Oh.. yes. That. When I was in 5th grade I coughed that up once. It's not really a big deal. It's just some sort of mucus. You'll be perfectly fine.
ucus that gets accumulated in your throat and needs to be coughed out. It is a watery substance, often viscous, that varies in color and quantity depending on the sickness you are suffering from. It is produced in the mucous layer of the trachea (windpipe).
In medical terms, phlegm is known as sputum or expectorated matter, meaning coughed out substance.
Coughing Up Phlegm
When the body suffers from an infection or disorder, it causes an accumulation of phlegm in the throat. The mucus irritates the air passage and creates discomfort in the sufferer. It triggers cough which expels the mucus.
Phlegm is normally white in color. A person starts coughing up white phlegm during minor ailments. Clear white phlegm indicates the absence of pus. But the mucus may also be colored. The color of the phlegm depends on the disease causing it. Smoking, infection, air pollution or presence of blood gives a rusty or brown color to the phlegm. Asthmatic patients cough up pink phlegm.
Coughing Up Clear Phlegm
A common cold caused by a general viral infection can lead to allergic irritation of your respiratory organs and make you cough up clear phlegm. Other possible causes can be:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
The clear mucus is the initial attempt of the body to wash away the invading virus. Clear phlegm indicates the absence of blood in the mucus. It can be treated without the use of antibiotics.
Coughing Up Green Phlegm
This happens when there is a bacterial infection in the lungs or the bronchi, such as Tuberculosis. It can also happen because of a post nasal drip due to a sinus infection. It can be cured by avoiding dairy products, starchy foods and excessive meat intake. Drinking plenty of pure water and herbal teas, eating spicy foods and taking hot bath can work as effective home treatments.
Coughing Up Yellow Phlegm
Infections, allergies or asthma can lead to an inflammation of respiratory tract and lead to an accumulation of inflammatory cells or leukocytes in mucus. This can cause phlegm to turn yellow. Thick yellow phlegm is a sure sign of a bacterial or viral infection. People suffering acute or chronic cases of bronchitis or bacterial pneumonia often cough up thick yellow mucus.
Coughing Up Phlegm with Blood
Blood in mucus appears as red or brown spots. Bloody phlegm can be caused due to excessive smoking or high air pollution. This can also be an indication of some severe lung infection. If there is blood in phlegm, medical attention should be sought immediately.
Causes of Phlegm
There can be a number of factors behind the production of phlegm in the mucus membrane. These can be:
When you breathe in common cold virus, the body creates mucus as a natural reaction to safeguard your airways. This irritates the throat and you have to cough up phlegm to keep it clear. There is constant phlegm ejection through coughing. A person is generally seen coughing up clear phlegm in this case. If not treated in time, it can lead to chest congestion.
There is accumulation of phlegm in chest, which can make the patient suffer from breathing difficulties.
This happens when there is an inflammation of the main airways to the lungs. In patients with chronic bronchitis, excessive phlegm is produced which needs to be coughed out repeatedly. It continues for the most part of the month.