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Avatar universal

Throat always having phlegm

Hey :)

I've been reading a number of posts here, in the archives, about phlegm in the throat.

I have phlegm in the back of my throat all the time. I'm certain this is contributing to my snoring.

One extremely helpful post said that constant phlegm in the throat is comes from congestion that is above or below your throat.  If the congestion is in the chest this could be due to asthma. I'm not asthmatic, I don't smoke or live with a smoker, so that's out. The responder also said that postnasal drip is drainage from the nose and sinuses dripping down the back of the throat. I don't believe I have postnasal drip. Typically, my nose is clear and I don't had sinus pain.

During the summer I take allergy medication a few times a week, as necessary, but I haven't needed any allergy meds in about two weeks (thankfully!).

My goal for this post is to find a way to prevent the phlegm from being there. I'd accept a way to remove the phlegm, too.

The only thing that seems to help get rid of it is to not drink anything for a few hours and then take a few small sips of cold water. About a minute later I can hack up the phlegm and get rid of it. This usually works. If I time it right and do this before I go to sleep, my wife and I both (usually) get a decent night's sleep.

Another post had a response where the person said it could be a systemic Candida overgrowth, but I don't have any knowledge about this at all...

Might anyone have any info or advice for me?

Thanks for reading!

43 Responses
Avatar universal
PS I don't cough, I don't have difficult breathing, and there's no clicking anywhere. I also don't have the need clear my throat, even though I can feel the phlegm is there...
Avatar universal
Do you notice it after eating: dairy in any form?  Sugar in any form?  or fried food of any form?

Candida is a type of yeast overgrowth, that is fed by the above.  Usually when out of control, your palate will itch, your nose, and your throat.

This is only from my own personl experiences, as I have problems with phlem.  I had candida years ago, and found out through my allergist, I was allergic to dairy, and molds.  Commonly go together as I understand.
Avatar universal

Thanks for responding :)

No, I don't seem to have more, or less, phlegm at times.

I happen to have learned about Candida a while ago, for other reasons. No, though, my palate doesn't itch. My nose is typically open, and I don't have throat issues.

See my confusion about this?
Avatar universal
I have the same thing. Phlegm in my throat all the time. My allergist has me on Allerga 180 (antihistimine) and then I take sudafed (over the counter decongestant) during the day time and it seem to make it less of a problem. The allergist thinks it an allergy to something but I don't want to do the testing now. You could probably try an over the counter antihistimine instead of the Allerga (which you need a perscription for)....I try not to take the decongestant at night because it keeps me awake.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem.  I was initially told by my primary care
physician it was "post nasal drip" or something like that causing it.

After many, many tests, they don't know what is causing it.  I was told it is a discharge from my lungs and don't try to stop it.
My breathing problems drove my allergy doctor nuts until he told
me to go find a Pulmonologist, so I did.  He is one of the best in the USA.  Anyway, this Doctor (capital D out of respect) has already diagnosed me as having Vocal Cord Dysfunction.  Thru all of this I still have my discharge from my lungs.  If you find out what is causing yours, please let us know.  

Good luck with it....Dave
Avatar universal
My apologies if I am breaking any rules with a second post on the same subject.  I looked for an edit button, did not see one.

My wife just got home so I asked her about the discharge (she was with me during the Bronchoscopy).  She says the doctor looked in my lungs, then asked her if I smoked.  She told him never in my life.
But my parents were heavy chain smokers.  He said he could tell by looking in my lungs.  AND that is where the discharge comes from.

Sorry I didn't remember before, but thought the comment about secondary smoking could be important.  My Pulmonary doctor, who works with our sponsors, confirmed that comment yesterday.

I don't know if this helps you any, but good luck...Dave
Avatar universal
I live in the UK but came across your Post while I was looking for a Post for Nasel problems.

I also suffer from a continual phlegm problem and it is most irritating as one doesn't feel like swallowing it but spitting it out; not always convenient! I have been plagued for years with this problem with no proper resolution so anyone elses experiences are very helpful.

