Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Brown Phlegm
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Brown Phlegm

I have had a problem going on close two 5 years, I have a nasal odor that stays inside my nostrils close to 40% of the day. It smells like phlegm or pus from an infection. I went to numerous ENT doctors,had sinus X-rays and cat scans and found no problem. I have been given nasal sprays but nothing helps.

I am a smoker who has just begun the quitting process with the help of a stop smoking agent, now I have been bringing up brown phlegm, it is thick and smells like the odor in my nose!

I also have a issue in the morning when I bring up the phelgm it appears to be red dots(blood) mixed in, but only in the am and not anytime during the day.

my question is: is the phlegm brown due to the lack of smoking and my lungs are clearing out? why the blood and why can't I clear this odor out of my nose.

I have no breathing issues,however the last chest x-ray I had was close to 4 years ago as I am 38 and smoked since I was 20
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The mucus that you are bringing up is probably a combination of stopping smoking and also post nasal drainage from your sinuses, even though the CT scans were normal.  It is possible that the smell is from mucus that is sitting and turns color and creates the odor.  While infection is the most common reason for this, it is still possible that this is from a non infectious process.  The blood is not uncommon, particularly in the winter months.  A trial of high dose nasal steroids is probably worthwhile to see if this relieves or eliminates the symptoms.  If it does not, I would look harder for a site of infection.
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