Mucus is a natural product of a healthy body. It’s meant to keep you healthy by shielding your lungs from all sorts of things, including exhaust fumes, pollen, cigarette smoke, viruses, bacteria and even dust. Mucus might be annoying when you are dealing with a cold, but the extra mucus produced is meant to help your body heal. Clear phlegm when you cough, or a cough with clear mucus, is quite common – but it might be frightening, especially if there is a lot of it. Is there any time when coughing up clear mucus is a concern?
Causes and Related Treatments for Coughing Up Clear Mucus
Cold or Flu
The mucus you cough up might change color as your illness progresses. Coughing up clear phlegm is usually the way the cold or flu starts, but gradually the mucus changes color and becomes darker. This means that your immune system is working to flush out the toxins in your body.
Treatments: Remember that mucus is natural, so you should expect to have it. To control it a bit, you can use saline nasal sprays and rinses to dry out the passages, and use Neti pots to clean it out. Thinning out the clear phlegm is the idea, as it helps you breathe easier.
Clear mucus can be postnasal drips. This can be caused by numerous things, including seasonal allergies, a sinus infection, pregnancy, changing weather and certain foods. Some medications can lead to postnasal drip, especially those that control blood pressure. Fumes from chemicals, perfumes, smoke, cleaning products, and many other irritants can cause this on a temporary basis. Objects stuck in the nose or a deviated septum can cause postnatal drip that doesn’t go away.
Treatments: There are numerous treatments, and they all boil down to what caused the problem in the first place. Once you figure out the issue, you can avoid the triggers and then treat the symptoms.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Also known as GERD, this condition can lead to coughing up clear mucus. It happens when the stomach leaks backward into the esophagus, which leads to heartburn.
Treatments: The most common treatments include changes of lifestyle and diet. This can help reduce the reflux. Certain foods, such as chocolate, peppermint, coffee, alcohol and some fatty foods can also lead to a serious problem with GERD. You can also click HERE to find home remedies for the problem.
This is a serious respiratory illness that can lead to coughing up clear mucus on a regular basis. In fact, the first sign is often a persistent cough that produces clear phlegm. The daily cough is considered chronic bronchitis if a person is dealing with it for at least three months a year, over at least two years in a row.
Treatments: Smoking is the top cause of chronic bronchitis and other similar problems. Kicking the smoking habit can be done with gums, nasal sprays, nicotine patches and other methods. Support groups are a great option, too.