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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Green Brown Phlegm

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Dr. Angelina Postoev
869 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've had the cold for the past week but for the past 3 days I'm coughing up green and sometimes brown phlegm. I am a smoker. Could it be the smoking?

I've had the cold for the past week but for the past 3 days I'm coughing up green and sometimes brown phlegm. I am a smoker. Could it be the smoking?

Color of Mucous: The green mucous is normal at the end of a cold. The brown mucous is probably from the smoking. Smoking and upper respiratory infections are definitely not a great combination. ...Read more

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Last few days I have not been feeling well coughing up brown and green phlegm in same hour new for me in all my my life ?

Bronchitis: Cough with sputum production is bronchitis. Could be viral or bacterial and worsened by smoking or other inhaled irritants. If your symptoms progress-fever/ nausea & vomiting resulting in inability to stay hydrated/etc then you need to see a doctor. Also need to work on smoking cessation. ...Read more

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I haven't been feeling well last few days coughing up thick brown and green phlegm within the same hour something new for me all my life?

I haven't been feeling well last few days  coughing  up  thick brown and green  phlegm  within the same hour something new for me all my life?

Bronchitis: Likely you have acute bronchitis an inflammatory airway disease in patietns who use tobacco. It is treated with antibiotics, cough suppression, inhaled therapy and cessation of smoking. Faiure to respond to therapy necessitates a cxr, possible pft and pulmonary evaluation. ...Read more

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I've had body aches, headaches, cough/ green & now brownish-grey phlegm for a week and it's not letting up. My 2 yr old seems normal, pneumonia?  

I've had body aches, headaches, cough/ green & now brownish-grey phlegm for a week and it's not letting up. My 2 yr old seems normal, pneumonia?  

Possible Pneumonia: Your symptoms are indicative of a bacterial infections. It could be viral. Is there fever? I would recommend you be seen urgently in urgent care center, your doctor's office if you can or go to the er. A lot depends on your state of health, any chronic diseases such as pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart disease and any medications you are taking. Get seen asap. ...Read more

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I am a 37yr old female smoker. I cough chronically more so at night while laying down. Sometimes i cough up mucus that is either clear, green brown.

I am a 37yr old female smoker.  I cough chronically more so at night while laying down. Sometimes i cough up mucus that is either clear, green brown.

Cough: If you have a cough with sputum production then you have bronchitis-possibly chronic obstructive bronchitis (COPD) given smoking history. Cough however is often multifactorial and can be worse at night due to gerd/reflux or post nasal drip or aspiration or even irritant exposure (such as from sleeping on down pillows/sleeping with pets/etc) to name a few. ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,448 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