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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Chunky Phlegm

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I am producing clear thick phlegm after I recuperate from cough. Is that normal?

I am producing clear thick phlegm after I recuperate from cough. Is that normal?

Normal: Yes, respiratory infections by some viruses might take longer to recuperate and cause cough for several weeks after acute infections.

Dr. Angelina Postoev
911 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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What does it mean when you cough up a string thick green phlegm?

What does it mean when you cough up a string thick green phlegm?

Infection: You may have a viral infection or a bacterial bronchitis. If the symptoms persist, you need to see your doctor for an antibiotic.

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Does rice make phlegm thick? Should we avoid rice in cough n cold??

Does rice make phlegm thick? Should we avoid rice in cough n cold??

No: Neither rice nor milk causes phlegm. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form.

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I've had productive phlegm (thick, mucus y) for more than a month without a cough. Should I be concerned? Any possible causes?

I've had productive phlegm (thick, mucus y) for more than a month without a cough. Should I be concerned? Any possible causes?

Possibilities...: This may be due to chronic bronchitis, especially if you have smoked. An evaluation by your doctor is needed to find out if there are any associated symptoms and so proper testing can occur. Once you are properly diagnosed, treatment can begin. If you currently smoke, you need to stop. Your doctor can help with this as well.

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I developed a mild cough with phlegm, it's been a week and getting better. About how long do coughs last? The phlegm is white not very thick. Wat 2take

I developed a mild cough with phlegm, it's been a week and getting better. About how long do coughs last? The phlegm is white not very thick. Wat 2take

Cough duration: A cough from simple bronchitis can last anywhere from a few days to a couple months. Most last a week or so and resolve. Coughs lasting longer than 2 months need more evaluation and treatment.

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What can help me cough up this thick phlegm stuff up out of my chest?

What can help me cough up this thick phlegm stuff up out of my chest?

Cough: Cough with thick phlegm can be treated with medications like guafenecine. But you really need to find out the cause of the cough before you start mucolytics.

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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.

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This morning I coughed up a big chunky ball of phlegm filled with blood...i don't even have a cough at the moment and this isn't the first time??

This morning I coughed up a big chunky ball of phlegm filled with blood...i don't even have a cough at the moment and this isn't the first time??

Mgt: You should have chest imaging and please see a pulmonary specialist. They can order the sample for further analysis, including cytologies and fungal cultures.

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Throat started hurting 2days ago ; ;clogged, runny nose, it hurts when I cough, and phlegm is yellow and sometimes chunky. Head hurts once a day.

Throat started hurting 2days ago ; ;clogged, runny nose, it hurts when I cough, and phlegm is yellow and sometimes chunky. Head hurts once a day.

Coughing: You have a bad cold. Mucus can flow backwards down your throat and irritate it and cause you to cough. If you cough hard enough it can cause a pressure wave to travel up to your head and give you a headache. Most colds caused by viruses. Best thing is probably chicken soup, Jewish "Penicillin".

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My daughter has thick cough with no phlegm and also colds. What antibiotic should she take?

My daughter has thick cough with no phlegm and also colds. What antibiotic should she take?

If Viral, none: Colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections. Instead of antibiotics, treat cold with supportive care. If daughter is over 1 year of age, try using honey for cough. Salt water drops can help to relieve nasal congestion. Also avoid multi-symptom preparations as they are not recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics.

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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.

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I never usually cough up phlegm with blood but today I coughed up phlegm with blood and it was thick im nervous and is wondering if its bronchitis?

I never usually cough up phlegm with blood but today I coughed up phlegm with blood and it was thick im nervous and is wondering if its bronchitis?

See a doctor: Usually if it happens once there is nothing to worry about, most likely it is secondary to dry cough. if it keep happening you need evaluation by a lung specialist. See your PCP

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I am having a problem that I have to spit out thick white phlegm only for the past 6 months without any cough. What could be the reason?

I am having a problem that I have to spit out thick white phlegm only for the past 6 months without any cough. What could be the reason?

Postnasal drip: You may have postnasal drip. Allergy medication, nasal spray such as prescription Flonase (with a little steriod) may clear this out. Have a provider check out your through, nose, ears, lungs, before a diagnosis can be made. But it may be as simple as allergic rhinitis.

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Cough with thick green phlegm. No fever. Family history of hodgekins lymphoma.

Cough with thick green phlegm. No fever. Family history of hodgekins lymphoma.

Congestion.: In general this could represent allergies or infection, the latter usually being related to the throat, sinuses or lungs. An evaluation by a physician would be wise, as treatment may be necessary, or at least helpful.

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Bad cough for about 2 and a half weeks, sometimes thick green phlegm, pain in lungs breath in deeply. What could this be?

Bad cough for about 2 and a half weeks, sometimes thick green phlegm, pain in lungs breath in deeply. What could this be?

See below: Acute viral bronchitis can give a productive cough with yellow/green sputum lasting several weeks. Pain on deep breath may be due to chest wall strain from coughing. However it can be a sign of pneumonia, particularly if you have fever or shortness of breath. You would have to see a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment if concerned.

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Thick dark blood in phlegm, no cough. Occasionally fresh red strip blood in phlegm, since Nov'13. Recently started to feel difficult in breathing?

Thick dark blood in phlegm, no cough. Occasionally fresh red strip blood in phlegm, since Nov'13. Recently started to feel difficult in breathing?

Cancer? See doc: I don't understand how you produce phlegm without coughing. Is this post-nasal drip which you spit out? In any case, that's a worrisome symptom, and cancer is on the list of possibilities. You should see a physician promptly.

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,562 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
607 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more