How To Get Rid Of Sputum
There are times when phlegm is a reason to see your doctor right away. Some phlegm-causing conditions respond best to antibiotics, other medications, and breathing treatments. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
Some of the conditions on this list are viral, and that means they dont respond to antibiotics. Instead, to heal you simply need to eat well, hydrate, and rest.
You can also try measures like:
- Using a humidifier in your home: Keeping the air moist can help loosen phlegm and allow you to cough it up more easily.
- Gargling with salt water: Mix a cup of warm water with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and gargle to loosen any mucus from allergies or a sinus infection thats affecting your throat.
- Using eucalyptus oil: This essential oil works by loosening the mucus in your chest and can be found in products like Vicks VapoRub.
- Taking over-the-counter expectorants: Medications like guaifenesin thin your mucus so it flows more freely and you can more easily cough it up. This medication comes in formulations for adults and children.
Spreading Pneumonia To Others
If your pneumonia is caused by a virus or bacteria, you may spread the infection to other people while you are contagious. How long you are contagious depends on what is causing the pneumonia and whether you get treatment. You may be contagious for several days to a week.
If you get antibiotics, you usually cannot spread the infection to others after a day of treatment.
The Bad News/good News About Post
Post-nasal drip is among the most common causes of persistent cough, hoarseness, sore throat and other annoying symptoms. It can be caused by a number of conditions and may linger for weeks or months. That’s the bad news. The good news is that most of the causes can be quickly identified and most will improve with treatment.
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Chief of Rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he teaches in the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He is also the program director of the Rheumatology Fellowship. He has been a practicing rheumatologist for over 25 years.
Also Check: Can You Have Pneumonia Without Knowing
Constant Swallowing/clearing Of The Throat
The constant clearing of the throat is another symptom resulting from the mucus dripping down the back of the throat from the nose.It acts as a source of irritation, and the patient will attempt to clear the throat and rid himself of the offending irritant 1. The patient will also tend to swallow more than usual in another way to get rid of the mucus in the throat.
When Sinusitis Or Bronchitis Strike After A Cold
Sinus infections and bronchitis both frequently accompany or follow a viral cold and involve inflammation of tissues and a high production of mucus. And all of that extra mucus has to go somewhere.
In the case of sinusitis, mucus often drains down the back of the throat leading to the dreaded symptom of post-nasal drip which can also make your throat sore and cause a persistent cough.
If you develop bronchitis, mucus collects in swollen bronchial tubes which makes you cough — a lot.
Symptoms commonly associated with bronchitis
- Cough that lasts 1-3 weeks
- Recent cold symptoms such as headache, nasal congestion or sore throat
- Mild shortness of breath or wheezing
Cold Weather Or Dry Air
If you notice mucus running from your nose and down your throat in cold temperatures or dry air, theres a reason for that. Your body strives to protect your health, and breathing cold or dry air may irritate your nose or throat. In response, your body triggers extra mucus production to moisturize and warm those passages, soothing the irritation.
But you may also be suffering from cold or flu, viruses that typically thrive in cold weather.
Think You Have A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections can be viral or bacterial in nature. If your symptoms arent improving after 10 days or are getting worse, your infection could be bacterial. A healthcare provider can prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.
How do you know if you have a sinus infection and not just a bad head cold? It can be tricky to tell. In general, if youve had a cold for more than a week that wont go away or seems like its getting worse, you could be dealing with a sinus infection.
Common sinus infection symptoms
Read Also: How Often Pneumonia Vaccine For Seniors
Ways To Manage Crackles In Lungs
Treatment for crackles in the lungs takes many forms and some causes can be cured more than others. Since management for lung crackles will inevitably vary based on the specific condition, its difficult to name broadly applicable options. However, a few treatment or management methods tend to crop up more often among different conditions:
- Inhaled steroids
- Lung transplant
Important Ways To Slow The Spread Of Covid
If you are NOT yet fully vaccinated, prevent long-term complications by protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.
Although media articles have reported that some people with post-COVID conditions say their symptoms improved after being vaccinated, studies are needed to determine the effects of vaccination on post-COVID conditions.
Also Check: How Can You Tell When You Have Pneumonia
Post Nasal Drip: Symptoms Causes And Solutions
Post nasal drip is the sensation of mucus running down the back of your throat. This often causes frequent throat clearing, cough, and other symptoms.
Post nasal drip is associated with the common cold, sinuses, seasonal allergies, and other conditions. But did you know that the glands in your nose and throat constantly produce mucus that you often swallow without realizing it?
