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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up White Foamy Phlegm

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Dr. Angelina Postoev
922 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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Coughing up a white foamy phlegm?

Coughing up a white foamy phlegm?

Need more info: Are you a smoker, do you have fever, chest pain, when and to what extent does this occur? There are numerous questions which need answers and a physical exam would help, along with possible lab studies. See your local primary care doctor and hope you are better soon. ...Read more

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Foamy phlegm with cough lasting over 4weeks?

Foamy phlegm with cough lasting over 4weeks?

Cough: If you have not been sick it ma be silent acid reflux or LPR. If you have been sick, it may be bronchitis or walking pneumonia-see your doctor ...Read more

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When I cough up phlegm (its only on occasion) its white/foamy. Is that bad?  

When I cough up phlegm (its only on occasion) its white/foamy. Is that bad?  

No: If you cogh up geen, brown, or bloody plegm seeks medical attn. Especially if you have a fever. STOP SMOKING IF APPLICABLE IT INCREASES MUCOUS PRODUCTION ...Read more

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Cough with dark phlegm?

Cough with dark phlegm?

Cough: Dark phlegm: This sounds like bronchitis or a cold or pneumonia. Sometimes when we cough a lot of violently we break small blood vessels and blood can get on or into the mucous.

As long as you are not freely bleeding this is considered routine and normal. ...Read more

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What is best for cough with phlegm.

What is best for cough with phlegm.

Robitussin: I would recommend doing a sinus wash so that you get rid of the mucous, maybe using mucinex or robitussin. ...Read more

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Should a child swim when she has a wet cough and lots of phlegm?

Should a child swim when she has a wet cough and lots of phlegm?

Belief system: If you believe that a child can catch cold from cold weather, then she shouldn't swim. If she is having trouble breathing, then she shouldn't swim. If she is happy, running and playing and mobilizing her phlegm, swimming should not make her sick. Most mothers and certainly grandmothers would vote NO SWIMMING. ...Read more

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Why does I always have phlegm esp in morning eventhough I don't have cough orflu.

Why does I always have phlegm esp in morning eventhough I don't have cough orflu.

Morning Phlegm: Think of gravity as your friend during the daytime when all the phlegm drains down but when you lay down at night, gravity is not your friend and those sinuses fill up with fluid. Then you wake up and gravity pulls everything down the back of your throat. ...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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Excess phlegm with cough which has never happened to me before. How do I stop this?

Excess phlegm with cough which has never happened to me before. How do I stop this?

Diagnosis first...: Before this cough can be treated, the cause needs to be diagnosed. Possibilities include acute bronchitis from an infection of the airways, chronic bronchitis, a form of copd, bronchospasm with airway inflammation, post-nasal drip or a combination of factors. The treatments for these are all different so you need to see your doctor so your cough can be diagnosed and treated. ...Read more

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I don't get sick easily, but I have had a nasty wet cough & phlegm for nearly 2 weeks. What is it?

I don't get sick easily, but I have had a nasty wet cough & phlegm for nearly 2 weeks. What is it?

Hard to tell: Perhaps seeing a doctor to listen to your lungs, check you head, ears, eyes, nose throat and vital signs will determine if you have a virus or pneumonia. Good luck ...Read more

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Hi, I have been coughing for a few days, full of phlegm inside but I couldn't cough them out, what can I do?

Hi, I have been coughing for a few days, full of phlegm inside but I couldn't cough them out, what can I do?

Steam inhalation: Try steam inhalation to loosen up the phlegm. You may also try an over the counter medication like Mucinex (guaifenesin).
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, 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.
Practice safe sex. ...Read more

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I had green phlegm for about 3 weeks with a cough and phlegm is no longer green is it necessary to still seek medical attention?

I had green phlegm for about 3 weeks with a cough and phlegm is no longer green is it necessary to still seek medical attention?

Maybe not: If u r feeling better and less sick, no temperature u may have had a viral infection and ur body has won. If u continue 2 improve u may b ok. But any worsening of ur cough or u have a color change again b cn. That would b what I personally would do. 4 peace of mind u should c u r pcp? ...Read more

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I've been having phlegm issues for the past few months but I have not been sick. No cold or cough, just phlegm. What is the issue?

