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Mucus plug in back of throat, expectorated hard brown piece after coughing. No odor. Non smoker

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63 year old female. Excellent health. Tonsils out. Weight appropriate to height. No medical history. Yearly physicals. Thyroid levels within normal limits. About 2xs a week feel mucus plug in back of throat. After coughing, expectorate small hard brown piece (looks like a popcorn hull) of mucus. No odor. I am non-smoker.
Posted Sun, 9 Sep 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 9 hours later
Dear,

Thanks for the query.

I am Dr Ravinder Sharma ENT specialist from India.

On the basis of the symptoms it appears that it could be allergic bronchitis (swelling in the inner lining of bronchi). In response to the exposure to allergen, there is increased mucus production which comes out as hard brown piece of mucus. Your medical history of asthma also supports this diagnosis. However there are some other causes too, which can cause similar symptoms. I would like to ask you few questions
- Is there history of fever associated with these symptoms?
- History of pain in chest?
- History of hoarseness in voice?
- History of difficulty in swallowing?
- History of Breathlessness?
- Any history of blood in sputum?
- Any recent loss of weight?

I would wait for your reply for the above mentioned questions

With regards
Dr. Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Mucus plug in back of throat, expectorated hard brown piece after coughing. No odor. Non smoker 15 hours later
Thank you for your information. To answer your questions:
-no fever
-no chest pain
-occasional hoarseness in voice
-no difficulty swallowing
-remote hx of breathlessness over 30 years ago with asthma. not recently
-no blood in sputum
-no recent loss of weight
Follow-up: Mucus plug in back of throat, expectorated hard brown piece after coughing. No odor. Non smoker 12 minutes later
Rather than from the bronchi, if feels more like it might originate in the sinuses to the pharynx or eustachian tube on the left side. Is there a small pocket in this area where mucus could accumulate and harden? Any cough I have is a forced one to expel this from my throat.

 
 
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 8 hours later
Dear XXXXXXX

Thanks for your feedback.

On the basis of the answers received, it appears that that you have a problem of allergy in nose too. Increase in mucus secretion and their flow towards the posterior choana and then into nasopharynx may present as post nasal drip --- whitish secretions stuck to posterior wall of throat.

At times they can be seen in examination. As these secretions may hit on the larynx (voice box) causing hoarseness of voice and if they involve lower down chest (bronchi) it may present as breathlessness. In about 30 % patients of allergic rhinitis there is co-existent asthma.

As there were no nasal symptoms in your initial query it was difficult to make out the present picture.

I would suggest that a sinus x-ray, diagnostic nasal endoscopy, x XXXXXXX of chest and blood count may be done. Those will help in making the diagnosis and in deciding the treatment.

In the mean time you can take a mucolytic (bromhexine) and an antiallergic medication. This will help you by making the secretions thinner (mucolytic) and reduce the amount of secretions (antiallergic). Montelukast is also useful in patients of allergic rhinitis with bronchial asthma

I hope this answers your concern. Feel free to contact me if you have any more concerns

With regards
Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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