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Doctor insights on: Is Coughing Out Phlegm A Sign Of Recovery From Cold

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A deep cough sometimes with phlegm no other cold signs. Gets worse at night?

A deep cough sometimes with phlegm no other cold signs. Gets worse at night?

Could be: Several different things. Sometimes infections are very low grade and you may just be stricken by an annoying cough. But this could also be related to acid reflux or sinus issues complicated by post nasal drip (allergic or not). If you find it bothersome seek an in person evaluation. ...Read more

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'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?

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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What causes me to cough up phlegm when I don't have even a cold?

What causes me to cough up phlegm when I don't have even a cold?

Possibilities...: Possibilities include chronic bronchitis, a form of copd, or perhaps bronchospasm or post-nasal drip. Each of these has different treatments so see your doctor to determine the diagnosis in your case. If you are smoking, you need to quit asap to decrease airway inflammation. ...Read more

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Does rice make phlegm thick? Should we avoid rice in cough n cold??

Does rice make phlegm thick? Should we avoid rice in cough n cold??

No: Neither rice nor milk causes phlegm.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat 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. ...Read more

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Before I got a cold, I occasionally would cough (not lying down). Got a cold 3 weeks ago but occasionally cough with little phlegm. What could it be?

Before I got a cold, I occasionally would cough (not lying down). Got a cold 3 weeks ago but occasionally cough with little phlegm. What could it be?

? Sinusitis: Can still cause such symptoms, use saline nasal washes often, if no improvement, see your doctor for evaluation, best wishes ...Read more

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Every time I catch a cold, I cough up bloody phlegm?

Every time I catch a cold, I cough up bloody phlegm?

See doctor...: Coughing up blood, called hemoptysis, is a symptom that always requires evaluation. Bronchitis can cause this symptom but malignancy needs to be ruled out, especially if you are a smoker. So, see your doctor asap. ...Read more

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Why would it be that after take a cold shower, I fall sick (phlegm, cough, flu etc)?

Why would it be that after take a cold shower, I fall sick (phlegm, cough, flu etc)?

May be: May be you lungs shiver too, pl take only hot shower cleans you better and no falling sick and cough common sense. ...Read more

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Every time I catch a cold, I cough up bloody phlegm for about a month afterwards. What can I try?

Every time I catch a cold, I cough up bloody phlegm for about a month afterwards. What can I try?

Possible airway: Cough is one of the lasts symptoms to clear after a cold taking 4-6 weeks to resolve. You may be having airway inflammation more likely to cause bloody mucus. May also have reactive airway disease or cough variant asthma which might clear faster with asthma inhalers. May have acute bronchitis from bacteria so antibiotics. If bleeding persists past time cold passed then suggest pulmonary md. ...Read more

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Whenever I cough the phlegm that comes from inside has a funny taste which is there after I got an infection cold last week. What can it be? Advice.

Whenever I cough the phlegm that comes from inside has a funny taste which is there after I got an infection cold last week. What can it be? Advice.

Infection: That is a sign of your infection, either from a virus or from bacteria. It should get better. If not better in another week or so, or if it starts getting worse, talk to your doctor. You may need antibiotics. ...Read more

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I had a bad cold for about a week but I am now totally fine. But I feel like I still have a bit of phlegm to cough up and snot to blow out, but I cant?

I had a bad cold for about a week but I am now totally fine. But I feel like I still have a bit of phlegm to cough up and snot to blow out, but I cant?

Completely normal: That's completely normal. It often takes 10-20 days to completely recover from a cold. Drink plenty of warm fluids and get plenty of rest. Steam inhalation can help with loosening up the congestion. Wishing you a speedy recovery. ...Read more

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3rd day of cold is it normal to cough up some yellow phlegm in morning?

3rd day of cold is it normal to cough up some yellow phlegm in morning?

Yes, usually: That is not unusual. Sometimes, coughs from colds can take several days to go away or get better. Obviously, if it gets much worse, or you start coughing up blood, would go see a doc right away. Hope you feel better! ...Read more

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My daughter has thick cough with no phlegm and also colds. What antibiotic should she take?

My daughter has thick cough with no phlegm and also colds. What antibiotic should she take?

If Viral, none: Colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections. Instead of antibiotics, treat cold with supportive care. If daughter is over 1 year of age, try using honey for cough. Salt water drops can help to relieve nasal congestion. Also avoid multi-symptom preparations as they are not recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics. ...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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I’ve had a bad cold for the past 8 days. Now it’s worse I have a cough with phlegm. Sharp pains in lower left back, hurts when I breath in.

I’ve had a bad cold for the past 8 days. Now it’s worse I have a cough with phlegm. Sharp pains in lower left back, hurts when I breath in.

Needs to be checked: You should consult your doctor asap or go to ER. From your history it seems that you may have Pnumonia. You need a thorough physical examination, blood test, sputum culture and Xray Chest. So go to ER and get checked ...Read more

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My husband has a had a wet cough for about a week. No previous cold or flu. He's now coughing up very dark green phlegm. What could be the cause?

My husband has a had a wet cough for about a week. No previous cold or flu. He's now coughing up very dark green phlegm. What could be the cause?

Infection: Viral infections are common and usually go away in time. When the symptoms persist and the color of mucus changes form clear/yellow to dark green/brown, etc. It could signify the condition is caused by a bacterial infection and your husband may need to see a dr. For definitive diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics. Best wishes. ...Read more

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My 1month old baby has gurgling sound when she breathes, its like she has phlegm, but she doesn't have cough or cold, its worst at night what could it be?