Drainage: Phlegm is a general term for drainage in your throat. Often it is from your nose or sinuses draining into your throat but can also be refluxed from your food pipe or lungs. Allergic rhinitis is probably the most common cause ...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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When I wake up I have to hack up some phlegm. (very little) it is brown in color. I am 38 f. Former smoker. I don't have a cough. Is this normal?

When I wake up I have to hack up some phlegm. (very little) it is brown in color. I am 38 f. Former smoker. I don't have a cough. 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

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Deep and painful cough with sudden onset has persisted for over 5 weeks. Comes and goes throughout day, sometimes producing phlegm. Possible causes?

Deep and painful cough with sudden onset has persisted for over 5 weeks. Comes and goes throughout day, sometimes producing phlegm. Possible causes?

Possibilities..: An acute cough, especially with fever and sputum production, could be due to acute bronchitis or even pneumonia. The continued cough could be related to bronchospasm which can occur after an infection like acute bronchitis and pneumonia. See your doctor since bronchospasm can be treated with bronchodilator and possibly steroid inhalers. Smoking cessation will reduce airway inflammation. ...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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How come I cough up phlegm?

How come I cough up phlegm?

Possibilities...: If you have a productive cough chronically, you may have chronic bronchitis, a form of COPD typically caused by smoking. You should see your doctor as this can be treated and symptoms lessened. If you still smoke, smoking cessation is also needed and your doctor can help with this as well. ...Read more

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I have cough and sometimes the phlegm is transparent, foamy and if u pinch it sounds like popping. What kind of disease I have? Thank you

I have cough and sometimes the phlegm is transparent, foamy and if u pinch it sounds like popping. What kind of disease I have? Thank you

Frothy phlegm: I would be concerned about tuberculosis given your location although just about any lung and some heart disease can cause this. You should probably have someone listen to your lungs and consider a CXR. ...Read more

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I don't have a cough but I constantly have phlegm deep in my throat?

I don't have a cough but I constantly have phlegm deep in my throat?

Possibilities.....: Your symptoms may be due to post-nasal drip, resulting in phlegm in the throat. The post-nasal drip could be due to sinus infection, allergies, etc. See your doctor for diagnosis since there are very effective prescription nasal sprays to treat this problem. ...Read more

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Violent dry cough. No phlegm?

Violent dry cough. No phlegm?

See MD: See MD or ER. There are a variety of causes. Some benign, some serious. ...Read more

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I am now afraid to cough up phlegm?

Cough it up: The problem with coughing is the discomfort or pain some people feel. Loosen the secretion with lots of fluid or expectorant/mucolytic or even bronchodilator if needed to make coughing easier. Phlegm not coughed up can thicken and plug or close the airways and can become culture media for infection to grow. So I suggest cough it up. ...Read more

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How can I treat phlegm with no cough?

How can I treat phlegm with no cough?

Phlegm: If you are referring to post nasal drip then I would recommend trying a nasal spray- steroid/ anticholinergic/ antihistimine. Talk to your doctor to see which is best for you! ...Read more

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Why do I cough up phlegm that tastes like metal?

Blood: Sometimes with a very forceful cough there can be specks of blood or actual amounts of blood in the phlegm. Blood will have a typical metallic/iron taste. ...Read more

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Why do I constantly cough up phlegm all day long?

Why do I constantly cough up phlegm all day long?

See doctor...: Possible etiologies of a chronic productive cough include chronic bronchitis, a form of copd. Other possibilities include bronchospasm from any cause, gerd, post-nasal drip or a combination of these diagnoses. For diagnosis and treatment, you need to be evaluated by your doctor. If you currently smoke, you need to quit today! ...Read more

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Why can't I cough up phlegm when it feels like I need to?

Why can't I cough up phlegm when it feels like I need to?

Thick: It is probably too thick. Try to drink a lot of water, spend some time in a steam room to help get it out. ...Read more

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What can cause you to cough phlegm with a little bit of blood?

Hemoptysis: Bronchitis/pneumonia/congestive heart failure/pulmonary embolus/ ling cancer with airway involvement to name a few. If symptoms persist, you should seek medical attention sooner rather than later. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 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
621 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more