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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Thick Yellow Phlegm

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Dr. Angelina Postoev
871 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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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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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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Had flu-like symptoms (tiredness, mild ache) 2-3 days ago; that subsided but still intermittent cough w/thick yellow-brown phlegm. What should I do?

Had flu-like symptoms (tiredness, mild ache) 2-3 days ago; that subsided but still intermittent cough w/thick yellow-brown phlegm. What should I do?

Sounds viral: Drink plenty of fluids and get eight hours of sleep every night! Eat healthy and take some decongestant/ expectorant if allergy medicine does not help with coughing from Postnasal drip. See doctor if condition worsened, you may have a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics. ...Read more

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I had yellow phlegm 2 months ago from back throat.I'm not smoke.I don't cough. 2 weeks ago, i spit out thick pink bloody ball-like phlegm once each day

I had yellow phlegm 2 months ago from back throat.I'm not smoke.I don't cough. 2 weeks ago, i spit out thick pink bloody ball-like phlegm once each day

Get examined: Have a chest x-ray to be checked for lung infection . Ask your dr if s/he would recommend antibiotics. Take some otc cough meds/ Mucinex (guaifenesin) or Robitussin dm.Take vitamin c and eat lots of fruits and veggies to boost your immune system. Hope u feel better and take care! ...Read more

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No sore throat/fever not much cough. Thick yellow mucus in a.m. Mostly. Do Allergies cause phlegm? Or Cold? I do have MG, do I need to see dr?

No sore throat/fever not much cough. Thick yellow mucus in a.m. Mostly. Do Allergies cause phlegm? Or Cold? I do have MG, do I need to see dr?

Could be Allergies: Thick yellow mucus in the morning could be secondary to either outdoor or indoor allergens. See an Allergist for further testing and evaluation. Can try OTC steroid nasal sprays, saline rinses and antihistamines to see if symptoms improve. Usually allergies are also associated with sneezing, itching, post nasal drip, eye symptoms, etc. Cold is transient and will resolve with symptomatic management ...Read more

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I have had a sore throat, only at night , the last few days, no cough. I have also been spitting up thick, very bloody, dark yellow phlegm repeatedly.

I have had a sore throat, only at night , the last few days, no cough. I have also been spitting up thick, very bloody, dark yellow phlegm repeatedly.

A Little Experiment: Why don't you try the following: go to the nearest ER or Urgent Care, walk in and say to the nurse: " I have been spitting up thick, very bloody, dark yellow phlegm repeatedly. " and see what happens. Go ahead, I suggest you try it right now. Thank you. ...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

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,457 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