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Had light pinkish sputum. Chest xray, CBC, TSH normal. Taking antibiotic. Feeling lightheaded. Suggestion

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I had a light pinkish sputum during morning in Feb. Done chest Xray, CBC, TSH - nothing came out and doctor suggested to take antibiotics and pantacid and it got over in 3 days. Again since last week I am observing the occurrence of the same. Again visited the doctor - she suggested antibiotic again and CT PNS if it is not coming down. I m not sure what it is for. I do not have any weight loss, feverishness/fever, sore throat, hoarshness. The colored sputum is in the mroning only and I am a smoker. I am having light pain on ribs sometimes, light headeach here and there sometimes. Please suggest.
Posted Wed, 15 May 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 7 hours later

Thanks for posting the query

The pinkish coloured sputum is due to mixing of the blood with the sinus secretions. As you are a smoker, then mucosa of the nose, sinuses and the throat gets congested and dried. In the morning, when you try to clear the nose or throat, the minute inflamed blood vessels get ruptured and mixes with the secretions.

Do not worry! This is one of the common problems seen in the smokers. With appropriate intervention this can be taken care of.

My suggestions to you are:
1. To reduce smoking. I know it is not possible to quit smoking immediately, hence you can reduce the number of cigarettes.
2. Drink plenty of warm water to keep the tissues hydrated and moist.
3. Use saline nasal spray 3-4 times a day, this keeps the nasal mucosa moist and reduces the pinkish sputum.
4. Avoid coffee, chilled or hot food and beverages for few days till you recover.

Hope with the above measures you will be alright. Revert back to me if you have any further queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had light pinkish sputum. Chest xray, CBC, TSH normal. Taking antibiotic. Feeling lightheaded. Suggestion 12 minutes later
Thank you doctor for the reply. My only concern is why this has been developed in this recent past - have been smoking since last 15 years and 6-7 cig / day . Please advise, if you also suggest me to test sputum/xray of throat.

Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for writing back

Congestion of the throat can happen at any time during smoking or with an attack of flu, etc. Probably, there could be other factors added to it, such as age related or long standing smoking related changes in the mucosa which could have made the tissues more supple and amenable for damage.

You can definitely get a 'sputum AFB' done to rule out tuberculosis. Better than X-ray of the throat is a CT Scan of the thorax to rule out any inconspicuous lesions.

Meanwhile, please continue with the suggestions made in the previous response, you will definite feel better.

I wish you good health.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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