- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Get Rid of Phlegm in Throat - 7 Simple Tips
What is Phlegm?
Phlegm is a thick and sticky substance produced by the throat and lungs. It contains mucus, dirt, and other substances. You are probably familiar with that disturbing feeling of having phlegm in your throat, which can make breathing extremely difficult. You may not notice that you have phlegm until you cough it out because of a respiratory infection. What contributes to that icky feeling is when your phlegm is yellow or green in color, or worse, when it comes with blood. This is an indication that you might be suffering from another health condition. In most cases, though, phlegm will usually go away on its own, but who wants to wait? Read on and learn how to get rid of phlegm.
Phlegm is Good
Yes, it's gross and awful and disgusting, but it has to have a purpose, right? What many people do not appreciate is that phlegm is actually good for you. It shields your lungs from dirt, dust, and other foreign invaders that might cause an infection. This is why you produce mucus and phlegm when you are suffering from colds, flu, allergies, and respiratory infections. It just gets uncomfortable when there is too much of it that it makes breathing difficult.
7 Ways to Get Rid of Phlegm
1. Treat other infections.
As mentioned above, mucus and phlegm buildup may be due to other health conditions. If you are suffering from colds, flu, and allergies, make sure that you treat your condition properly. Soon after your illness is gone, you will no longer be bothered by phlegm.
2. Inhale steam.
If you are finding it difficult to breathe, boil water in a pan then position your head so that the steam goes up towards your face. Alternatively, you can try taking a hot shower. The steam will loosen the phlegm and enable you to breathe easier.
3. Take an expectorant.
One of the most common medications recommended for those who have troubles with phlegm is an expectorant. It works by thinning out the mucus which makes it easier for you to cough it up. When choosing an expectorant to buy, pick one that contains guaifenesin. Make sure that you consult your doctor first and follow the directions on the product label.
4. Drink plenty of water.
Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day helps loosen and thin phlegm. It allows mucus to travel smoothly through your passages, making it easier to remove.
5. Drink hot liquids.
An easy way to get rid of phlegm fast is to drink hot liquids. This also helps loosen phlegm. Also steer clear of milk and dairy products as it can make mucus thicker.
6. Avoid irritants.
If you are exposed to irritants such as dust, perfumes, and harsh chemicals, your body will do its job of protecting you, and that means more phlegm and mucus. Limit your exposure to irritants to avoid aggravating your condition.
7. Stop smoking.
As you may very well know, smoking increases your risks of acquiring various respiratory diseases. Smoking makes it harder for your body to fight off infection, and this can mean that your battle with phlegm will last longer. Take small steps and learn how to quit smoking. You will never go wrong by dong so.
When to See the Doctor
If you cough out phlegm that is yellow or green in color or if it comes with blood, consult your doctor immediately. Remember that these are signs of a more serious health problem. Your doctor can provide the necessary means to get rid of phlegm and assess your health condition as well.
Around the web:
© 2012 Cliff Mendrez