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phlegm
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phlegm

I have been coughing up thick clear phlegm speckled with gray.  Not constantly, but a few times a day.  I was diagnosed as a child with post nasal drip and I live in an area notorious for causing allergies.  I do experience sinus congestion fairly regularly.  For the last several months, my right lung seems sore or tight when I take deep breaths, but it improves almost entirely when I exercise.  It does come and go, and I often experience it worse when my chronic right shoulder pain returns (due to caring and nursing a 2 1/2 year old).   I am wondering if the pain and the phlegm could be related to allergies, shoulder pain and/or post nasal drip?  Any input is very much appreciated!
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251132_tn?1198082422
Postnasal drip is drainage from the nose and sinuses dripping down the back of the throat.  There could be several reasons for this drainage.  One is an allergic reaction to inhaling something.  A second reason is a non-allergic, non-infectious inflammation in the sinuses that can linger after a cold.  A third reason is chronic sinusitis.  Postnasal drip can cause irritation of the throat and lungs.  A nasal wash helps remove phlegm from the nose and sinuses.  This can temporarily reduce the postnasal drip.  A prescription nasal steroid spray decreases sinus congestion and phlegm production.  This may prevent the postnasal drip.  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.

You will need to see a doctor to find out the nature of the problem that is causing your lung soreness and tightness.  This may or may not be related to allergies, your shoulder pain, and your postnasal drip.  To know for sure you will need to have testing done.  A good place to start is with a chest x-ray and possibly a simple breathing test called spirometry.  Spirometry provides detailed information about how your lungs are working.  If your symptoms are due to a lung problem, this testing should identify the cause.  A pulmonologist would be the type of specialist to identify a lung problem and the best treatment.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Is there anyone out there who has experienced coughing up thick clear phlegm speckled with gray?  If so, what was your condition?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I also have chest or lung tightness when I take a deep breath. I am always coughing and often times the phlegm has greyish/brown specs in it which I have been curious about. Went to the Dr several times. 1st they said post nasal drip and allergies. Allergy meds and nasal spray didnt work. Went to a specialist, who said I have asthma and chest infection(he kind of ignored the specs in the mucus topic). Gave me an inhaler which didnt help and antibiotics. I went back and he gave me a stronger inhaler with different medication called Advair. This seemed to open up my lungs pretty good at first but soon wore off (he gave me the weakest form of it for some reason). I also had a chest xray at that time which they said was clean, nothing. I'm baffled.
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Avatar_n_tn
Same with me: chest tightness when I take a deep breath, coughing up thick clear phlegm (sometime a bit yellowish in the morning). Went to the doctor and diagnosed as allergies. He gave me antibiotics and allergy drugs. Result: it didnt help at all. It has been 4 months now I have this problem and very stressful. Last resort: call up my mom because she always believe in traditional chinese herbs. Told me to take RAW garlics every day. It is day 2 now and it help me a lot. I hope this help.
"Garlic is one of the earth
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Avatar_n_tn
Same with me: chest tightness when I take a deep breath, coughing up thick clear phlegm (sometime a bit yellowish in the morning). Went to the doctor and diagnosed as allergies. He gave me antibiotics and allergy drugs. Result: it didnt help at all. It has been 4 months now I have this problem and very stressful. Last resort: call up my mom because she always believe in traditional chinese herbs. Told me to take RAW garlics every day. It is day 2 now and it help me a lot. I hope this help.
"Garlic is one of the earth
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Avatar_n_tn
Same with me: chest tightness when I take a deep breath, coughing up thick clear phlegm (sometime a bit yellowish in the morning). Went to the doctor and diagnosed as allergies. He gave me antibiotics and allergy drugs. Result: it didnt help at all. It has been 4 months now I have this problem and very stressful. Last resort: call up my mom because she always believe in traditional chinese herbs. Told me to take RAW garlics every day. It is day 2 now and it help me a lot. I hope this help.
"Garlic is one of the earth
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been smoking marijuana for about a year and a half and I enjoy it, it helps me relax and be creative while painting and writing music.  Of late though, not right after I smoke, but about 45 minutes to an hour later I have a coughing fit where I cough really hard.  I also seem to have chronic phlegm especially in the morning. I am not out of shape and in fact exercise quite often. I was wondering if there is any way to suppress the cough.  I know that I should quit smoking and most likely will a couple years from now, but I am young and it seems as though I should not have such violent coughing fits just from smoking a little. Any insight would be appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been smoking marijuana for about a year and a half and i enjoy it, it helps me be creative while painting and writing music. Lately, not right after I smoke or while smoking but about 45 minutes to an hour after, I regularly have a coughing fit where I am coughing really hard. I also have had phlegm for a while and more so in the morning. I am not out of shape and actually exercise regularly and can run miles at a time without my lungs getting too tired. I know that I should quit smoking and probably will in a few years, but I am young now and do not think I should be coughing so violently.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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