Coughing Up Mucus
Mucus refers to the secretion that is produced by the mucus membranes that line the sinuses, nose, mouth, throat, lungs and the gastrointestinal tract. The secretions from the mucus membranes in the nose humidify the inhaled air, and trap environmental irritants, allergens or pathogens. Phlegm, which is also referred to as sputum, is basically the congealed mucus that contains these irritants. Whenever congealed mucus gets accumulated in the throat or lungs, it needs to be coughed up.
This is basically a way of expelling the irritants or disease-causing agents from the respiratory system. Though production of mucus is an immune response, persistent coughing that is caused due to excessive production of phlegm in throat or lungs is undoubtedly a very annoying problem. At times, excessive amounts of mucus can block the airways and affect one's breathing. If a person has been persistently coughing up mucus, he/she must get a medical checkup done. In a majority of cases, pathogenic infections are responsible for the increased production of mucus. Given below is some information on the medical conditions that may be responsible for causing excessive production of phlegm.
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What is Walking Pneumonia?
Walking pneumonia is caused by the bacterial organism known as mycoplasma pneumoniae, and is hence also referred to with this name. The term walking pneumonia stems from the fact that people with this mild form of infection are not sick enough to be hospitalized. They can continue with their daily activities without having to take bed rest or undergo serious medical treatment. However, this form of lung infection is highly contagious, and can spread from one person to another, especially in places like schools, day cares, work places, and prisons. This is the reason why it is also known as community-acquired pneumonia. Identifying the symptoms of this infection can help in providing immediate treatment and preventing the spread of this contagious infection.
Pathogenic infections emerge as the main contributory factor behind accumulation of mucus in throat or lungs which is why affected individuals must get a thorough medical checkup done. Doctors usually conduct chest X-rays, sputum analysis and blood tests to diagnose the underlying condition. Mucus color also provides valuable insights on the nature of infection. For instance, yellow or green mucus usually indicates viral or bacterial infections. While medical treatment usually involves the use of drugs, expectorants or decongestants, one can also try some remedies for getting rid of phlegm in throat. These remedies may help in loosening mucus. Here are some home remedies that may help to effectively expel phlegm.
While production of mucus is a protective mechanism that the body employs to trap the pathogens or allergens, expectoration is a reflex action that helps to expel phlegm from the body. Though swallowing phlegm is not harmful, it would be best to avoid swallowing phlegm. While medical treatment or home remedies may help in expelling mucus, one must also make the right lifestyle choices so as to prevent the accumulation of phlegm in throat or lungs in future.
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Some People Might Experience Chest Pain
Along with pain, it also causes discomfort in the chest, and areas surrounding it. When one engages in an exercise, or even mundane household chores, one may be disturbed by the breathing discomfort caused.