My 1month old baby has gurgling sound when she breathes, its like she has phlegm, but she doesn't have cough or cold, its worst at night what could it be?

Can be normal: Babies often have a congested sound because they breathe through their nose and can't blow their noses. Your baby may also have some milk/formula in back of throat that she is not clearing or coughing like adults would. As long as your baby is not having labored breathing, and it is not interferring with her eating or sleeping, treat it as just a noise. ...Read more

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I saw a red spot in my phlegm I have a cough and cold but I don't feel anything what does it mean?

I saw a red spot in my phlegm I have a cough and cold but I don't feel anything what does it mean?

Irritation: Many times when one has respiratory symptoms or cold like symptoms and cough a great deal the throat becomes dry and irritated. Most likely without the benefit of a good history this is what you have done bespectacled if only one time experience. Drink lots of fluids and see doctor if occurs again ...Read more

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Should milk and other dairy products be avoided when someone has a cold and cough? Does it thicken the mucus/phlegm?

Maybe: There is no current research to indicate this is true. Many people believe that consuming dairy can promote mucus production and subsequently worsen congestion. Regardless, if consuming dairy makes you feel like you have thicker mucus then avoid during the common cold. ...Read more

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About 3 weeks ago I had a terrible head cold and recently when I cough it taste like bleach or chlorine and a lot of phlegm?

Normal: It is normal for phlegm to have a salty taste. It will clear up on its own.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat 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'm going on a date later and I want to temporarily relieve the coughing up phlegm and the dry cough that comes from the common cold. Suggestions?

I'm going on a date later and I want to temporarily relieve the coughing up phlegm and the dry cough that comes from the common cold. Suggestions?

Upper respiratory: Infection are a nuisance but contagious.
Do, the date a favor and cancel not cover up. She will appreciate and go out with you later! ...Read more

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Recently suffered with a cold, the cough I have had for 7 days now. Coughing up green phlegm with blood and coughing when exhaling, pain in chest?

Recently suffered with a cold, the cough I have had for 7 days now. Coughing up green phlegm with blood and coughing when exhaling, pain in chest?

More than cold: What you described is more than a cold. Is is possible that you a mild form of pneumonia and it would be prudent to see your doctor. It is not feasible to provide a more meaningful opinion without examining you.
Wish you good health! ...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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I cough (chesty cough) when im feeling cold or in very cold environment. I smoke. No sputum/phlegm but a bit of wheezing?

I cough (chesty cough) when im feeling cold or in very cold environment. I smoke. No sputum/phlegm but a bit of wheezing?

Asthma: Patients with asthma often find that their symptoms of wheezing and/or coughing will be worse in cold air or if they have a cold. Certainly the smoking may also make you more sensitive to irritants or allergens which can trigger symptoms. Stopping smoking and getting on the correct medication will make it easier to control your symptoms. ...Read more

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Had a bad cough with alot of phlegm/sputum about 2 months ago. Now I have it again. Can I already have COPD at age 25? Or just a common cold twice?

Had a bad cough with alot of phlegm/sputum about 2 months ago. Now I have it again. Can I already have COPD at age 25? Or just a common cold twice?

Likely Cold: Given your age, and common things being common, likely just a cold. Symptoms of COPD include airflow limitation that is progressive. Associated with chronic inflammation of the lungs to noxious particles or gases like smoking. Most important risk factor for COPD is cigarette smoking. Amount/duration contribute to disease severity. If you have no smoking history and otherwise healthy, it's not COPD ...Read more

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Had a cough and cold for 3weeks but notice about a week ago I had a tiny bit of blood in my phlegm and then again this morning, scared it's lung cance?

Had a cough and cold for 3weeks but notice about a week ago I had a tiny bit of blood in my phlegm and then again this morning, scared it's lung cance?

Hard to tell: Having just a bit of blood in mucous is difficult to assess. Perhaps having a Chest X ray done can be helpful. If need be a CT scan has a higher chance of ruling our lung cancer. ...Read more

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Had a cold a couple of weeks ago. I've had a cough since but no congestion or stuffy nose. No phlegm when I cough?

Had a cold a couple of weeks ago. I've had a cough since but no congestion or stuffy nose. No phlegm when I cough?

? Bronchitis: Most probably residual bronchitis, as a complication to the cold that you had earlier, you want to see your doctor for Rx medications, as bronchodilators and possibly antibiotics, best wishes ...Read more

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I am suffering from cough and cold with yellow phlegm and mild fever, during summer. What is the reason behind this?

I am suffering from cough and cold with yellow phlegm and mild fever, during summer. What is the reason behind this?

Lots of causes: Your symptoms could be from an infection, allergies or sinusitis. Check with your doctor as there are several possibilities. ...Read more

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Just getting over cold and now have a cough, tight chest and feels like phlegm on chest and my chest feels cold and wheezing?

Just getting over cold and now have a cough, tight chest and feels like phlegm on chest and my chest feels cold and wheezing?

Viral lower resp. Inf: Although what started out as an upper respiratory tract viral infection, now appears to have migrated downward into the lower respiratory tract causing bronchitis or even pneumonia. Strongly suggest you consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment. ...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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Hi I have phlegm WITHOUT COUGH for 3 days already. I have colds and mucus coming out of my nose. Can I drink fluimuicil? Thanks for the answer!

Fluimucil is OK: Sure, you must have a bad bronchitis due to environmental causes, Fluimucil should do the job since is an effective mucolytic agent, but please check with your primary to check lungs and get sputum analysis ...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