What I have recently started experiencing is a strange musty burnt woody smell in my nose. I havent smoked for over 7 Years and even then was only a casual evening smoker. I am on medication for High Blood Pressure control taking Perindaprol and Sotalol. Has anyone else experienced this strange sensation as a result of their medication or other cause ?

Any experiences would be most welcome.

Many thanks
Avatar universal
The mucus buildup comes every 3-5 minutes. If I dont hack up the phlegm I get ill to my stomach. I can feel the phlegm just sitting there, becoming a larger amount to spit out. I've never sought out any doctor over this matter. Thought it would help me to go online and find out if others have this problem. Many foods and drinks can irritate the problem. Sometimes I chew gum - it only cures the situation for a short time. And some gums don't work at all.
Avatar universal
Hi, I am logged on at 7.30am having been awake since 2am with this problem. This is the first time I have looked this thing up. I saw an ear nose and throat specialst who was not particularly helpful I must say. I can't spit anything up, I feel ill just thinking about that! Has anyone come up with something that will cut through the phlegm and allow one to get some sleep? I find it is much worse at night and if I have a drink of anything before bed I know I'm going to have trouble for sure. It is not allergy season here in New Zealand.
Avatar universal
I dont have a problem sleeping at all but I clear my throat every 10 seconds. Its driving my husband nuts. I wish there was something I could take to clear this up so I dont have clear my throat anymore.
Avatar universal
I have had this continous phlegm feeling in the back of my throat for about six months or so.  I was prescribed allegra, nose spray, and inhaler.  Though I am not stuffed up or have any sinus systems, he did see my nasal inflamed.  He suggested taking my allegra and nose spray religously for about two weeks.  At times it goes away, those are the times I forget I have the problem.  Then, there are time I just can't take it anymore, I can't breath. I rinse and gargle just so maybe it will clear, but no look.  Rinsing just burns since I have been scratching my throat as I been vigoursly trying to clear it.  One of the posts mentions about possibly being caused by dairy, sugar, or fried foods.  Come to think about it, I had dairy and fried foods today and today is one of my worst days.   I am not sure if dairy and fried food is causing the phlegm, but I am going at least try for couple of weeks to see if there is a change.  

It sounds like there are so many people with this annoying problem.  There is got to be someone in this planet that can offer a solution.
Avatar universal
I have had the same problem for over 10 years and nothing helps I have high blood pressure and take the following medication:-
Simvastatin 40mg
Losartan 50mg
Omeprazole 50mg
Aspirin 75mg
Mirtazapine 15mg
Bisoprolol 1.25mg
Diazapam 2mg
I had a stent about 3 years ago and had my Uvula removed abot6 years ago but still the Phlegm persists. I soemtiems cant swallow and it feels as if I am going to choke I then geta panic attack and can be like this for a few days. I get realy depressedd and dont eat and drink very little during this period can anyone help?

Avatar universal
Im a smoker, i smoke every day 3-4 times a day, and not cigarettes or cigars... if you know what i mean. And on the weekends i smoke even more. I have been spitting up pieces of sometimes, white chunks, othertimes huge mucus "loogeys" thats are very dark yellow, almost orange or even rusty coloured. I have probably been spitting like this for about a year, more or less. Im underage and the fact that my mucus is already this bad, scares me since, i dont know what it really means. Does all that mucus/pieces, get expelled from my lungs? ive been smoking for almost 4 years.

To others who need some help with phlegm control, try MUCINEX, I live in Canada but its only available in the states according to my knowlege. It is a mucus thinner and reducer. Try it out.

Someone please help with my situation, what kind of doctor should i see? is this really irregular? What is my body trying to tell me with all these odd colored, sometimes partly bloody spits. Sorry for the gruesome details but i need answers!! Goodluck to everyone with this problem... its not fun.
Avatar universal
I have the same issue, phlem in my throat and lungs.  Doctors just give me Prevacid or Tagamet but they don't work for my lung phlem.  I found that NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine), an over the counter supplement in the US works even better than Mucinex (no hangover effect).  I've been taking one pill a day for over a year with no issues at all and the phlem is gone in my lungs and throat.  I ran out about a week ago and it all came back so it was definitely working.  I highly recommend it.  I get it from the website SwansonVitamins.com.  Search their site for NAC.  They have it cheap compared to Vitamin World and GNC.  One a day fixed me!
Avatar universal
Do you constantly suffer from?

