How To Clear Phlegm From Your Throat
You dont really know how the phlegm in your throat got there, but removing it is kind of gross. It turns out, phlegm actually serves a useful purpose: The thick, sludgy substancemade up of mostly water, salt, and antibodiesis designed to help capture and clear bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms from your nose and throat. Even when youre feeling fine, your body naturally produces about a quart of phlegm every day. Without it, germs and irritants in the air would easily slip into your lungs through your air passages. And when youre sick or suffering from allergies, your body ramps up its phlegm production in an effort to clear away the bad bugs it knows are present.
So heres the big question: How do you clear phlegm from your throat?
Even though it might not taste good, theres nothing wrong with swallowing it. In fact, thats probably what your body expects you to do, which is why phlegm naturally drains down into the back of your throat. If you go the swallowing route, your stomach acids and digestive system will simply eradicate the phlegm and any of the harmful stuff it might have snared. Sipping on water may also be a helpful way to clear phlegm from your throat.
The color could provide important clues about your health:
Foods That Relieve Or Cause Throat Mucus
Nutrition can play a role in throat mucus, too. Some foods can actually contribute to throat mucus and other foods can help relieve it. Although every person is different and may have their own unique triggers, here are some of the common foods to avoid with mucus in the throat, and foods to enjoy as they can help reduce mucus.
Foods that cause excessive mucus production:
- Dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese
- High-fat red meat and processed meat
- Gluten products especially in people with a gluten allergy
- Caffeine particularly the variety found in soda
- Fruits and vegetables, like bananas, cabbage, and potatoes
Foods that relieve mucus:
- Fruits and vegetables like garlic, celery, onions, parsley, winter squash, berries, oranges, greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and peppers
Further Tips And Remedies
Many people with excess mucus find that sleeping with their head raised on an extra pillow helps. This is because elevating the head and shoulders in this way relieves congested nasal passages. Quit smoking and stay away from irritants and polluted air whenever possible. Blow your nose, inhale steam, gargle with salt and warm water, raise the humidity, diffuse essential oils, drink warm liquids. Remember dehydration is also bad, so make sure to drink a lot of water.
If your doctor diagnoses an allergy, allergy medications may help address the problem of excess mucus. Be aware of your swallowing and if you think something unusual is happening get medical advice. Another tip is not to eat a large meal before going to bed as this can cause indigestion and the production of more mucus.
Fairview Adult Day Care Center in Brooklyn NY pays close attention to the symptoms and causes of excess mucus as part of its comprehensive medical care regime. We provide education and guidance as to how to manage health issues in the elderly as well as people with neurological conditions.
This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
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How Is Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms of a sinus infection have continued for more than 12 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may use an endoscope .
In very few cases, your provider might order a biopsy to see if the infection has spread. Biopsies involve taking tissue or bone samples to example under the microscope.
How Is A Deviated Septum Diagnosed
A healthcare provider will begin by asking questions about your symptoms. They will perform a physical exam, including a close examination of your nose. They will look at the outside of your nose. They also look inside your nose by shining a bright light into your nostrils. You may see a specialist, such as an ear, nose and throat healthcare provider or a plastic surgeon.
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How Can I Prevent Postnasal Drip
One way to prevent postnasal drip is by reducing your exposure to things youre allergic to as much as possible. Ways to prevent the condition may include:
- Taking a daily allergy pill.
- Keeping your house dust-free and clean.
- Using pillow covers and mattress covers to prevent dust mites.
- Changing the air filters on your HVAC system frequently.
- Showering before you go to bed if youve spent time outdoors.
Postnasal Drip And Pregnancy
Nasal congestion is not unusual during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can dry out the lining of your nose, resulting in inflammation and swelling. The resulting stuffiness can make you feel like you have a cold.
If your nausea and vomiting are so severe that its preventing you from getting proper nutrition and hydration, its important to visit your doctor.
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What Is The Outlook For People With A Deviated Septum
For most people, a deviated septum does not cause problems. If you do have difficult symptoms, a septoplasty may be the right option for you.
Most people who have surgery experience relief from symptoms. Occasionally, the septum will deviate again. In that case, healthcare providers can perform another septoplasty.
What About Prescription Treatments
If these approaches aren’t effective, prescription treatments may be the next best steps, including:
- A nasal steroid spray
- Ipratropium nasal spray which inhibits secretions
Other treatments depend on the cause of the post-nasal drip. Antibiotics are not usually helpful, so they aren’t usually prescribed for post-nasal drip . For allergies, dusting and vacuuming often, covering your mattresses and pillowcases, and special air filter can help reduce exposure to allergy triggers.
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Upper Airway Cough Syndrome
Upper airway cough syndrome is treated with first-generation antihistamines and medicines taken as tablets. A response to treatment helps confirm the diagnosis. Decongestants should only be used for a short time.
