Thursday, May 18, 2017

Common Causes of a Phlegmy Cough

A cough is an umbrella term that covers a number of different coughs with different causes. Dry coughs cause intense irritation and a sore throat whereas a hacking, chesty cough can sometimes make us sick.

A phlegmy cough is your body’s attempt to clear the airways and chest of mucus. In small amounts, mucus is helpful as it traps nasty bacteria and viruses, but if there is a build-up, it triggers a cough reflex.

There are a number of causes of a chesty cough. Here are the most common.

Common Cold

A chesty, productive cough that produces sticky phlegm is common. Most people develop a cough of this nature when they catch a cold or viral infection. Viral infections of the respiratory system cause an overproduction of mucus, which manifests as a streaming nose and a horrible phlegmy cough.


Cigarette smoke is an irritant. Smokers often develop a smoker’s cough over time, as the exposure to smoke causes long-term inflammation in the lungs. This damage leads to an overproduction of mucus and the person develops a chesty cough. The best treatment is to stop smoking.

Exposure to Other Irritants

Exposure to second-hand smoke, pet dander, dust, and toxic fumes can cause a phlegmy cough to develop. In the long-term, inflammation develops and it can turn into COPD. Most people develop COPD in middle-age or beyond, but it sometimes affects younger patients. COPD is one of the biggest killers in the US, so do not ignore a persistent cough. Medication will control the symptoms, but if your COPD is severe, stem cell for COPD treatment could be your best option.


Coughing up mucus is the main symptom of bronchitis. A viral infection is the most common cause of bronchitis and it usually develops after a bad cold or the flu. Sometimes, however, a bacterial infection triggers inflammation in the bronchi and the patient develops bronchitis. Acute bronchitis will clear up within a few weeks, but chronic bronchitis is a long-term health problem and associated with COPD. If the infection is bacterial in nature, antibiotics will clear it up.


Pneumonia is serious inflammation of the air sacs inside the lungs. A thick, phlegmy cough, difficulty breathing, and fever are all symptoms of pneumonia. Pneumonia can come on quite quickly, so it is important to be alert to the main symptoms and seek medical help if you feel unwell.


Many people do not draw a link between a chesty cough and asthma, but coughing can be a symptom of undiagnosed asthma. Asthma can develop quite suddenly in adulthood. Shortness of breath, a chesty cough, wheezing, and tightness in the chest are all symptoms of adult asthma. The problem is that many doctors misdiagnose these symptoms as a respiratory infection. The correct treatment is essential, as asthma is a killer.

Whilst a phlegmy cough is unpleasant, most rarely last more than a few days. And a cough that lingers on for more than two weeks is cause for suspicion and needs further investigation.

This is a guest blog entry.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for post with Phlegmy Cough,I got bronchitis and some time cough with Phlegmy and syptoms linked to asthma


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