As we all know, the normal functioning of lungs is necessary for proper breathing. phlegm in lungs is essential to protect these vital organs from foreign particles. phlegm is a substance produced by phlegm membrane that line the bronchial passages of the lungs. The phlegm in lungs ensures harmful particles like dust and pollen do not enter the lungs and cause infection by trapping and filtering them out of the airways. In case foreign objects are able to reach the lungs, phlegm expels them in the form of cough.
phlegm in Lungs: Symptoms
There are a few symptoms that can be attributed to this condition. Excessive coughing that expels greenish-yellow substance (phlegm) is the most common symptom of phlegm in lungs. Coughing phlegm is an indication of an underlying disorder. Excess phlegm in lungs can also cause shortness of breath and sore throat. Excessive phlegm in the lungs is not good and can be a cause for worry. Various breathing problems can arise due to excess phlegm in the lungs. To this end, it is better to get yourself checked if you have any of the above symptoms. Usually, excess phlegm in the lungs is due to other underlying factors and diseases.
phlegm in Lungs: Causes
Why phlegm is being produced in excessive amounts in the lungs? A number of factors may be responsible for causing phlegm in lungs. For instance, common cold, a viral infection can also lead to accumulation of surplus phlegm in the lungs. Other known causes of phlegm in lungs are listed below:
Bronchitis: This is a respiratory disorder that occurs when the phlegm membrane that produces phlegm in lungs become swollen. The inflammation of the membrane not only narrows the windpipe but also results into excessive phlegm buildup in the airways . Bronchitis requires urgent medical attention, as it causes difficulty in breathing.
Asthma: This is a lung disease that causes inflammation of airways and is accompanied by increased amount of phlegm production. An asthma attack can cause acute breathing problems and airway obstruction due to accumulation of phlegm, if severe.
Sinusitis: Sinus infections are also one of the causes of lung phlegm production. Sinus are hollow cavities that allow air to flow from the nose to the windpipe. There are 4 pairs of sinus openings that connect to the nose. The phlegm membrane located in the sinuses produce phlegm which acts as a filtering system for dirt and dust. The phlegm does not allow the unwanted particles to reach the lungs. However, a bacterial infection may cause inflammation of the sinus activities. This eventually leads to phlegm clogged sinuses. The excess phlegm that is being produced in the sinuses, may travel down to the lungs and disrupt their function. Read more on sinus pressure relief.
phlegm in Lungs: Treatment Cure
There are different ways to treat excess buildup of phlegm in lungs. phlegm problems that cause difficulty in breathing, can be significantly brought under control, using the following treatments options.
Medicines: phlegm caused due to nasal or sinus infection can be treated with decongestants that are available over-the-counter. Even respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, asthma and COPD, can cause phlegm in lungs. In such cases, bronchdilators, cough suppressants, expectorants and steroids are some of the common prescription medications used for the treatment of excess phlegm production. These medicines thin out the phlegm and help to improve breathing.
Inhalation of Steam: Inhaling steam is one of the home remedies to get relief from congestion. This practice of steam inhalation liquefies the phlegm, that helps to ease the discomfort. However, people suffering from asthma, need to stay away from inhaling steam, as it can worsen the problem.
Eucalyptus Oil: Putting few drops of eucalyptus oil in the hot water, during steam inhalation can also be quite effective to decrease nasal congestion. Read more on eucalyptus oil.
Salt Water Gargling: phlegm in lungs, can move up the throat eventually. This may make the throat itchy and result into loud coughing. In order to ease the throat, gargle with salt water. Gargling actually assists in phlegm elimination from the throat. Read more on phlegm in throat causes and phlegm in throat treatment.
Spicy Foods: Eating spicy foods frequently can make a person bit uncomfortable but it helps to eliminate phlegm from the throat and lungs. Chili powder, horseradish and ginger help in thinning out the phlegm. This in turn, encourages phlegm expulsion through coughing.
On the whole, when production of phlegm in lungs exceeds its normal level, it is sign of a viral infection or even a respiratory disease. The cause of phlegm buildup, that causes nasal and chest congestion, need to be ascertained, to diagnose the condition. Appropriate and timely treatment can surely help to get rid of phlegm in lungs.