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Bright red blood when clearing throat? Should I be concerned?
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Bright red blood when clearing throat? Should I be concerned?

Around one month ago I was eating lunch after a run and noticed that I had a large (at least to me) amount of blood in my sputum when I was clearing my throat.  I had had a sinus infection,  very sore throat, etc previously about a week before the bleeding started.  I went to the ER and was told I might have done some tramua to my throat passageway due to coughing from running and was told to use saline nasal spray to help with my sinuses. Chest Xray and bloodwork was clear then and I have been very active (triathlon training) and hadnt had any issues.

Yesterday, after a few days of a bad sore throat I started having the bleeding again.  It is only happening when I clear my throat, not when blowing my nose.  The blood is bright red and is about 75% of my sputum when clearing my throat.  I have also had some yellowish colored mucus from my nose.  I went to an ENT and was told its most likely a sinus infection, I was given drugs and told to continue to use the nasal spray.

The ENT didnt seem to be concerned but the amount of blood that I am clearing out but is alarming to me, it persists for around 1-2hrs, or as long as it takes to clear my throat, and at the end I would be able to fill a shot glass with bright red blood.  Is there something else I should do or tests I should ask for?  This AM I still have the blood when clearing my throat, although this time it appears to have stopped after only a few clearing motions.
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The blood is definitely abnormal, having occurred over the span of a month.  It could be coming from anywhere in your respiratory tract including your nose, sinuses, naso-pharynx, your throat that is visible behind your tongue, voice box or your lungs.  Blood that shows when you clear your throat could arise in the throat or above, and then drain down.

You need to have a careful direct exam of all your upper airways and voice box with a fiberoptic laryngoscope.  Such bleeding can come tumors or ruptured blood vessels with or without inflammation.  You should also have a CT scan of your sinuses.

If these exams fail to reveal an obvious source of the blood, you should have a chest x-ray.  If the chest x-ray is abnormal, it may help guide the bronchoscopic exam.  This is an exam of the inside of your lungs.

The ENT is correct in suggesting that bleeding can accompany sinus infection.  However unless the bleeding and signs of infection cease reasonably soon in response to antibiotic therapy, it should not be assumed that this is simple infection.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the posting.

I have seen my ENT several times since the last posting.  I still have blood on occassion in my sputum, now it is darker or rust colored however.  I had an MRI on my brain and ear canals today as I have also developed balance issues.  They prescribed me Valium to assist with the balance issues.  

I have had a chest xray as well, it was clear per the doctor that looked at it.  I am very concerned about what I should do, the bleeding and balance issues have made me very paranoid that something worse is going on than a simple sinus infection gone awry.  Hopefully the MRI is clear and this clears up.

I should be clear though that the bleeding did not last for one month straight.  It happened a month ago and then returned, with no blood for aroun 3.5 weeks.  This time, it cleared after one day and then started again about 10 days later.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had very similar symptoms for about 2 weeks .....When clearing my throat in the morning, there is a significant amount of blood in my sputum...I too rushed to the ER and had EKG/CHEST X-RAY/BLOOD WORK/SINUS XRAY/CT SCAN/BRONCOSCOPY....All came back normal...I have also experienced some chest pain....ANY IDEAS HERE???
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Avatar_n_tn
I also was having the same symptoms about a month and a half ago when i got up first thing in the morning to clear my throat I would notice blood in my sputum my chest started hurting alot,  so I went to the ER and they told me that I had ruptered a blood vessel in my throat from coughing and spitting to much. They gave me a presciption and it cleared it up.So thats just one possibality to look into.
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Avatar_n_tn
What did the ER perscribe?  ...Thanks for the reply!
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Avatar_n_tn
Bamababy01......How long after the ER prescribed meds before the blood in your sputum diminished.....Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry it took me a while to reply pc went nuts so it has been in shop. I can't quite remember what he prescribed its been a while back, sorry. It took about 2 to 3 days before i completly stopped seeing any blood in my sputum but it took more then just the medicine I had to calm down on coughing so much and spitting so much , because that was putting a strain on my blood vessels.
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Avatar_n_tn

I am 30 years old and I have been a social smoker for almost 13 years. I will go months w/out smoking and on a Sat. night I may smoke a 1/2 pack of cigarettes or I may go on vacation and smoke the whole week. I quit social smoking about a year and a 1/2 ago except for one night in Dec. About a month ago I noticed some blood in my phlegm so I went to the Dr. and I was put on an antibiotic and was sent for a chest x-ray, the x-ray was normal. Now I am spitting all the time, my lungs hurt I am spitting so much to examine my phlegm. I have noticed when I get out of the shower there are a few black/dark gray specks in my spit. I am so scared that something is wrong w/me! Could the specks just be because I used to smoke and my lungs are cleaning out. I don't know if I am just noticing them now because I am spitting all the time. My Dr. did not mention about a CT scan, she said cancer would show up on an x-ray, but that is not what I am reading on the web.

Thanks!
Gina
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been having a similar problem in the last 4 days or so. In the morning, I spit up dark blood in my phlegm. This happens when I clear my throat, and seems to primarily happen in the morning, tapering off during the day. Last week, I swallowed some food and felt like I scratched my throat, so I'm thinking that might have been the culprit. However, I would assume that my throat wouldn't still be bleeding from that. I'm 35 and I've smoked about a pack a day for about 12 years (Quit date is this Saturday), so naturally I got worried about that, but the blood comes from clearing the throat and not a cough. I live in Florida and everyone says it might be allergies because of the pollen count as well. Anyone else heard of this?
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A related discussion, Blood in sputum was started.
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A related discussion, throught infection blood in split was started.
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A related discussion, spitting up blood when clearing throat was started.
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A related discussion, blood in cough was started.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had it last for like one minute but it wasn't heavy just every time I cleared my throat out now I clear it out no blood shows
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