Does Sinusitis Lead To Bronchitis Or Asthma
Sinusitis, both acute and chronic, if not adequately treated can lead to bronchitis and sometimes pneumonia. Although it is not the cause for asthma, it can lead to asthma exacerbations. Sinus infections are infections of the upper respiratory tract, and generally lead to symptoms that include headaches, sinus pressure, discolored nasal mucus, and nasal congestion. In certain patients, however, the infection can result in lower respiratory symptoms such as cough and chest congestion, eventually turning into bronchitis, sometimes even pneumonia.
This typically occurs from infected post nasal drainage entering the lungs. While this method of spread can happen in anyone, it is more common in patients with underlying comorbidities and the immunocompromised. While acute sinusitis is common and easily treated by your primary care physician, chronic sinusitis often requires specialized treatment for resolution.
At CCENT & Sinus we specialize in treating patients with chronic sinusitis.
Also Check: Who Needs A Pneumonia Vaccine
Combat The Issues Caused By Post Nasal Drip And Asthma
With dry winter air and cold and flu viruses spreading like crazy, now is the best time to take a second look at your health. Post nasal drip affects a lot of people during this season because the mucus that is constantly produced in your body gets thick and you may have trouble involuntarily swallowing it – which happens normally in the body. For individuals with asthma, this can be extremely uncomfortable. Not only is it hard to breathe through the nose because the thick mucus clogs up your nose, having to breath through the mouth can trigger an asthma attack because it takes more effort to breath this way.
Normally, the throat stays moist because secretions from the nose warm the air we breathe, trap foreign inhaled material and help to fight infections. Normally, we don’t really realize that the mucus is even present in our bodies, but when it becomes thick, we become immediately aware that it is there. Do you ever feel like you always need to cough up gross stuff stuck in yor throat? This is post nasal drip.
What are the symptoms?The symptoms of post nasal drip are fairly obvious. You’ll feel if the mucus is too thick to swallow because you’ll have to cough it up frequently. This, combined with other various nasal and chest congestion symptoms, like shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, fever, headache, chest tightness and nasal obstruction, is sinobronchial syndrome.
Post Nasal Drip Cough Causes And Treatments
When you feel that the food you have just swallowed go right down to your trachea instead of your esophagus, your bodys first defense mechanism is to cough for at least a few minutes. This is normal, but coughing for a few days may mean flu infection, while a week of coughs may be considered bronchitis. Yet, it all depends on many factors. As for post nasal drip, cough can be trigger. In this article, well talk about causes and treatments of this kind of cough.
Recommended Reading: Is The Pneumonia Shot Safe
How One Company Thinks Unraveling Cough Can Provide A New Way To Treat Pain
On a call with a colleague who works in a pediatric emergency department in Chicago, I ask if the Covid-19 pandemic has changed how he is diagnosing pneumonia. He says that nothing has changed apart from the fact that he is now testing for Covid-19. Colleagues from Lesotho and Malawi also note that not much has changed in their respective countries.
The challenges in diagnosing pneumonia should not be underestimated, in part because this infection can be caused by various species of bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, and combinations thereof. Unlike malaria or HIV, for which rapid diagnostic tests exist that focus on detecting a specific pathogen, there is no rapid diagnostic test for pneumonia. Identifying pathogens in swabs from the nose, mouth, and throat could pick up infections limited to the upper respiratory tract. Obtaining an adequate sample of tissue or fluid from the lower respiratory tract in a child is not always feasible given that the procedure is invasive and, even when a specimen is obtained, there is no guarantee the disease-causing pathogen will be recovered.
Chest X-rays and other types of imaging arent ideal. Even when high-quality images are obtained and trained reviewers are able to agree on what they see, there is substantial overlap in the features of different lung diseases, resulting in potential misclassification. Whats more, imaging cant identify the pathogen causing the problem.
Objective And Subjective Measurements
All patients were referred to the Otolaryngology Department and underwent thorough nasal endoscopy and sinus computed tomography . The findings from these examinations were interpreted using the LundKennedy endoscopy score and the LundMackay CT score, respectively. Pulmonary function testing includes the evaluation of forced vital capacity , FEV1, and the FEV1/FVC ratio. Percentages of the predicted values for these tests can be calculated according to age, sex, height, and ethnicity. Participants completed the ACT and the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test-22 questionnaires at the same time to evaluate their asthma control and sinonasal symptoms. Additional data regarding the patients clinical characteristics were collected from their medical records.
The ACT includes 5 items regarding asthma control: activity limitations, shortness of breath, waking up because of asthma symptoms, use of asthma relief medication, and a global evaluation of asthma control. The ACT items evaluate symptoms that were experienced during the last 4 weeks and are scored from 1 to 5, with a maximum score of 25 indicating perfectly controlled asthma.
The SNOT-22 questionnaire is the most widely used and validated self-reported measure of nasal symptom severity and health-related QoL among patients with sinonasal conditions. The SNOT-22 questionnaire evaluates various symptoms, physical problems, functional limitations, and emotional consequences of having a sinonasal disorder.
