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British Lung Foundation
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Advice on persistent pleghm

Hi all hope everyone is keeping well!!

I had a chest cold inbetween xmas and new year which cleared up without antibiotics however since Iv been on and off coughing up yellow phlegm mainly in the morning, I have to force it up, don't cough otherwise. Mentioned to dr and she gave me a course of antibiotics to clear it up but I'm coming towards end of course and it's still the same? Is it usual for it to linger a little? I did give up smoking 4ish months ago wonder if it could be something to do with that? Have not had it before other than with colds/infections

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If you have just given up smoking, there will be a period of chest clearing, can take several months.

A thing about colour.


You might have heard that yellow or green mucus is a clear sign that you have an infection, but despite that common misperception, the yellow or green hue isn't due to bacteria.

When you have a cold, your immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils rushing to the area. These cells contain a greenish-colored enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color.

Antibiotic are given to offset any other bacteria infection, which may develop. drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding mucus producing products, dairy, processed food,

Keep extra vigilant during this cold weather, hopefully it will start to ease and give you back some control.


Thank you stone that's really helpful. Could mucus from quitting smoking be yellow as Iv heard it's usually brown (sorry for the awful discriptions) I think I might be developing tonsillitis so maybe could be to do with that.


If your tonsils are sore, try gargling with Corsodil mouthwash, or TCP solution, or salt dissolved in water. Whenever I find a throat infection threatening, I use Vick's First Defence and a Corsodil gargle before bedtime, and the threat seems to have gone by next day. My husband's getting used to the warning "dragon breath again" before our goodnight kiss.

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Hi Tinkz, my two cents, what Stone wrote is good that it puts to rest some misconceptions. When I quit 13 years ago my Doc explained that the sillia, (spelling?) in the bronchia stop being paralized daily from smoking and start doing their job again. That is, to move the phlem up and out of the lungs. Smoker's cough in the morning is put on hold by smoking the first cig of the day as I recall. So if you were foolish enough to start again I think you'd see the phlem subside. Please don't undo your efforts. If like me, you worked hard to get here and it should get better with time. Good luck, be well,



hi ..i stopped smoking 7 years ago ,had 8 chest infections in the first year mainly due to the fact , i could'nt clear my lungs ..when you wake ,you smoke and cough but not smoking leaves the gunk just laying in your lungs ..even now i have problems but had been diagnosed with copd ..would suggest a visit to your gp ..smoking hides many things , doctors gave me untold amounts of antibiotics before finally sending me to a lung consultant ...Good luck x


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