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Doctor insights on: Why Am I Coughing Up Black Stuff

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Dr. Alvin Lin
Board Certified, Geriatrics
25 years in practice
72M people helped
1

1
I quiet smoking for a long time why am i just coughing up black stuff?

Dr. Alvin Lin
Board Certified, Geriatrics
25 years in practice
72M people helped
I quiet smoking for a long time why am i just coughing up black stuff?

Cleaning up lungs: Smoke tends to shut down ciliary function. Those are little hairs in lungs that sweep out junk. So if you smoke for a long time, there's a tremendous amount of stuff building up in there that needs to come out. That's why smokers often report more coughing after they quit - that's their cilia returning to life & cleaning house. Obviously more complicated than that but hopefully makes sense. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
12 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
12 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,311 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


Dr. Alvin Lin
Board Certified, Geriatrics
25 years in practice
72M people helped
2

2
I cough up black stuff, why?

Dr. Alvin Lin
Board Certified, Geriatrics
25 years in practice
72M people helped
I cough up black stuff, why?

Go see your doctor: While we no longer, if ever, use color of phlegm to determine if antibiotics are necessary, black stuff sounds out of the ordinary, especially if you smoke. You didn't mention any fever, sweats, chills, unexplained weight loss, or shortness of breath. Nor did you mention your (a)vocation or any environmental exposure. Still, it's a good idea to go see your family doc for an evaluation. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
12 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
12 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. Joel Steckelman
Board Certified, Pediatrics
231K people helped
3

3
How long after qitting smoking til i cough up black stuff?

Dr. Joel Steckelman
Board Certified, Pediatrics
231K people helped
How long after qitting smoking til i cough up black stuff?

Almost immediatly: You can cough uo blacck stuff as soon as you stop, but you can cough it up while you still smoking. ...Read more

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Dr. Richard Bensinger
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
47 years in practice
32M people helped
4

4
Is it normal after quit smoking pot to cough up black stuff ?

Dr. Richard Bensinger
Board Certified, Ophthalmology
47 years in practice
32M people helped
Is it normal after quit smoking pot to cough up black stuff ?

Depends: Are you a regular cigarette smoker? If your use of Marijuana was heavy, then your lungs may have some gunk to clean out. If this goes on for more than a week or so, you may need your family doc to evaluate your lungs. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
Board Certified
12 years in practice
381K people helped
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Dr. Donald Alves
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
19 years in practice
18M people helped
5

5
I am a smoker and smoke 5-6 cigarattes everyday. I have complaint of cough which is common in all smokers. However i see the cough color as black.

Dr. Donald Alves
Board Certified, Emergency Medicine
19 years in practice
18M people helped

Smoke bits: Cigarette smoke may look white or grey, bit easentially is like any other--black. Think soot on fireplace walls, but in your lungs. 1/4--1/3 of a pack per day should be easy to stop by subtraction method: smoke one less every week (or two) until gone. Keep hands busy w/a pen or a few lollipops. ...Read more

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Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Board Certified, Allergy and Immunology
28 years in practice
4M people helped
6

6
What possible causes of a cough that brings up a black substance are there?

Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Board Certified, Allergy and Immunology
28 years in practice
4M people helped
What possible causes of a cough that brings up a black substance are there?

Productive cough: Some potential explanations for a cough that produces "black" material or mucus includes: dried blood, fungus/mold infection or colonization, particles from smoke or grinding/sanding that a person is exposed to and inhales during their occupation or hobby. ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
7

7
Hi sir, is black cough is any dease, if so got to fix this, as i had done X-ray of check also but its normal?

Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
Hi sir, is black cough is any dease, if so got to fix this, as  i had done X-ray of check also but its normal?

No, but...: "black cough" is not a scientific-medicine diagnosis but an imaginary disease invented by fantasy role-players -- i happen to be familiar with this creative subculture. If you have an actual cough or some other symptom, your physician knows how to work it up. If there is something else that we on healthtap can do for you, please let us know. ...Read more

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Dr. Jack Mutnick
Board Certified, Allergy and Immunology
12 years in practice
8M people helped
8

8
What does it mean if you cough up black slime?

Dr. Jack Mutnick
Board Certified, Allergy and Immunology
12 years in practice
8M people helped

See a doctor: It means you should see a doctor for further evaluation. Nothing else is recommended until you see a doctor to further evaluate since this is obviously not normal...Right? ...Read more

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Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
26 years in practice
938K people helped
9

9
What does it mean when u cough up brown stuff for a long time?

Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Board Certified, Pulmonary Critical Care
26 years in practice
938K people helped

Lots of things : Chronic bronchitis? Bronchiectasis? The answer depends on your age, medical history, tobacco use, duration of symptoms, and so on. This is why doctors need to do a history, physical exam, and occasionally other tests to take care of many of your questions. ...Read more

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Dr. Edwin Ishoo
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
23 years in practice
2M people helped
10

10
My friend hasn't been eating for 3 days and she pukes out stuff and has a really bad cough. This seems to always happen to her. Should she check it?

Dr. Edwin Ishoo
Board Certified, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
23 years in practice
2M people helped
My friend hasn't been eating for 3 days and she pukes out stuff and has a really bad cough. This seems to always happen to her. Should she check it?

Emesis: Yes. Your friend should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to avoid dehydration and possibly begin medical treatment of underlying condition. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Smith
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