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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Clear Sticky Phlegm

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Dr. Angelina Postoev
925 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 feel like there's a sticky phlegm that even I clear my throat and nose its still there and im having difficulty breathing. I don't have cough. Help!?

I feel like there's a sticky phlegm that even I clear my throat and nose its still there and im having difficulty breathing. I don't have cough. Help!?

Allergies possible: Allergic rhinitis or non allergic prenial rhinitis can both give a feeling of sticky mucus in the back of the throat. See you healthcare provider to determine which condition you may have. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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I have had a consistent cough on and off for 3 months. Phlegm is clear and the cough is not severe however it is persistent. Any suggestion?

Need to see a doctor: More information is needed and you need to see a doctor for a diagnosis, asthma, acid reflux, post nasal drip due to allergic rhinitis, are the main causes of a chronic cough in a young person, in addition to a history and an exam performed by the doctor, chest x ray, pulmonary function tests, blood work might be needed to make a diagnosis. ...Read more

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I've been coughing for 5 days and just now after woke up and cough I had brown phlegm what could this be? This is the first time and after its clear

I've been coughing for 5 days and just now after woke up and cough I had brown phlegm what could this be? This is the first time and after its clear

Could be a little: Blood, but not to be alarmed. The most common cause of blood in sputum is simple bronchitis.C ur doc for a diagnosis and treatment. ...Read more

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I have same like a thread jelly phlegm. Everytime I strted to cough it will continue onward for how many days or weeks. Like a slimy sticky thread like?

I have same like a thread jelly phlegm. Everytime I strted to cough it will continue onward for how many days or weeks. Like a slimy sticky thread like?

Sticky phlegm: Try irrigating your nose with 60 cc if saline to each side 4 -5 x a day. The saline is made by adding 1-2 tsp of salt to one quart of water with a pinch of baking soda. You can keep the mixture in the fridge and the cold will be soothing. It can be tap water if you have good water. Otherwise use bottled or boil the water. Ensure that the water is room temperature before putting jt in the nose. ...Read more

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Cough with phlegm coming from my sinus what can I take to clear up?

Cough with phlegm coming from my sinus what can I take to clear up?

Depends: If symptoms have lasted less than 7days, use Ibuprofen 400 3 times a day for 3days, then as needed. Take 2 showers a day, as warm as you can tolerate, run the water right on your face to heat and and humidify the mucous, so you can cough it up and blow your nose more easily, then put mentholatum right under your nostrils. The eucalyptus in mentholatum works. If symptoms worse and > 10d, see doc. ...Read more

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I have a dry cough only when I exhale for two weeks, what is this?? Produces white clear phlegm sometimes but mostly dry. Don't smoke anymore I'm 27.

I have a dry cough only when I exhale for two weeks, what is this?? Produces white clear phlegm sometimes but mostly dry. Don't smoke anymore I'm 27.

Requires exam: And evaluation. Possibilities include lung infection/inflammation allergies, reflux of stomach acid, low grade viral infection etc. And requires exam, x-ray and possible pulmonary function testing. ...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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Woke up in the middle of the night feeling like my airways are swollen. Had cough with phlegm. And everytime I cough it seems to clear a bit?

Woke up in the middle of the night feeling like my airways are swollen. Had cough with phlegm. And everytime I cough it seems to clear a bit?

Bronchitis: Is an inflammation of the lining of the airways (bronchial tubes). The inflammation (swelling) of the inner wall of the bronchial tube, causes narrowing the of space for air exchange. The space is further increased by secretions. When you cough up thickened mucus, it allows more space for air exchange. Acute bronchitis is most commonly caused by viruses, and rarely requires antibiotics to clear ...Read more

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I'm 68. I had acute bronchitis 7 months ago. This past month I bring up clear phlegm. I don't have a cough-I just cough when I feel congested?

I'm 68. I had acute bronchitis 7 months ago. This past month I bring up clear phlegm. I don't have a cough-I just cough when I feel congested?

