For the last few months I have been coughing up thick green phlegm everyday (sometimes it feels like there is some kind of matter inside of it-ew). It is usually mostly in the mornings, but I continue to have problems with drainage throughout the day. I am a vocal music student and my voice teacher suggested that I see an ENT. I dont have athsma, and have no known allergies; and other than the drainage I feel great. What could possibly be causing this and what can I do to treat it?
Your coughing up thick green phlegm is clearly abnormal and not to be written-off as just a “morning cough”, as sometimes done by those who smoke cigarettes. It is not always easy but if you have a sense of the source of this phlegm, such as sinuses, nose, lungs, which would determine the type of doctor you should see. And, this is worrisome enough that you should see a doctor. The fact that you “feel great” rules out a number of possibilities but several diagnoses should be considered: 1) that you have aspirated a foreign body, especially food or chicken bones; 2) that you may have a condition called bronchiectasis, one that may occur in the absence of other lung disease and commonly is seen with cystic fibrosis; 3) that you have either a bacterial sinus infection or a condition called allergic fungal sinusitis, an allergic response to a fungus; or 4) for whatever reason, smoking or exposure to second hand smoke, you have chronic bronchitis.
You may want to see your personal physician first. If he/she is at all uncertain about the diagnosis or indicates that further evaluation is not warranted, I suggest that, if you believe it is coming from your lungs, that you see a lung specialist, also known as a pulmonologist, and if you decide the green phlegm is coming from your nose, throat or sinuses that you see an ENT specialist. At bare minimum, you should have a chest x-ray and examination of the sputum.
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