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What cause white fibrous phlegm in the initial cough?

Feb 2016
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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1984
Answered : 12588 Questions
I awaken most mornings with a white fibrous phlegm in the first 1 or 2 coughs, followed by clear non fibrous phlegm. This has been going on for more than a month. I typically do not use an inhaler when this happens but occasionally do for relief of wheezing in the chest. Any solutions?
Posted Mon, 10 Mar 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 27 minutes later
Brief Answer: Avoid irritating factors and steam inhalations Detailed Answer: Hi. Noted your medical history of asthma, bronchitis and working in a coal fired electric generation station. I would like to know whether you are exposed directly to the dust or fumes? The white fibrous phlegm in the initial cough is in fact a concentrated form. The following one is in production and recent so clear and non-fibrous. This has been going for more than a month as per your history. This leads me to think of a probable cause of irritation of the respiratory tract, either by the working environment or as a results of incomplete recovery from affection like viral fever or so. IT is good that the phlegm is white and not colored, as this rules out the secondary infection, not needing much of antibiotics. The best way to get rid of such a problem is : First of all avoid the irritant; keep away whatever causes/increases the phlegm. Secondly a plain water steam inhalation 2 to 4 times a day is the best way to liquefy and easily remove the phlegm along with the attached irritant agents. Avoid all form of scents, fumes, dry dusting in house. One can take mucolytic agents, which may not help much and need a prescription. Also avoid any sort of anti-allergic tablets or cough suppressants as the y can dry-up the phlegm.
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