Talk to your doctor if you are constantly clearing your throat or have an irritating cough. Finding out the cause of your symptoms and treating the cause should make you feel a lot more comfortable.
1. Cough . In: eTG complete. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited Mar 2018. https://tgldcdp.tg.org.au .2. Rhinitis and rhinosinusitis . In: eTG complete. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited Mar 2018. https://tgldcdp.tg.org.au .3. Mayo Clinic. Chronic cough . https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-cough/symptoms-causes/syc-20351575 .4. Morcom S, Phillips N, Pastuszek A, Timperley D. Sinusitis. Australian Family Physician 2016 45:374-7. https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2016/june/sinusitis/ .5. Mayo Clinic. Nonallergic rhinitis . https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonallergic-rhinitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351229 .6. BMJ Best Practice. Upper airway cough syndrome . https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-us/1209 .https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/definition/sym-20050644
Stay Hydrated And Warm
Drinking enough liquids, especially warm ones can help with mucus flow.
Water and other liquids can loosen your congestion by helping your mucus move. Try sipping liquids, like juice, clear broths, and soup. Other good liquid choices include , warm fruit juice, and lemon water.
Your drinks shouldnt be the only thing thats warm. You should be, too! Staying warm is an easy home remedy to soothe your respiratory system. Thats because youre better able to fight off conditions that cause excess mucus when youre at a warmer body temperature.
Methods to stay warm include:
You might also be wondering about the classic many grab when theyre sick: chicken soup. Does it help get rid of phlegm too? Some research suggests yes.
Chicken soup might be good for treating colds and getting rid of excess mucus. This is because chicken soup slows neutrophils movement in your body. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, fight off infection. When moving slowly, they stay in the areas of your body where infection exists for longer.
Overall, more studies are needed to confirm the effects of these foods, but for most people, adding these ingredients to their diet is safe to try.
If youre taking any prescription medications, ask your doctor before adding any new ingredients to your diet.
clear phlegm in the back of your throat. It may even help soothe a sore throat.
When gargling salt water, follow these easy steps:
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This Is What Our Community Said About Postnasal Drip:
“I have scleroderma and Raynaud’s and in the winter I get constant postnasal drip especially at night – I’ve heard it is due to the nerves controlling blood flow to the nose lining.”
“Do you ever get postnasal drip and what do you do to combat it?”
Read what the Community said about this on HealthUnlocked.
When To See A Medical Professional
When home remedies and OTC medications have not been effective, contact a doctor. In some cases, excess mucus production can be caused by a serious underlying health condition that needs medical attention.
Consult a healthcare professional right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- A cough that lasts two weeks or longer
- A cough that contains blood
- Foul-smelling mucus or mucus with blood
- A consistent fever of 101F or above
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- An overall feeling of illness spreading throughout your body
Excess mucus in the throat is sometimes your bodys way of warning you that it is fighting a viral or bacterial infection.
This may require a physical examination by a doctor and prescription medicine.
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How To Stop Sinus Drainage In The Throat
Mucus is a substance normally produced by the body. It serves an important role, as it moistens, cleans and protects the lining of the nose and sinuses. But when this mucus is abnormally thick or produced in excess, its presence can be more noticeable and annoying as it drains down the back of the throat.
This sinus drainage, or post-nasal drip, leads to coughing and irritation, and contributes to the misery of colds and seasonal allergies. While sometimes medical attention is indicated, this symptom can usually be alleviated by home treatments.
The Real Cause Of A Constant Phlegmy Throat
Learn about the root cause of chronic phlegm and the best ways to address it.
1:15 What causes chronic phlegm?
3:26 A deeper look at treatments
5:07 The root cause of chronic phlegm
6:00 Why you need hydrochloric acid
10:05 How to increase stomach acid
14:13 Check out my video on hydrochloric acid
Lets look at what really causes chronic phlegm and what you can do about it.
Chronic mucus production in your throat can worsen at night, and you may notice other symptoms such as:
A sensation of a lump in your throat
A sore throat without an infection
An allergy or virus could cause chronic mucus production. However, there is a more likely cause thats related to two other symptoms, GERD and LPR. Both of these conditions are typically treated with antacids or other medications that suppress stomach acid.
If you have chronic mucus in your throat, you want to ask yourself if you have any symptoms related to GERD or LPR. But, the big problem is that some of the treatments for these conditions can come with many side effectsthey may even aggravate the condition. The optimum solution should not give you a bigger problem than you started with.
Its my view that low hydrochloric acid is the most likely cause of GERD or LPR, which can lead to chronic phlegm. Hydrochloric acid is a very important fluid for many different bodily functions.
Instead of suppressing the symptom , we need to look at what we can do for the root cause .
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What Is Postnasal Drip
Postnasal drip is when more mucus than normal gathers and drips down the back of your throat. You may feel like you have a tickle in the back of your throat. Postnasal drip can be a bothersome condition that can lead to a chronic cough.
