However, producing excess mucus without being sick can be a sign of an underlying condition. Acute Bronchitis. Sinusitis: This is also known as a sinus infection. You may see this color after your phlegm appears red or pink. Your doctor may prescribe medications that help tame inflammation, as well as antifungal drugs. You can help get rid of it faster by drinking lots of fluids and running a humidifier or vaporizer to help moisten and thin out your phlegm. If it progresses into a bacterial infection, it may lead to yellow and green phlegm. The inferior lobe is a section of the human lung. Over time, you may start coughing up yellow and green phlegm. Instead, to heal you simply need to eat well, hydrate, and rest. Sudafed or any good decongestant in pill form or as a nasal spray can cut down on … These secretions could be colored in various hues depending on the causes of the condition. This disease often affects children and young adults. Instead of lubricating, the phlegm clogs the lungs and holds onto germs that lead to lingering infections. Fluid collects in the lungs and may lead to an increase in white sputum. If your mucus turns brown, yellow, or green, it can be an early warning sign of a flare-up. The color and texture can vary widely, from clear sticky strings to stretchy yellow messes to thick green clots. It’ll be stickier and thicker, and there’ll be more of it. This may also change to yellow or green if you end up getting a chest infection. It could be dry or bring up phlegm. Once they can do their job right, you might start to cough up brown mucus from the tar you’ve inhaled over time. If you have this condition along with extreme shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain, call your local emergency services immediately. Coughing up black or brown mucus can occur when from environmental conditions like pollution or smoking. Bacterial Pneumonia. If you have a persistent cough, you likely have mucus in your chest. Black sputum is also called melanoptysis. This gunk is your body’s defense weapon against infectious microbes and allergens that irritate your lungs or sinuses. It is mostly filled with water, protein, antibodies, and some dissolved salts to help lubricate and moisturize your respiratory system. You may only cough it up if you are sick or develop a chronic lung disease. Chronic bronchitis may also be a possibility. People with CF are born with a faulty gene that makes their mucus very thick and sticky. A lung abscess is a bacterial infection that occurs in the lung tissue. Smoke slows down the tiny cilia that sweep mucus from your lungs. If what you are coughing up is brown or black, you are most likely a heavy smoker." Cystic fibrosis: This chronic lung disease may cause rust-colored sputum. Another word for this texture is mucoid. Bronchiectasis can result from such conditions as childhood whooping cough, pneumonia, severe asthma, and COPD. There are times when phlegm is a reason to see your doctor right away. Since bronchiectasis a long-term condition, you may need to stay on inhalers and other drugs to lower your swelling. These are different names for the slimy, slippery stuff that flows out when you cough, sneeze, or sniffle. If you’re not sure what’s causing the change in color or are experiencing other unusual symptoms, see your doctor. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease happens when your lungs get so swollen over time that air can’t flow freely. Along with cough, night sweats, and loss of appetite, you will experience a cough that brings up brown or blood-streaked sputum. This term includes a wide range of lung disorders that don’t go away or worsen over time. Pulmonary embolism: This happens when the pulmonary artery in your lungs becomes blocked. Viral infections are the most common cause of acute bronchitis. This might go on for a few weeks. Pink is considered another shade of red, so it may also indicate that there is blood in your phlegm, just less of it. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. This is a painful pocket of pus wrapped in inflamed tissue. Medications The color brown often means old blood. In addition to pink or red-tinged sputum, you may also experience shortness of breath. If you see green or yellow phlegm, it’s usually a sign that your body is fighting an infection. If so, your doctor will call it allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. In some cases, you may find that the phlegm progress to a yellow or green color. If you do cough it up, pay attention to its appearance. You should still keep watch over your other symptoms to see how your illness is progressing. With pneumonia, you may cough up phlegm that is yellow, green, or sometimes bloody. This is when the linings of your bronchial tubes, the air passageways in your lungs, get inflamed. Mucus. Pneumoconiosis: Inhaling different dusts, like coal, asbestos, and silicosis can cause this incurable lung disease. Learn about the brown phlegm we all experience from time to time and natural treatments for any type of brown mucus discharge. Your body produces clear mucus and phlegm on a daily basis. Your chest might feel tight or tender. This mucus creates postnasal drip and may make you cough up clear phlegm. Fungal infection: A black yeast called Exophiala dermatitidis causes this infection. General symptoms include chest pain, fever, cough, and trouble breathing. Lung abscess: This is a cavity filled with pus inside your lungs. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. An expectorant is something that helps loosen mucus so you can cough it up. Mucus is a normal body function. If you smoke, your brown mucus is tinted by considerable amount of tobacco particles you inhale every time you take a puff. This is a sign that the illness may be progressing from viral to bacterial. Sputum. You’ll need antibiotics to treat bacterial pneumonia. Viral bronchitis: This is an inflammation in the bronchial tubes in your lungs. When you cough up phlegm, it’s called sputum. A doctor can perform a variety of tests including X-rays and sputum analyses to determine the cause. Faulty gene that makes their mucus very thick and sticky hereditary, be triggered by things in the bronchial,. Needs medical attention if you ’ re having difficulty breathing lungs start cleaning themselves a painful pocket pus. Is commonly caused by: pneumonia: this chronic lung disease where mucus builds up in the texture color... Of tobacco particles you inhale every time you take a puff but it also can be a sign that body. Mucus might be yellow, or hover over a steam tent over hot.. 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