“Phlegm in your Throat?”

   My name is,  Raymond  A. Fricker,    I have had this problem for many years, I think it’s a legacy left over from my smoking days which I gave up in 1977.

   I don’t mean. When you have a cold or flu, but all the time,
I have good news for you. You can eliminate it
(or at least cut it down to a manageable level).
   At first it was a slight nuisance, but for the last couple of years it got worse, so much so, I was thinking of speaking to my doctor or chemist to see if they could recommend something to disperse it.

   Every time I started to talk, I had to cough first to clear my throat, I was getting worried that something more sinister was developing.

   I was fed-up with this, so I started to give it more serious thought, like,       “What can I do about it?”
I thought if I exercise my lungs that might help?.

   Well seeing that I am 81yrs old I am not into jogging or marathons, or even long walks, yet I was looking for something on a regular basis, so why not just,               “Deep Breathing”. That sounded good, I could do that          sat down watching telly.

  So I started, not just Deep Breathing, but                     Deep-Deep,Breathing, As much as I can take in, Hold it    for as long as possible to stretch those little “Air Sacs” in my lungs that have been dormant for so long,  Then Out, As much as possible, and then some, every last little puff.

   Follow this with another big intake,  Hold it,  then out again.
I do this about four-five times whenever I think about it, a couple of times a day. You can do this when driving your car, ( I don’t recommend doing  it in crowded places).

   I noticed improvement the very next day, each day after it got better and better, I have been doing the deep-deep breathing for about a month .I can now hold my breath for longer time, probably because of my new-found extra lung capacity.

   I still get a small pea-sized nodule occasionally during the day, it is much much better at bed-time too.  In the morning when I blow my nose, I get a small, more solid version,      just once.

   When I feel it  there in my throat, I just do a small Huh, or a cough, If it doesn’t come then, I know that if I leave it alone it will work its way up on its own, then the smallest “Huh” will bring it into my mouth where I can dispose of it. I am then free for hours; The phlegm is getting less & less all the time.

   So it cost  me nothing, My lungs are working more efficiently, it’s got to be better even for people who do not suffer from phlegm problem, I think this should be promoted by the Health Authorities because not everyone is able to physically exercise enough to stretch their lung capacity to its very limit.
   The way I see it is that we breathe in 3 different ways. The first being our every-day automatic normal breathing where we only use half of our lung capacity, the other half is our reserve.

   The second is when we hurry or do something a little strenuous which quickens our heart to cause us to do more Deep Breathing.
   Then there is our third Deep-Deep-Breathing        Maximum inhale, then Maximum exhale.

  I do not profess to be any sort of medical expert, but to my mind I can see an enormous benefit to this,
Couple of times, “Daily,  Deep-Deep  Breathing  Exercise”
The hardest part of this exercise is,
“Remembering to do it Every Day”

   I know that the sole job of the right-side of our Heart is to pump blood across to our lungs to be filtered.                   The clean blood  then comes back to the Left side of our heart for distribution around our body.

   Now, to my simple layman’s way of thinking, If our lungs- job is to clean our blood,Our Deep-Deep Breathing exercises stretches our lungs ‘air pockets’, at the same time bringing more of them back into use that have been lying idle for ages,(which could encourage nasties to set-up residence)  then that must be very beneficial for the rest of our body, and our general Health.

P.S.   1 Month on…..  It’s working wonders for me.  
Try it for yourself?.  It might work wonders for You too.

Avatar universal
I changed my diet and after about two weeks things got better. No fried food ,salt, sweets. It was acid reflux that was causeing the problem with the phlem in the throat. Also no cheese or dairy . Just chicken and beef with vegatables . You can have two kinds of nuts for snacks. Chashews and almonds . It's hard at first then you get use to it after about three days . It worked for me hope it works for you. Oh and I did have sea salt and white pepper in moderation .

Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
First I want to say that I am so impressed that an 81 year-old man is actually using the internet and contributing to those of us seeking advice.  I appreciate the advice of my elders who have been there....done that!  So - thanks.  I am going to try this and see if it helps......I had no idea there were so many people out there experiencing this annoying symptom of constant phlegm in the throat.   I've had this for many years and after reading some of these comments think it may be from smoking.  I know I don't have allergies and I'm not sick, but smoking makes sense for me.
Avatar universal
I am quite sure that the phlegm in my throat is due to bad  digestion. Eating fresh foods and excercise are key to good digestion. Also knowing what you are allergic to, i.e. what is throwing off your digestion. I  tried the breathing thing and it works already... breathing is good for your metabolism.
Avatar universal
Thanks Raymond.  Very good post.  And a very good effort on this internet "thingy".  Keep it up!

I am already doing the breathing thing.  Makes perfect sense.  Also, I am going to give NAC a try.  I just read a lot about it and it seems to have many good effects beside helping with the phlegm issue.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the post Mr. Raymond!

my husband has a very bad throat because of phlegm.I make sure that he does the breathing exercise for relief

Thanks again
Avatar universal
Mine's been going on over a year.. I used to smoke and then quit but now i'm smoking again and I don't notice it any worse. I'm up early today because I felt like i was suffocating from it. It makes me so anxious and sometimes sick to my stomach, on top of embarrassing when i "hawk" up a loogy in front of someone when I thought noone was around! Sinuses? Allergies? Acid Reflux?? Geez.. I just wish I could stop it and without insurance I haven't been able too. I'm tired of always feeling this, then feeling sick at my stomach when I swallow it.. I feel for anyone with this problem!
Avatar universal
I have been dealing with this stuff for 20 years. I always have clear mucus in my throat. I have allergies to just about everything that is airborne. No dairy allergy. The doctors have always said it is allergies and drip, but I feel the mucus is being produce in my throat and lungs and not dripping from my sinus. Clair tin D will dry up my nose, but the mucus is still in my throat. About 10 years ago I did a trial of Claritin and it didn't stop my sore throat, mucus problems. My voice gets tired very easily. I could never have a job where I had to speak all day as that leads to a brutal sore throat. I ordered some NAC to see if that helps clear the mucus.
Avatar universal
the pheglm in my throat all started when i was 6 months pregnant eating was very very hard always feels like my throat is ready to close when im eating even drinking liquids was very hard for me that was 12 months ago and nothings changed the pheglm in my throat has gotten worst where im losing so much weight i've seen 5 different doctors and they had no idea what to do first they said i wassuffering from anxiety but 24 / 7 i dont think so even when im sleeping i sometimes wake up from a dead sleep trying to catch my breath it's hard as i would love to eat and enjoy all the foods i once loved to eat can someone please please help me im so worried i will be walking around like a skeleton
Avatar universal
I too recently had constant phlegm sitting at the back of my throat, it was awful being out for dinner with someone or on the tube and needing to spit constantly! Literally every four minutes! so awkward, I just couldn't relax & it wasn't exactly lady like! I started having this problem as soon as I moved in with my boyfriend and we started cooking in a frying pan that his mum had given us as a housewarming gift. It was a 'teflon" non stick pan. I discovered that whenever I used the pan I got lots of mucus. I looked into it and found out that there has been an 18 year cover up by 'teflon' regarding the dangers of using these pans. The black coating inside the pan is made up of chemicals, all of which go into our food once the pan is heated. They also off gas into the atmosphere. Once the chemicals are in our fat cells, organs and bones they are impossible to get out never breaking down once that they're in our system. Teflon pans also cause phlegm...one of the side effects of using teflon is having over active mucus in the throat, The heated pans are extremely toxic and inhalation/consumption can lead to fluid build up in the lung (edema). In the cases of animal testing "Teflon toxicosis," as the bird poisonings are called, the lungs of exposed birds hemorrhage and fill with fluid, leading to suffocation. I have found that swapping to stainless steel pans totally cured my problem. It is a simple way to have a clear throat & no more mucus or spitting!! - Please try and cook without these pans for a while & see if there is any improvement - Also whilst researching into mucus prevention I saw quite a lot that said cows milk, chedder cheese and butter can cause phlegm. If you'd like more info on teflon pans take a look at http://tuberose.com/Teflon.html

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