- Moistens and cleans your nasal lining.
- Moistens the air you breathe.
- Traps and clears whatever you inhale.
- Helps fight infections.
You normally swallow mucus unconsciously. You don’t notice it because it mixes with your saliva and drips harmlessly down the back of your throat. But when you feel like mucus is gathering in your throat or dripping from the back of your nose, it becomes more obvious.
What Is Phlegm In The Throat
Some mucus in the airways can protect and moisturize the tissues. Phlegm is a type of mucus found in the back of the throat when a person is sick. It is produced by the lungs and respiratory tract. Mucus is a good thing provided this is produced in limited quantity.
Mucus moist the following membranes to protect the respiratory system-
In healthy conditions, the mucus is thin. The stickiness of the throat traps dust, allergens and viruses eventually stopping them from entering the respiratory tract. On the other hand, when a person is sick, the mucus gets thick and causes discomfort.
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Should You Everworry About Your Poop
Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about what your poop means. People are asked to call their health care providers if: They experience severe levels of abdominal pain or discomfort with diarrhea that does not go away when you poop or fart. Also, if diarrhea is accompanied by fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, chills, vomiting, or fainting, call your physician immediately.
What Happens During Septoplasty
Septoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis, so most people go home the day of their surgery. In most cases, a healthcare provider will place you under general anesthesia. This means youll be asleep during the operation. Local anesthesia, which numbs the part of the body targeted for surgery, might be an option.
The procedure takes place entirely inside your nose. Your surgeon creates an incision on one side of your nose and lifts the mucosa . This allows your surgeon to reshape the septums bone and cartilage. Sometimes your surgeon will remove parts of the bone and cartilage, then reshape and reposition your noses underlying structures. Afterward, theyll reposition the mucosa back over the septum. Your nose is not broken during surgery. The operation takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
Afterward, your surgeon may insert splints or soft packing to hold nasal tissue in place, prevent nosebleeds and reduce the risk of scar tissue. Usually, the splints stay in one week. Sometimes, your surgeon might leave only dissolving stitches, which disappear on their own over time.
How painful is a septoplasty?
Following septoplasty, you can expect mild to moderate discomfort. Many people compare the feeling to a sinus infection with some pain and pressure around the eyes, across the forehead and across the cheeks and upper teeth. These side effects are normal and generally fade within a few days.
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What Clears Up Sticky Mucus In Back Of Throat
When a foreign body, say a virus or some allergen enters our nose, the body reacts back by producing antibodies. The mucoid secretion, which we see is a mixture of this allergen plus the antibody produced, contained in a thick sticky substance. As the allergic or infectious process gets alright, the mucoid snot also gradually go away. This is a normal process.In some individual, excess of mucus is produced. Also, drainage may not be adequate. This leads to blocked sinuses and sticky throats.
When To See Your Gp
Speak to your GP if your catarrh persists and is becoming difficult to live with.
They may want to rule out conditions that could be causing it, such as nasal polyps or allergies. This may mean you need to be referred to a specialist for tests.
If you’re diagnosed with a specific underlying condition, treating it may help relieve your catarrh. For example, nasal polyps may be treated with a steroid nasal spray, or in some cases surgery.
If a cause for you catarrh cannot be found, the self-help techniques above may be recommended. Unfortunately, however, chronic catarrh can be hard to treat and may last for a long time.
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Symptoms Of Mucus Overproduction
Symptoms of excess mucus are coughing up phlegm, shortness of breath, or congestion in the throat. If the cause of mucus in the throat is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, symptoms may be different. They may include fever, itchy eyes, a runny nose, headache, and difficulty breathing. Frequent throat-clearing may be a symptom of stomach problems, as mucus formation is a protective mechanism against acidity.
Large Amounts Of Mucus In Throat
I am 23 years old and was told I have GERD as of about 6 months ago. It all started when I went to see my doctor about mucus in my throat that I couldn’t seem to get rid of. I was told it was GERD and was immediately put on Omeprazole once per day. A few weeks later after not much relief I had a scope performed on my throat and stomach and everything came back normal, no ulcers, hernia, or damage to my throat. Before starting the Omeprazole I never had any burning pain in my chest, but now it seems like its very frequent and it still hasn’t done much of anything for the mucus in my throat. I am young, fairly active, never smoked, not overweight, and don’t drink any caffeine so being diagnosed with GERD doesn’t really make sense to me. Now if I try to stop taking Omeprazole I have extremely bad burning in my chest that Zantac cant even help. I also occasionally wipe blood when pooping. I told my doctor but she said it could just be something to do with my acid levels
Is there anything else that could be causing these GERD-like symptoms that I’m missing?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health Support Group.
Please seek a second opinion. I kept pushing all my doctors in Philadelphia until I had to seek care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Advocating for myself and educating myself was the best decision I made.
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