Coughing: Post nasal drip from sinusitis or from allergies can cause cough (other allergic symptoms:sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, needing to blow nose). Exposure to an irritant and acid reflux from the stomach can also cause cough. If a smoker, chronic bronchitis or lung cancer can cause cough, but usually not clear phlegm. Other causes, also. If unclear reason, worthwhile seeing your doctor. ...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

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How long does cough last after quitting smoking? Quit week ago. Coughing up a lot of brown and clear phlegm

How long does cough last after quitting smoking? Quit week ago. Coughing up a lot of brown and clear phlegm

First of all: Congratulations on quitting! The cough could certainly last a few weeks while your lungs start to clear. If the cough persists for longer and is accompanied by any other symptoms you should see your doctor. Stay healthy! ...Read more

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Had a cold over a week ago symptoms subsided still some conjestion in chest coughing up phlegm clear, , cough 4 perhour when to worry about a cough.

Had a cold over a week ago symptoms subsided still some conjestion in chest coughing up phlegm clear, , cough 4 perhour when to worry about a cough.

Generally normal: It may take a few weeks for the cilia (lung hair cells) and edema (swelling) to subside. Over the counter cough suppressants may help. Increase water intake. If cough persists more than a few weeks or mucus becomes discolored it's time to see your physician. ...Read more

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If I have a very severe cough that takes like 10 minutes to clear phlegm that im pretty sure is from my lungs does that mean I could have bronchitis?

If I have a very severe cough that takes like 10 minutes to clear phlegm that im pretty sure is from my lungs does that mean I could have bronchitis?

See below: There are a number of possible reasons for a cough depending on the context: Post nasal drip from sinuses, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis and other causes. For an overview of the various causes for coughing See > http:///bit. Ly/1PQ3UFM ...Read more

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I only cough up phlegm when I lay down, and sometimes a clear liquid comes from my nose?

I only cough up phlegm when I lay down, and sometimes a clear liquid comes from my nose?

Clear nasal drainage: Positional cough with phlegm can be caused by several things. It could be postnasal drainage from allergies or could be a sign of more serious lung or heart issue. If it persists a doctor should examine you and listen to your heart and lungs. Clear nasal drainage could just be a sign of nasal allergies or nasal irritation. It could also be cerebrospinal fluid leaking but doubt this if no trauma ...Read more

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Stopped smoking, chesty cough spasms, making me physically sick, can't sleep, clear phlegm. 2 weeks now. Will anti biotics work?

Stopped smoking, chesty cough spasms, making me physically sick, can't sleep, clear phlegm. 2 weeks now. Will anti biotics work?

Highly unlikely: This does not sound like a bacterial infection. It is probably just "airway cleaning". But regular bronchodilators should help. Have them prescribed by your lung doc, after an examination. ...Read more

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Chst infectn 4+ wks. Cough blood. 3x biotics + steroids. Doxycyline improved. Week since finish meds. Cough clear phlegm + small blood. What now?

Chst infectn 4+ wks. Cough blood. 3x biotics + steroids. Doxycyline improved. Week since finish meds. Cough clear phlegm + small blood. What now?

Hemoptysis....: The most common reason for coughing blood, called hemoptysis, is acute bronchitis, an infection of the airways. If you are still having hemoptysis after being treated for bronchitis, you need further work-up including a ct scan of the chest and a bronchoscopy, where a lighted scope is passed into the airways. You need to see a lung doctor asap to rule out malignancy, another cause of hemoptysis. ...Read more

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I have a deep hacking cough night and day, also affecting my voice, tired all the time, nothing helps, cough up clear phlegm. Have tried everything.?

I have a deep hacking cough night and day, also affecting my voice, tired all the time, nothing helps, cough up clear phlegm. Have tried everything.?

For how long?: Chronic cough can also be either due to reactive airway disease known as asthma, reflux diseases such as esophagitis. If your symptoms are > 1month, time to get this evaluated further with your doc. ...Read more

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I cough up clear phlegm on and off all day especially after I eat. Doc put me on allergy meds but no improvement at all. What should I do next?

I cough up clear phlegm on and off all day especially after I eat. Doc put me on allergy meds but no improvement at all. What should I do next?

