A few years ago I began bringing up hard, sticky mucus. At first it was normal in color, just hard and extremely sticky. A few months ago it started having a bloody color to it, sometimes bright red, others darker. I saw my doctor who first tested me for TB, which came back negative. She then prescribed antibiotics and sent me for a chest xray and ordered a CBC and metabolic count. Everything came back normal except that my blood sugar was a little low. The antibiotics didn't help with the mucus. Now, however, it is no longer bloody but contains black and dark gray spots. I have never been a smoker and do not have asthma.
Hello, I can not say the cause if the x-ray was clear, but the black and dark gray spots could possibly be old blood. Most likely the hard sticky things you are getting up are small mucous plugs of the lungs. Are you short of breath? You didn't mention being short of breath, so I'm suspecting that you are not? If plugs are your problem antibiotics will not help it. Antibiotics will only treat the infection.
There is a medication called Mucomyst that actually helps dissolve the plugs. Mucomyst will either dissolve them completely or make them small enough to be coughed up. Mucomyst is administered through a nebulizer treatment either by pipe or mask. Causes of your symptoms could be Bronchiectasis- causes of this disorder may be: allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, Bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, repeated respiratory infections, lung tumors, inhaled substances-gases, smoke, noxious fumes, and injurious dust such as coal dust or silica.
Since the chest x-ray was normal, the next test should be a cat scan to try to help determine the cause. You probably need to get a referral to a Pulmonologist, if you don't have one already.
I recommend drinking a lot of water daily to help keep secretions thinner. Taking the mucomyst nebulizer treatments if your doctor agrees, use an expectorant cough syrup, and possible be placed on a different antibiotic since the other one did not help.
I am not short of breath. Both my mother and father were smokers. My mother had lung cancer 19 years ago. The xray didn't show any abnormalities that my doctor could detect. Thank you guys for your time and I will follow up with my doctor and see what she thinks of your suggestions.
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