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Doctor insights on: What Does Thick White Phlegm Mean

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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

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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What does it mean when you cough up a string thick green phlegm?

What does it mean when you cough up a string thick green phlegm?

Infection: You may have a viral infection or a bacterial bronchitis. If the symptoms persist, you need to see your doctor for an antibiotic. ...Read more

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What does it mean when your flem is light green and thick?

What does it mean when your flem is light green and thick?

Bronchitis: You may have a sinus, tracheal or bronchial bacterial infection. If you smoke, stop. You may need antibiotics. Please consult your doctor or use Healthtap Prime. ...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 means?

What does green phlegm means?

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?

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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Is have thick clear phlegm a sign of tb?

Is have thick clear phlegm a sign of tb?

Not really: Mostly TB presents with fever night sweats anoxia wt loss, thick clear phlegm could be due to bronchitis, asthma or pneumonia. ...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 coughed up thick black phlegm, what can cause this?

I coughed up thick black phlegm, what can cause this?

Dark phlegm: Very dark brown or black phlegm could be fungus, dust particles/ material from a worksite (grinding etc without a mask) or even blood that with exposure to air has become dark. Either way, an evaluation should include a sputum sample and a chest x-ray so your doctor can determine the cause and offer treatment. ...Read more

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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

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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 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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Persistent phlegm which is thick in consistency scanty in amount after lots of effort?

Persistent phlegm which is thick in consistency scanty in amount after lots of effort?

Early: It sounds like the phlegm is building up in amount but is very thick. Need to loosen the phlegm but drinking lots of fluids and avoiding foods that increase phlegm, whole milk for example. Could be early infection to allergies. If it stays clear and no fever or chills, probably allergy. If fever, color change, sore throat, = infection. Either way, start with increased fluids, zinc, and vit c. ...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

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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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Coughing up thick green phlegm. No other symptoms. I feel great. Only coughing if I think I need to then phlegm comes up. It's been about a week.

Coughing up thick green phlegm. No other symptoms. I feel great. Only coughing if I think I need to then phlegm comes up. It's been about a week.

Mgt: If it is prolonged and lasts more than 3 weeks, please let your PCP know. A chest radiograph and sputum culture may be sent at that time. In the meantime, if there is no fever and you feel well, the illness should begin to subside. Stay rested and well hydrated. ...Read more

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What causes thick phlegm in throat and chest which is chronic?

What causes thick phlegm in throat and chest which is chronic?

PND: What your describing could be several things. But the first thing that comes to mind is post nasal drip. It can become quite thick and cause a lot of clear phlegm expectoration. If you find yourself clearing your throat constantly. It may well be this. You should see your pcp in case its something more severe. ...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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What does it mean when you're coughing up phlegm with black stuff in it?

Tar?: Smoking, inhalation, or blood may cause discoloration of sputum which is mucus from lung with content of cells and contaminants to be eliminated.
Nasal blood, mucous, could mimic in some settings. ...Read more

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When I cough, gray phlegm comes out, sometimes white. What does it mean?

When I cough, gray phlegm comes out, sometimes white. What does it mean?

Bronchitis: This cough producing discolored and also clearer sputum could be due to a bronchial infection which often follows a head cold. It could be due to allergies or postnatal drip. Your doctor could diagnose it after an exam. ...Read more

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I'm coughing up thick green white and grey phlegm but have no other symptoms of anything. Should I be concerned?

I'm coughing up thick green white and grey phlegm but have no other symptoms of anything. Should I be concerned?

Well, ...: Most commonly, a productive cough with discolored mucus, is a sign that you are developing an infection of some sort, so best to see your Doctor and get officially diagnosed so the best treatment can occur. Best wishes. ...Read more

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I've had productive phlegm (thick, mucus y) for more than a month without a cough. Should I be concerned? Any possible causes?

I've had productive phlegm (thick, mucus y) for more than a month without a cough. Should I be concerned? Any possible causes?

Possibilities...: This may be due to chronic bronchitis, especially if you have smoked. An evaluation by your doctor is needed to find out if there are any associated symptoms and so proper testing can occur. Once you are properly diagnosed, treatment can begin. If you currently smoke, you need to stop. Your doctor can help with this as well. ...Read more

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I developed a mild cough with phlegm, it's been a week and getting better. About how long do coughs last? The phlegm is white not very thick. Wat 2take

I developed a mild cough with phlegm, it's been a week and getting better. About how long do coughs last? The phlegm is white not very thick. Wat 2take

Cough duration: A cough from simple bronchitis can last anywhere from a few days to a couple months. Most last a week or so and resolve. Coughs lasting longer than 2 months need more evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
625 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more