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Constant green phlegm for 2 years

I've had constant green phlegm (at first i thought it looked more like a dark almost browning yellow) for 2 years now. It started right after what my doctor told me was a bronchitis. Since then I cough up green chunks every morning.

The green chunks are annoying because they get stuck at the back of my throat and sometimes makes breathing annoying when lying down. While I sleep some chunks get stuck on the top of my tonsils. It doesn't completely stop during the day, it keeps me coughing to clear up my throat. What alarms me the most about it is that my doctor has no idea what it is and has given me all kinds of nasal sprays, medications and antibiotics that didn't improve anything at all.

I put this post under sinusitis since I was falsely diagnosed with chronic sinusitis by my doctor for a long time even though the x-rays she made me take were negative. The hospital and an ENT specialist also told me I didn't had chronic sinusitis. The ENT says it is not sinus related.

The problem is that my immune system is low since then and that I've been having recurring cases of strep throat or laryngitis. The green phlegm however is not clearing up after the strep throat gets treated or the laryngitis clears up. Other then the phlegm, I don't have any other constant symptoms, though at first I had chest pains in the upper middle of my chest but they weren't very frequent.

Since I now consider my family doctor almost incompetent, is there a direction I should point her to? Should I go somewhere else? My next step I asked her for is to see an allergist, even though I have not noticed any allergies and even if I change my routine completely or live somewhere else for a while, nothing changes. Can it be stomach related? Can it be lung related? Can it be mold related?
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replied January 31st, 2013
Hello! Welcome on eHealth forum and hope you find a satisfactory answer to your query!

A cough is generally a result of an irritant such as stomach acid (gastric reflux), mucus (asthma), hair spray, perfume, dust, pollen, mold, even spicy food, post nasal drip, or infection. It could also be due to infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Chronic sore throats can be allergic, viral or bacterial in origin. Many viral conditions like EBV (glandular fever) behave in this way with recurrent respiratory infections. Many parasitic infestations and worms increase the eosinophil counts in the blood and thus cause an increased risk of upper respiratory infections. Conditions like tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis and silicosis along with pulmonary fibrosis should be ruled out.

If there is no fever then chances of allergic reaction, asthma, acidity and reflux and high eosinophil count are more. Common allergens causing these symptoms are pollen, mold, dust, pet dander. Streptoccocal infection is the most common bacterial infection and can cause nasal symptoms too. Indoor exposure to black mold can cause upper respiratory tract symptoms such as sore throat and cough with or without wheeze in otherwise healthy people.

Ideally you should consult a chest specialist. A comprehensive investigation including CBC, throat swab, allergic tests, X-rays, examination with a scope in throat, spirometry etc is required keeping all the points in mind. Taking antibiotics without knowing what is the cause of persistent cough will not help much. A throat swab and the phlegm should be given for culture and sensitivity to see what organism is causing the cough and what antibiotic may act against it. If it is viral or allergic then no culture will be formed. If it is due to air conditioning, you will have to use a humidifier. If it is due to asthma, then proper treatment will have to be done. If mold is the culprit, then you will have to get your house checked for the source and treated. Gastric reflux too could be the cause. The treating reflux with drugs and lifestyle changes with decreasing coffee, alcohol, smoking and spicy food will help.

Meanwhile try deep breathing exercise and steam inhalation. Over the counter antihistamines, and decongestants and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs may all help. However please take with prescription. Steam inhalation, drinking hot fluids and soups, warm lemonade, gargling with warm saline water are all very helpful. Do discuss with your doctor and first try and find the cause. Take care!



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replied October 2nd, 2018
Berkeley1234 & Steffy214 - wondering how you're feeling now since 2013? I've been having the same symptoms for at least 1 year
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replied July 8th, 2013
Thank you so much for the reply and the question. I have exactly the same problem.. the only difference is, I did not see a doctor.. yes, greenish phelm for 2 years plus! Sad very irritating..
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replied January 28th, 2018
Steffy214 and Berkeley1234 - How are you doing now. I too have the same for the past 3 years and confused.
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replied February 20th, 2019
Did you ever get this resolved after having it for so long...?


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