Although, a cough is a significant reflex action that gets rid of substances that are irritating our lungs. It can be really embarrassing when you develop a hacking cough in the midst of a crowd and you feel a mass of gummy yellow phlegm in your mouth.
Causes: Why you cough up yellow phlegm?
A productive cough with yellow phlegm indicates that a sign of bacterial or viral infection has affected your lungs, throat or bronchi – air tubes. It also indicates an infection of lower respiratory tract or sinuses, which makes you cough up yellow mucus. The cough can be triggered when you have a common cold, influenza or acute diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, lung abscesses, bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Sometimes, when your air passages are damaged and unusually wide, it can cause an obstinate cough with yellow phlegm, this is known as bronchiectasis. When you also have an excessive thick mucus discharge in your air passages, it is possible you have a productive cough.
Although, most smokers cough as a result of excessive smoking, but when it is indeed chronic, it could lead to a mass of yellow phlegm and mucus in the trachea. At times, if you cough up a yellow phlegm, it could be that you have some allergies that have caused inflammation in your respiratory tract. Nevertheless, if you know the type of a cough you have, it will be easy for your doctor to diagnose the primary cause.
How to treat a productive cough
Every treatment aims to remove yellow phlegm and relieve the congestion in the chest. However, some treatments depend on the cause of the cough. You should find out what sickness is causing the productive cough and treat it. For instance, you can cough up yellow phlegm when you have a common cold, so that is easy to treat.
For a common cold, you can use natural remedies supplemented with over-the-counter expectorants to help you stop the yellow phlegm and relieve you from the stress of sinus infections. Natural remedies include: breathing hot water vapors for some minutes several times in a day. You can add eucalyptus leaves, mint or Vicks to the hot water if you like. This will help you get rid of all the yellow phlegm.
If you are a regular smoker, you should quit smoking and avoid smoky or dusty surroundings. Serious diseases such as asthma are treated with inhalers or anti-asthma medicine such as theophylline or ephedrine. Lung abscess and pneumonia are treated with antibiotics. Drinking plenty of water can help ease a cough and even loosen the yellow mucus.
If the congestion seems severe, you are advised to visit your medical doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. In such cases, doctors might prescribe mucolytic agents that will help loosen the mucus like ambroxol or bromhexine.
Coughing up phlegm is a process of cleaning your air passages, throat or lungs and getting rid of the mucus or germs blocking it. Therefore, when you cough up yellow phlegm, you are advised not to take medications that will stop a cough but you should rather get a treatment that will help you loosen the mucus and bring them out. Avoid taking any cough suppressant because it can cause a chunk of the yellow phlegm in your lungs and respiratory system. In addition, you should avoid eating foods that produce mucous or can lead to sinus problems such as dairy foods and wheat.
Finally, you should consult your medical doctor for serious productive cough problems that persist after one week.