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Doctor insights on: What Does Brown Phlegm Mean

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What does hard brown chunks in phlegm throughout day mean?

What does hard brown chunks in phlegm throughout day mean?

Smoker: It likely means you are a smoker and this is a side effect of smoking.
Stop smoking and problem will disappear. ...Read more

Dr. Angelina Postoev
920 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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What is this brown phlegm with solid stuff mean? I don't smoke but people around me do. It hard to spit out and taste is grose.

Phlegm: If you are coughing up brown phlegm then you have bronchitis. You can get bronchitis even without having chronic lung disease. Cigarette smoke (even second hand) can be act as an irritant which makes the bronchitis worse. As an aside, you can develop chronic lung disease from second hand smoke so be cautious about the company you keep. ...Read more

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I am coughing up brown phlem, what does that mean?

I am coughing up brown phlem, what does that mean?

See your doctor: This is a problem that requires a face-to-face meeting with your doctor. In that meeting, your doctor will listen to you, perform a throrough examination and possibly order labs or other tests. Based on this information, he/she will be able to tell you what's wrong and what to do about it. ...Read more

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When I get up in the morning and lean my head back and gargle with listerine, I spit out a brownish flem, does this mean I'm infected.?

When I get up in the morning and lean my head back and gargle with listerine, I spit out a brownish flem, does this mean I'm infected.?

Coffee drinker?: It's fairly normal for a bit of mucous (phlegm) to accumulate deep in the throat during the night. If you're a coffee drinker and like to consume your morning cup of joe prior to your listerine, it can 'stain' that brown. The heat from the coffee can loosen it up making it easier to come up when you gargle, but it'll still be brown. ...Read more

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Wake up with brown phlegm?

Wake up with brown phlegm?

Phlegm: The color doesn't always mean it's a bacterial infection. Can still be a viral infection and when mucous sits in any orifice in the body for a prolonged period, it can change color. ...Read more

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What does black phlegm mean?

Question: Are you a smoker?
Do you work or live in a dusty or dirty environment.
Might this be old blood.
Take an early morning sample in a clean cup to your doc. ...Read more

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What does green phlegm mean?

What does green phlegm mean?

Green phlegm: Phlegm can vary in color and character. Yellow, green, rust colored, or a combination of colors can be indicative of a bacterial infection, but not always. ...Read more

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What does white foamy phlegm mean?

What does white foamy phlegm mean?

White phlegm: Do you have heartburn or any other symptoms? I usually associate foamy phlegm with reflux as opposed to nasal mucous secretions which are thicker and more viscous. If it is white you don't have to worry about an infection. Good luck and feel better! ...Read more

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What does it mean to have a lot of phlegm?

Some infection: If one has a respiratory infection in the nose, sinuses, throat, or the lungs, the damaged cells lining the inside of those areas will ooze some mucus, which is clear but can have some color. If lots of white blood cells, plus dead/dying germs and respiratory lining cells, get mixed in with mucus, one has phlegm. If one drinks adequate water, both phlegm & mucus should get more and looser. ...Read more

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What does it mean if you have sour tasting phlegm?

What does it mean if you have sour tasting phlegm?

Sour phlegm: Can be a sign of gastric acid reflux. You are young to suspect a lung cancer but that or other lung disease like cystic fibrosis (you are little old for this) are other potential causes. ...Read more

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Green thick phlegm. What does that mean if I'm not sick?

Green thick phlegm. What does that mean if I'm not sick?

Green phlegm: It could mean you have some chronic sinus inflammation, or possibly had some mucous in your nose that crusted up and didn't clear out quickly. If it persists, see an ENT to be evaluated. Rare issues like allergic fungal sinusitis can be ruled out. ...Read more

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Child coughing up green phlegm mean?

Child coughing up green phlegm mean?

Possible infection: May be a bacterial or a viral infection. Best to see your physician for exact diagnosis and appropriate treatment. ...Read more

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What does coughing up green phlegm mean?

What does coughing up green phlegm mean?

Infection usually: This usually indicates an infection of the lungs or sinus tract. ...Read more

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What is a small amount of blood in phlegm mean?

What is a small amount of blood in phlegm mean?

Hemoptysis: There are many possibilities. The most common cause is bronchitis but there are serious causes as well so this should be evaluated by a doctor. ...Read more

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I'm coughing up light brown phlegm, how do I stop this?

I'm coughing up light brown phlegm, how do I stop this?

Go see your doctor: We used to determine need for antibiotics based upon phlegm color but no more. Majority of upper respiratory illnesses are due to viruses which won't respond to antibiotics, just time. Average duration of cough illness is 18 days. Best to go see your family doc to determine whether antibiotics are warranted in your situation or not. ...Read more

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Hi, what does having constant phlegm mean and is it contagious?

Hi, what does having constant phlegm mean and is it contagious?

Phlegm: Need more info to clearly respond, but contagion is not an issue unless the phlegm is due to some infectious agent. It may be due to allergies, irritation of the sinuses by something, acid reflux and others. See an ENT doctor. ...Read more

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I am a smoker and I am coughing up brown phlegm. Whatshould I do?

I am a smoker and I am coughing up brown phlegm. Whatshould I do?

True, true, and...: True, true, and probably related. Smokers cough is very common, and though I can't confirm that this is related to "smokers cough", you should see your doctor and get tested for chronic bronchitis and an emphysema. Also, every smoker with a cough should get at least a chest x-ray. ...Read more

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Been coughing up clear phlegm then this morning it had brown specks?

Been coughing up clear phlegm then this morning it had brown specks?

Brown specs: Please go to the Pharmacy and I am confident they will recommend the right medicine for you.
You will not need a prescription but you will have to pay a small amount. ...Read more

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Has been sick for about 5days, and started to have blood in phlegm. What does this mean and how can I stop it?

Has been sick for about 5days, and started to have blood in phlegm. What does this mean and how can I stop it?

Bloody phlegm: Bloody discoloration in phlegm generally comes from small hemorrhages from blood vessels of the respiratory tract (from sinus to lungs) that are caused by inflammation, infection or trauma due to coughing or forceful blowing. Antibiotics are often used to treat infections that progress to this stage. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
619 doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

cough which ...Read more