Coughing up Green Mucus, Phlegm-Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Coughing up green mucus is a sign of bacterial infection due to pus in the respiratory tract and/or lungs. So, it can imply that there may be a respiratory disease like tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis etc.

Mucus or phlegm is normally white in color but if there is color in it, it means there is pus mixed with it, which gives it the characteristic color signifying an underlying disease. But green mucus can also be caused due to an allergy or sinus infection. Coughing up phlegm is the body’s defense mechanism at work, to remove dust, germs, bacteria that are trapped in the slimy secretion called mucus.

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Coughing up green mucus causes

Green mucus is caused due to myeloperoxidase, an iron enzyme that is created by white blood cells as a resistance to cytotoxins. Coughing up green phlegm can be either a bacterial infection or a viral infection. The bacterial infection can be accompanied by pain and fever.


 Coughing Up Green Mucus and Sore Throat

Sore throat is caused due to an allergy to the nose or due to a viral infection , that may affect our throat, nose, lungs etc. The symptoms are the in the form of bouts of dry cough and pale colored mucus that is expelled. But when there is green mucus with sore throat, it may be caused due to strep bacteria, which infects the throat and clogs the tonsils. This means there is a lot of untreated pus accumulated in the respiratory passage. The viral infection becomes bacterial and will need treatment from antibiotics. Also, the person can develop high fever and swollen lymph nodes.


Coughing Up Mucus with Blood

Coughing up green mucus with blood means that there is an illness that can range from a mild one to a severe one. Green phlegm with blood can be due to a slight bruise or bleeding in the nose, throat, trachea to something as serious as bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung cancer etc. Whatever may be the case, you must seek urgent medical attention. It can also be due to red colored food consumption like beetroot, candies, juice, wine etc. Sometime, the color may not be really red but pink cough along with green color which may mean Asthma, due to high amount of eosonphils in the blood.

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Coughing up green mucus allergies

There can be some allergy that causes green snot or green phegm, due to accumulation of dust, dirt, pollen. specially in case of sinus patients. If an individual suffers from sinusitis or if there is an allergic infection, the mucus starts to clog in the upper respiratory tract; and then the phlegm color can change from white to yellow, and if untreated, it may become green. Green cough can also be a manifestation of post nasal drip due to a sinus infection.


Coughing up green mucus while pregnant

During pregnancy, the body’s immune system becomes low. Green phlegm may be a viral problem or if there are other issues like body pain or fever, it can be a bacterial infection. Do not self-medicate, you can get it checked by your doctor if it is just a viral infection that can be treated by antiviral medications or if there is an underlying problem like bronchitis or pneumonia that can be treated by antibiotics.


Treatment for coughing up green mucus

1. You can take a gargle germicide to expel the mucus and clear the throat. Mint based germicide called Betadine can be helpful. You can also try natural alternatives like taking steam from hot water. You can also gargle with hot water and salt to expel the phlegm sticking to the throat.

2. Coughing up green mucus has to be treated seriously and should be referred to the doctor. It is not just about green phlegm but about any other color apart from pale yellow and white, like yellow mucus, red, brown, pink mucus etc. The doctor may ask you to take some blood tests, get Chest X-ray done, ECG, CT and sputum examination to arrive at a conclusion about the cause of green sputum and then work on a treatment course. He or she may then give you some expectorants and mucolytics to dissolve the mucus and expel it from the system.


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