What Does Green Or Yellow Phlegm Mean
If you see green or yellow phlegm, its usually a sign that your body is fighting an infection. The color comes from white blood cells. At first, you may notice yellow phlegm that then progresses into green phlegm. The change occurs with the severity and length of the potential sickness.
Green or yellow phlegm is commonly caused by:
Bronchitis: This usually starts off with a dry cough and eventually some clear or white phlegm. Over time, you may start coughing up yellow and green phlegm. This is a sign that the illness may be progressing from viral to bacterial. Coughing can last up to 90 days.
Pneumonia: This is typically a complication of another respiratory issue. With pneumonia, you may cough up phlegm that is yellow, green, or sometimes bloody. Your symptoms will vary based on the type of pneumonia you have. Cough, fever, chills, and shortness of breath are common symptoms with all types of pneumonia.
Sinusitis: This is also known as a sinus infection. A virus, allergies, or even bacteria can cause this condition. When it is caused by bacteria, you may notice yellow or green phlegm, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and pressure in your sinus cavities.
Cystic fibrosis: This is a chronic lung disease where mucus builds up in the lungs. This disease often affects children and young adults. It can cause a variety of phlegm colors from yellow to green to brown.
So Hows That Different Than Regular Pneumonia
Pneumonia is generally a more serious lung infection. It can also be caused by bacteria or viruses .
No matter the cause, the infection causes your immune system to fill the air sacs in the lungs with mucus, pus, and other fluids. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach your blood.
Though the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia arent exactly the same, Dr. Chaisson says both tend to cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than usual.
Also Check: Pneumonia Symptoms In Adults Treatment
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.
What Other Symptoms Might You Have If You Have A Chronic Cough
Some symptoms can be more common and less likely to be serious, such as:
- A runny or stuffy nose.
- Post-nasal drip .
- Wheezing or shortness of breath.
- Sore throat or frequent throat clearing.
- Fever .
Other symptoms might be more serious, such as:
- Weight loss without any effort.
- Coughing up phlegm or blood.
- A hoarse voice that does not go away.
- A drenching overnight sweat.
Also Check: How To Check If You Have Pneumonia
Treatment For Acute Bronchitis
Antibiotics usually aren’t helpful because acute bronchitis is almost always caused by a virus, which will not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually only needed if your doctor diagnoses you with whooping cough or pneumonia.
Medications called bronchodilators are used to open tight air passages in the lungs. Your doctor may prescribe this type of medicine if you are wheezing.
Your doctor will tell you to drink more fluids to help thin mucus in the lungs, rest and soothe your airways by increasing humidity in the air with a cool mist humidifier.
Symptoms will usually go away within seven to 14 days if you don’t have chronic pulmonary disease. However, in some people it may take much longer for the cough to go away.
How Do You Catch Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia is often caused by bacteria or viruses. Most commonly a bacteria called mycoplasma pneumoniae is responsible for the infection. The infection is often caused by inhaling airborne droplets of water that are contaminated with the bacteria or virus when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These bacteria and viruses then infect your nose, throat, windpipe and lungs.
Thats why children and younger adults develop it most often the infection spreads easily in crowded environments like schools and college dormitories. But walking pneumonia can also hit nursing homes.
Youll usually start feeling symptoms within two weeks of exposure, but the bacteria can incubate for up to a month and youre contagious during that incubation period. Over about four days, the symptoms gradually worsen and include:
Read Also: If You Have Pneumonia Are You Contagious
Is Post Nasal Drip Serious
The nose and sinuses produce mucus in an attempt to keep the area clean. It moves dust and dirt, clears infection, and moistens nasal tissue and inhaled airall without any work on your part. But when that mucus changes consistency , it can cause post nasal drip, resulting in coughing, hoarseness, irritation, and a sensation of a lump in the throat. Is this something to worry about?
What Causes Post Nasal Drip?
One aspect of determining whether or not post nasal drip is something to worry about is whats causing it. It could be a short lived issue, like the common cold or hormone changes from pregnancy. Or, it could be something more chronic such as sinus issues , swallowing disorders, or gastroesophageal reflux disease . And these can be serious.
Serious Primary Issues
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery when swallowing disorders are present, the nerves and muscles in the mouth, throat, and food passage aren?t interacting properly overflow secretions can spill into the voice box and breathing passages . Dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, occurs more often in older adults and requires medical assistance. You could wind up with food in the airways, which can cause respiratory issues, like pneumonia.
Where Does Sinus Drainage Go
Do you suffer from sinus drainage, post nasal drip or other sinus issues? If so, youâre not alone. Many people experience symptoms ranging from the annoyance and discomfort of sinus drainage to the throbbing pain of a blocked sinus. But what causes sinus problems, and how can you prevent them from getting out of hand?