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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Bright Yellow Phlegm

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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. Angelina Postoev
900 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 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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Hi, bringing up dark yellow phlegm with bright red blood streaks, no cough, no sore throat, no blocked nose. Should I be concerned?

Hi, bringing up dark yellow phlegm with bright red blood streaks, no cough, no sore throat, no blocked nose. Should I be concerned?

Bronchitis: Blood tinged mucus or sputum is often due to an infection in sinus or lungs. Many of us treat, unless bloody nose from blowing too much. Most of us will treat with antibiotics if it happens for more than 3 days. There are other causes, too, but it's a GREAT idea to get checked soon. In the meantime, avoid otc cough and cold meds, and fragrances and aerosols (which don't help, can make worse) ...Read more

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Cough for about 3 years. Different coloured phlegm...Green, yellow, clear, thick, and bloody?

Cough for about 3 years. Different coloured phlegm...Green, yellow, clear, thick, and bloody?

Depends: Generally, a chronic cough is defined as one lasting more than 8 weeks. The most common causes include post nasal drainage, reflux, and asthma. Depending on the cause, the treatment is different. For example for asthma, inhaled corticosteroids are the mainstay. It's best to see your doctor for testing to determine cause. Your smoking status is also important. ...Read more

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3rd day of cold is it normal to cough up some yellow phlegm in morning?

3rd day of cold is it normal to cough up some yellow phlegm in morning?

Yes, usually: That is not unusual. Sometimes, coughs from colds can take several days to go away or get better. Obviously, if it gets much worse, or you start coughing up blood, would go see a doc right away. Hope you feel better! ...Read more

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What does it mean when you're coughing up yellow phlegm and then you cough up white phlegm?

What does it mean when you're coughing up yellow phlegm and then you cough up white phlegm?

Typical : Phlegm can change from yellow to white. Many times, infection can look dark yellow, dark green, dark brown. If you have drastic worsening of phlegm or even blood, you should definitely see a doctor. ...Read more

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What exactly does it mean whenyour coughing up yellow phlegm and the next lot you cough up is white?

Varies: Phlegm color can vary: sometimes it can be yellow, sometimes it can be white, sometimes it can be clear. "bad" color types, so to speak, are like brown, dark green, or even bloody. If anything like this comes up, especially with fever, you should see your doctor right away. ...Read more

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I had a cold with thick yellow phlegm and now the cough is non-productive but not going away - 3 weeks. How long before cough goes away?

I had a cold with thick yellow phlegm and now the cough is non-productive but not going away - 3 weeks.  How long before cough goes away?

3 wks not long 4 col: You can't rush Mother Nature! That your cough now is non-productive is good progress and demonstrates that you're on your way to a cure. Your body takes time to heal. Patience, patience. ...Read more

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Some mornings I wake up and hack up some yellow/brown phlegm. Its usually when I first wake up. I don't have a cough or feel sick. Is this normal?

Some mornings I wake up and hack up some yellow/brown phlegm. Its usually when I first wake up. I don't have a cough or feel sick. 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 have been sick over 2 monthsi can't get rid of cough and yellow phlegm. I'm not a smoker. what can I do?

I have been sick over 2 monthsi can't get rid of cough and yellow phlegm. I'm not a smoker. what can I do?

Have you seen doctor: If you have had cough and purulent sputum for over 2 months, you have some kind of serious respiratory infection. While smokers certainly get more of these, non-smokers can get any kind of infection as well. Your doctor needs to examine you, take a full history, probably get samples of your sputum for testing and probably a Chest Xray or other imaging studies of your lungs. See your doc NOW. ...Read more

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Cough, brown-yellow phlegm, and feeling "under the weather" for 3days. Similar symptoms 3wks ago, took course of ZMax and resolved. What to do?

Cough, brown-yellow phlegm, and feeling "under the weather" for 3days. Similar symptoms 3wks ago, took course of ZMax and resolved. What to do?

Colored phlegm: having this come back after Z max suggest that your nasal cilia are not working to remove bacteria. Humming, green tea with lemon and honey helps. Ask your doctor about using the Hydro Pulse Nasal/Sinus irrigator to clear this up. The Hydro Pulse restores the nasal cilia see www.grossan.com ...Read more

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I have a heavy cough with yellow phlegm my head pounds with each cough. Now i'm losing my voice. No other symptoms, what could this be?

I have a heavy cough with yellow phlegm my head pounds with each cough. Now i'm losing my voice. No other symptoms, what could this be?

Cough: Cough with sputum production is bronchitis. Paroxysmal coughing can lead to headache and chest/abdominal muscle discomfort. Headache could also be a symptom of sinusitis which can make cough and sputum production worse. If symptoms don't improve with otc remedies or worsen (fever/ chills/nausea with vomiting which precludes you from being able to stay hydrated/etc)-see a doctor! ...Read more

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Dry cough started end of march then that started producing yellow phlegm a week later.Suptum sample returned fine. No more phlegm, but still have irritating feeling of something stuck in chest + cough.

Dry cough started end of march then that started producing yellow phlegm a week later.Suptum sample returned fine. No more phlegm, but still have irritating feeling of something stuck in chest + cough.

Not unusual : A lingering cough for 4-6 weeks after a chest infection is not unusual. The causes include a temporary asthma like condition due to constriction of the bronchial tubes. Patients may notice wheezing but sometimes cough is the only symptom. The cough will improve with inhaled medication to relieve the constriction......But you need to see your physician for a proper diagnosis, and quit smoking. ...Read more

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I am suffering from cough and cold with yellow phlegm and mild fever, during summer.What is the reason behind this?

I am suffering from cough and cold with yellow phlegm and mild fever, during summer.What is the reason behind this?

Lots of causes: Your symptoms could be from an infection, allergies or sinusitis. Check with your doctor as there are several possibilities. ...Read more

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For years, i've had a hacking cough that brings up gluelike chunks of yellow phlegm. Doctors always say it's the asthma, but even with meds...

For years, i've had a hacking cough that brings up gluelike chunks of yellow phlegm. Doctors always say it's the asthma, but even with meds...

Productive cough: Hello, your cough could be related to asthma or a number of other causes. Otc medication like Robitussin (guaifenesin) contains a mucolytic that may help. I would recommend seeing a pulmonologist for a more thorough examination. ...Read more

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The past two weeks I have had excessive phlegm. I cough loads of yellow phlegm and also have a blocked nose. I feel like I gasp for air sometimes too?

The past two weeks I have had excessive phlegm. I cough loads of yellow phlegm and also have a blocked nose. I feel like I gasp for air sometimes too?

Be checked: Your symptoms could be related to a sinus or chest infection. Gasping to breath after coughing is a symptom of whooping cough. Be assessed and managed. All the best. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,526 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
588 doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

cough which ...Read more