex (guaifenesin) (without D). Kind regards. ...Read more

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Originally expelling bright yellow phlegm but gradually developed cough with clear phlegm, brown flecks. Former smoker, 10 months off. 2 week timeline?

Originally expelling bright yellow phlegm but gradually developed cough with clear phlegm, brown flecks. Former smoker, 10 months off. 2 week timeline?

Bronchitis?: Pneumonia ? You need a chest x- ray beside an exam. See your doctor. I hope this helps. If you want to talk more about it contact me by e-mail or text chat or video chat at www.healthtap.com/dryetimyan ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,457 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