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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Clear Sticky Phlegm

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Dr. Angelina Postoev
826 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 theres 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 theres 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 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?

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 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 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 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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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 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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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

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,357 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