See Gastro: Sometimes reflux esophagitis, or gastritis may lead to cough with sputum. Allergy is the likely reason still. Continue allergy pills and see a gastroenterologist. ...Read more

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Thick phlegm globules (clear mostly, white sometimes), dry but deep cough, mild temperature, 4+ weeks. Doctor hears nothing in chest. What is it?

Thick phlegm globules (clear mostly, white sometimes), dry but deep cough, mild temperature, 4+ weeks. Doctor hears nothing in chest. What is it?

Atypical pneumonia: Atypical pneumonia is an infection in the lungs caused my unusual bacteria like mycoplasma or legionella and where the symptoms differ from the classic ones. Therefore, it's often harder to diagnose. The antibiotics used are different and if it becomes severe it may require hospitalization. If you're not getting better, ask your physician what he /she thinks and if a chest x-ray is warranted. ...Read more

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For the last couple weeks I wake up to spit brown phlegm. Small amount. After I spit it up it is clear. No cough or fever. What could this be. 38 f?

For the last couple weeks I wake up to spit brown phlegm. Small amount. After I spit it up it is clear. No cough or fever. What could this be. 38 f?

Do you smoke?: If you smoke and cough up brown phlegm, i'd say it's dried blood. That's why the phlegm's clear after you spit, cause it's not actively bleeding, it just has been. Thing is, if it happens repeatedly, something's going on in your lungs to make them bleed repeatedly. Makes me bothered to hear about brown phlegm when I can't listen to your chest or look into your throat. Hope I'm a worrywart! ...Read more

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My 3yo has had an onset of cough for 9 days. Some phlegm. Md says no redness &clear lungs. Seems to happen more at exact moment of eating, not limited to?

My 3yo has had an onset of cough for 9 days. Some phlegm. Md says no redness &clear lungs. Seems to happen more at exact moment of eating, not limited to?

See below:: He could be still recovering from a viral upper respiratory illness-at his age he is unable to clear & coordinate his post nasal drip mucus moving in the back of his throat. Other possibilities if similar symptoms, yet continuing for many weeks/mos: vasomotor rhinitis-not caused by an infection or allergy. Exact cause is unknown. ...Read more

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Eating raw garlic for 2 months everyday coughing up phlegm and sinus ears is congested but clearing up. Why? Cough?

Eating raw garlic for 2 months everyday coughing up phlegm and sinus ears is congested but clearing up. Why? Cough?

Garlic allergy: You hve a garlic allergy which produces muvus in yhe form of a post nasal drip and that in turn is causing your coughing and fluid in your ears. Seek help from your foctor or allergist. ...Read more

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Clear chest X-ray no clots or signs but constant cough with clear or white phlegm with blood tinged sometimes is this to worry about?

Clear chest X-ray no clots or signs but constant cough with clear or white phlegm with blood tinged sometimes is this to worry about?

Sounds like: At least some form of bronchitis with inflammation of your airways, which can account for blood tinged sputum at times. Unfortunately without more history, better guidance is difficult. There could be many causes beyond a blood clot, to your symptoms. Did your doctor (s) give you an idea of what's going on and/or some treatment plan to address your symptoms? ...Read more

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My 13 year old had a fever and a cough that is sometimes long and high pitched she is also coughing up white clear phlegm what is it? Doctor or not?

My 13 year old had a fever and a cough that is sometimes long and high pitched she is also coughing up white clear phlegm what is it? Doctor or not?

Doctor, yes: Most coughs with colds improve by 7-10 days. A prolonged cough, especially if it high pitched and long could be pertussis or other lower respiratory infection. ...Read more

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My 13 year old had fever 3 times in 2 days she has a barky cough and white/clear phlegm sometimes it's long and high pitched doctor or not. What is it?

My 13 year old had fever 3 times in 2 days she has a barky cough and white/clear phlegm sometimes it's long and high pitched doctor or not. What is it?

Viral illness: Most often viruses cause symptoms as you describe. Given the high pitched, barky cough, I suggest you take her in for evaluation immediately. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,613 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
625 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more