Phlegm is mucus secreted by your mucus membranes attempting to fight different infections. This means that phlegm is good for you. This mucus differs from other types of mucus since it comes from your lung and not from your nasal passages. Another difference between phlegm and other sorts of mucus is that phlegm is visible. Sinusitis, cold, flus and some irritants can cause a build up of phlegm.
The color of phlegm can usually help you diagnose the infection your body is fighting with. For instance, brown and gray phlegm indicates that your body is filled with tars and resins built up from smoking or inhaling dust.
Smoking and Phlegm
If you are a smoker you will need to quit smoking since respiratory system infections are more common in people who are smokers. Furthermore, smoking promotes many lung and bronchial problems, and lowers your body’s ability to fight infections. Coughing brown and grey phlegm is your body’s way to tell you that you smoke too much.
Decongestants and Nasal Spays
Decongestant and nasal sprays can help you get rid of the phlegm that is a result of a cold, the flu or a sinus infection. Postnasal drip is not considered as phlegm since it is produced by the mucus membranes in your nose.
When suffering a chest cold or bronchitis, you should try taking expectorants. This medication should loosen your phlegm and make you cough it out from your lungs. Best expectorant medicines are those which contain the substances bromhexine and guaifenesin, so make sure that the medicine you are buying contains these two compounds. Of course, be sure to consult your doctor about these medications, since you might be put in danger of complications because of them.
It is not a good idea to use cough suppressant if you want to get rid of phlegm because these medicines only suppress a productive cough, to expel the phlegm. This can cause phlegm build-up and consequently, prolong your infection.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help loosen up phlegm and wash down the mucus that accumulates in your throat. You can also drink herbal teas and drinks that can help you with respiratory problems. This will diminish your respiratory problems, and you will have better odds of getting rid of phlegm and mucus.
Do not swallow the phlegm. If you swallow the phlegm that your body is trying to expel, you will return all the bacteria and viruses from the phlegm back into your system.