Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Excessive Morning Phlegm
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Excessive Morning Phlegm

Symptoms: I wake up in the morning with a lot of really thick phlegm right at the base of my throat. It's so bad some mornings, I'm afraid I could choke to death in the middle of the night. It's dark yellowish. This has been happening since I moved into this house 3 years ago, but I don't think it's the house. I haven't had a cold or the flu in months. But I do have 3 pets, and am known to have pet allergies. But I've lived with the allergies for many years, and these symptoms have only happened within the last 3 years. I'm not sure, but I think it could be related to the fact that sometimes, due to nose being stuffed from animals about the house, I breathe through my mouth, that dries out my throat, and my (stupid) body reacts by filling it with gross phlegm. I have no idea why it would do that, or why it would start *now* after so many years of normalcy. Is there anything I can do about it besides getting rid of the pets or having my nose holes drilled to a bigger size?
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Postnasal drip is drainage from the nose and sinuses dripping down the back of the throat.  This drainage could be from a number of reasons.  One is an allergic reaction to inhaling something.  A second reason is a nonallergic, noninfectious inflammation.  A third reason is chronic sinusitis.  This can cause you to have a lot of really thick phlegm right at the base of your throat, especially in the mornings after it has been dripping all night long.  A nasal wash helps remove phlegm from the nose and sinuses.  This can temporarily reduce the postnasal drip and lessen the phlegm in your throat.  A prescription nasal steroid spray decreases nasal swelling and phlegm production.  This may prevent the postnasal drip and phlegm in your throat.  To get the most out of a nasal steroid spray use it after doing a nasal wash.  A nasal steroid spray does not provide immediate relief of symptoms.  It may require several weeks of routine use to become effective.  Please read our Nasal Wash MedFact at http://www.nationaljewish.org/medfacts/nasal.html for more information about this technique.  Share this information with your doctor to see if you would benefit from this daily treatment.

Also check with your doctor to see if either of these suggestions would help with your stuffy nose.  A decongestant will keep the swelling to a minimum and allow for better drainage.  If your stuffy nose is related to allergies an antihistamine may also help.  However, an antihistamine may make the phlegm thicker.
2 Comments
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Sounds like you have post nasal drip from allergy to something in the house or seasonal in the area.

Sleep with head elevated on 2 pillows or elevate head of bed 6".
Pedetrician had me give our small children plain Robitussin before bed with no drink afterward. Robitussin will thin mucous in throat during the night. I tried Robitussin for my problems and it does work.

Saline irrigation of sinuses will remove old gunk from sinuses. I use a solution of 1 teaspoon plain salt, 1 cup water. Boil water, dissolve salt in it, strain thru paper coffee filter, put into nasal spray bottles. To use, lie on bed (on back) with head hanging off, squirt saline solution into nostrils, say kkkkkk when getting up to keep solution from running down throat. Blow gently and sooner or later junk will release from sinuses. Do this night and morning. I call it sinus drano and my doctors have approved.

Over the counter antihistamines/deconjestants work for some people.
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