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tinyfaery's avatar

How long after a chest cold can one expect to keep coughing up mucous?

Asked by tinyfaery (36602 points ) July 8th, 2010

I got sick more than a month ago. I have felt fine for more than 3 weeks now, but I am still coughing-up phlegm. Should I go to the doctor about this, or is this normal?

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14 Answers

downtide's avatar

After 3 weeks – you should go to your doctor. Same thing happened to me last year – I left it 3 weeks before going to the doctor and he told me off for leaving it so long and ending up with borderline pneumonia. I ended up having to take a really hefty dose of antibiotics and it was another week and a half before it got better.

judochop's avatar

This year has been really bad. Identify where it is coming from, is it from post-nasal drip or allergies?
I am always fighting with chest shit because of allergies. I feel for ya.

marinelife's avatar

Sometimes weeks. Although three seems excessive.

Aster's avatar

Weeks. I don’t have allergies and I will cough for almost a month when the nasal part is over.

syzygy2600's avatar

I had this problem about a year ago – was sick for about 4–5 days, then felt better but kept coughing up mucous. I didn’t go to the doctor because I was too poor to pay for medication, so I just left it. About two months later it finally went away. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it if you can afford medication.

Buttonstc's avatar

It depends on the color of the mucus. Seriously.

If it’s whitish or clear, don’t worry about it. Yellowish is borderline but a darker yellow or greenish-brownish is indicative of an infection. If that’s the case, call your Doc the sooner the better.

I went through a 5–6 year period of frequent bronchial infections due to asthma and allergies and that’s what my Doctor taught me to be on the lookout for.

tinyfaery's avatar

I have asthma and allergies, but I never get phlegmy because of it. I have great health insurance, I just don’t want to go to the doctor if it really isn’t necessary.

My mucous is light yellowish brown. That’s gross, I know. Sorry.

lillycoyote's avatar

Do you smoke? If you do you can should expect to cough up phlegm for quite some time.

Buttonstc's avatar

You have a bronchial infection which is unlikely to go away without antibiotics and could very easily develop into Pneumonia. Get thee to the Dr. asap before you end up in worse shape.

I’ve been down this road many times and have learned this lesson the hard way. Go see the Doc now.

tinyfaery's avatar

Even though I am not feeling sick at all?

Buttonstc's avatar

When I developed pneumonia the only symptoms I had were a nagging cough and a little pain in my right shoulder blade when I coughed.

The fact that you’re still coughing up yellowish brownish stuff three weeks later is the clue that whatever you had then has not been cleared from your system. Just because you feel ok otherwise doesn’t mean there isn’t an infection hiding out deeper down.

The main reason why the initial cold makes us feel so crappy is because it involves the nose eyes and sinuses.

Once the infection moves deeper into the chest the nose and eyes aren’t involved as much.

But just call your Docs office and describe accurately the color of mucus and the fact that you have a persistent cough for the past three weeks. See what they have to say about it.

As I said, i’ve been through the same thing more times than I can count.

Your Doc will be able to tell in two seconds flat after listening with the stethoscope. I’ll be flat out amazed if all he does is just tell you not to worry about it.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks. And my doctor is a she. :)

Buttonstc's avatar

Ya know I thought of that while typing but I’m on iPhone and it was just too much of a hassle to do the she-slash-he thing each time cuz it necessitates constant switching between different fields. And my current Doc is a he but that has not always been the case and if he doesn’t ameliorate the paternalism may no longer be :)

rhysieboy's avatar

The best way to fight these chest infections and flus. Is to Fast!!! Drinking plenty of pure water .. This way your not feeding the infection and it has nothing to live off.. My dad had double Pneumonia and he was so so so crook . Had to fast thats the only way he would have survived . Sure enough he did it for 2 weeks and became a new man he was so fit and healthy.. It was like he was 30 years younger .. It does miracles and its the way to fix deadly diseases

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