Blood in sticky phlegm

That's a nice title, eh? Since about a week ago I've had an annoying cough that doesn't really produce anything. But then a couple of days ago I did that horrible sniffing and dragging of my throat thing to try and clear it, and produced a lump of green/brown phlegm with some bright blood in it. Which alarmed me...

I still have the cough, although it seems to be improving, but the same thing has happened about once a day with the bloody phlegm. Not a lot of it, just a fairly noticeable lump with a bit of red in it. Is this from the coughing, do you think? I'm a smoker but I'm active, exercise a lot and live an otherwise healthy, teetotal life. I had a medical recently that said I'm in remarkable shape for a 43 year old. I don't normally have a cough and have never had such problems before.

Many thanks in advance for any advice or information.

17 Replies

When coughing you can damage the small blood vessels. This can be the cause of the blood in phlegm. However perhaps a visit to the doctor would be in order to eliminate other causes. I would also get your cough checked out. I would also consider giving up smoking. Many people on this site smoked and the damage was done before symptoms manifested.

Thanks - I'm off to see my GP this morning. Appreciate your reply.

l gave up smoking in 1994 but l still cough but not has much,when l have a cold l cough alot.

Hello, I cough a lot , but what I bring up is clear mucus , like cling film, is there anything that might clear this up.



That would be something to discuss with your GP. Since stopping smoking I no longer cough as such nor bring up mucus to any great degree. In some people coughing is triggered by environmental factors such as pollen or dust.

Hi gcaveney

I have a few lung diseases since birth so I've had this often once my g p said it was pollution because I lived in London in the 90 s by a main road , some g p s said it was trauma from coughing though I have had it without a cough and one g p said it was caused by infection though I felt ok apart from a bruising feeling in the chest Let your g p check you out just to be sure ! :)

Thanks for your replay - I'm off to see my GP this morning. Will report back...

Hie thee to a medicine man !!!

Nothing else said....

Could be your sinuses rather than lungs... but you can get streaks in mucous which I don't believe caused by coughing... but you do often have to cough to get up the mucous.

I had a very similar exacerbation a few weeks ago, and after feeling dreadful for about a week I gave a sputum sample for testing. It showed I had pneumonia bacteria and was put on "serious" antibiotics for 10 days- it cured the problem within a week, glad you're going to see your GP to get it sorted - Good Luck, hope you feel better soon

Please, please listen to what Badbessie said and give up those killers you are puffing on. I was a heavy smoker all my life. I was really up in arms when they started coming out with all the smoking restrictions. Now I don't live. I exist. I have COPD and the truth and bottom line is that my desire to suck on cigarettes, to think I just had to have them ... Well, it has literally stolen the rest of my life from me. These years when I should be traveling a little and enjoying life, playing with and keeping my grandchildren occasionally ... I gave that all away when I refused to give up cigarettes. I don't even get out and go to the grocery store very often because by the time I get dressed and get my oxygen all situated I'm worn out. And when I do I usually end up in a panic because it takes very little activity for me to lose my air and fear I'm not going to be able to get it back.

Anyone reading this ... If you are a smoker take serious heed. I didn't and I'm paying for it so severely.

Thank you Nikilet - it is indeed time to give that serious thought, and it's on the cards. I'm a fairly light smoker and otherwise as fit as a fiddle, but thirty years of battering my lungs isn't clever, so I'm on it. Hope you're okay, and thanks for taking the time to reply.

Okay, so I just saw my GP and it seems this is some viral infection and my lungs aren't clogged up or anything. The blood is most likely from the coughing, but I'm going to have a chest X-ray in a few weeks (when the viral infection should have passed) just to make sure everything is okay. By then, who knows, I may even have given up the fags!

give up the fags hon, itsnevertoo late to improve whatever condition they are in - definitely keep excercising, lots fluid, keep those appts and questions......x

Please do more than think about quitting the smokes - as an ex-smoker (pack a day for 60 years) I can tell you that giving up has never been easier. The quit or die policy is a thing of the past except in the eyes of the health nazis, these days you can have all the pros without the cons - I haven't smoked in 7+ years, just used the alternative. There is much advice on this site re. quitting. My best wishes to you.

Can I just add that an X-ray doesn't always reveal the problem. A CT scan is much better so, if the symptoms persist, ask for a CT scan. I spent years being misdiagnosed (first asthma then COPD even though I gave up smoking over 30 years ago) but eventually a CT scan revealed Bronchiectasis. This does not show on an X-ray. This is not so common as the other two. So don't give up - keep nagging! And yes, you can burst a little blood vessel with coughing, but you need to know why you're coughing! Good luck.

Hi Gcaveney. Welcome to the community Hope the virus clears up soon. Please. Do give up smoking. Best wishes Nan

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