Constant phlegm in throat can irritate you a lot and you won’t be able to concentrate on anything. So, let’s learn how to get rid of it.
Phlegm is a thick sticky substance that is present in the throat. Also known as mucus, generally mucus in throat is associated with sickness but it is believed that some amount of phlegm is always present in the throat.
Tissues which secrete mucus are present in throat, GIT, nasal cavity, nose and lungs. Mucus acts as a protective covering for the tissues in throat, nose and GIT tract. It also helps in keeping the tissues and organs from drying by keeping them moist. Mucus is also the carrier of antibodies which help to fight against the external substances.
The normal amount of Phlegm is required in the body; however, it is the presence of excess or constant phlegm in the throat that causes the problem, often irritates the person and also obstructs the respiratory passage. Some people react to certain external food substances such as milk and produces constant phlegm in throat.
Causes of Constant Phlegm in throat:
There are various reasons and causes associated with constant and excessive phlegm in the throat or a feeling where one feels that there is mucus in throat all the time. Some of the causes for constant phlegm in throat include:
This is characterized by mucus travelling from nose to throat usually happens due to an allergy to some food item.
Cold or flu:
There is a change in the physical appearance of the phlegm. The person could have a thickened or yellow coloured phlegm
Constant Phlegm in throat is also a part of the motion sickness that women suffer from during pregnancy along with several other symptoms.
Phlegm could also be a result of an allergy from certain substances; a person having an allergy to a substance can feel constant phlegm in throat. Usually, there is a relief after taking antihistamine, decongestant or removal of the Allergen from the body.
This is the swelling or inflammation of the bronchial tubes, resulting in excess Phlegm formation. Bronchitis occurs due to an infection from virus or bacteria.
Other disease states:
There are certain other diseases as well that are associated with a feeling of Phlegm in throat all the time:
This is the widening of the windpipe due to some virus. This is also accompanied by Constant phlegm in throat.
This is a life-threatening situation in which the epiglottis of the person becomes inflamed, also leads to phlegm in the throat.
This is the inflammation of the larynx usually causes a viral infection and is accompanied by phlegm in the throat
This is the swelling or inflammation of the pharynx caused by a bacterial infection
Pneumonia is a lung infection which is caused by bacteria or virus
This is the inflammation of the sinuses which occurs due to a viral, bacterial or a fungal infection. This could be caused due to some kind of allergy as well. The condition is also accompanied by constant phlegm in throat.
This is the inflammation of the tonsils and is accompanied by constant phlegm
This is the bacterial infection of the lungs and is accompanied by excess phlegm production in the body.
Lifestyle or environmental factors:
Lifestyle or environmental factors like smoking, pollutants in the air can also lead to constant mucus production and infected throat.
Symptoms of the constant Phlegm in throat:
Some of the general symptoms of the Phlegm include:
- Coughing of mucus
- Feels like mucus is stuck in the throat
- Shortness of breath
However, there could be specific symptoms associated with the causative agents and the type of infection. These symptoms include:
- A Runny Nose
- Itchy eyes
- A headache etc.
Some people who tend to suffer from mucus secretion every day tend could have some respiratory disorders like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
It might also be an infection or allergy to some substance. In some cases, constant phlegm could also be a sign of congestive heart failure because of the problem faced by the heart in pumping blood.
Treatment of constant phlegm in throat:
There are many ways to treat excess mucus by using various home remedies, over the counter medicines, prescription medicines, Lifestyle changes etc.
Some of the natural remedies that are used to treat constant phlegm in throat include:
Nose blowing is the most general way to remove any irritants in the nasal passage and clearing excess phlegm. However, there should be some method to be used for this which includes blowing one nostril at a time and not applying too much pressure.
Intake of warm liquid:
having Warm liquids provide immediate comfort to the person suffering from constant phlegm in throat. However, it also helps to reduce the thickness of the phlegm providing relief from blockage.
Steam inhalation is also a good technique to get relief from phlegm, this helps to provide relief from congestion. Addition of natural substances and oils in hot water also helps in treating congestion. Some of the oils like eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, Lavender oil provide relief from nasal blockage and congestion.
Increasing the humidity:
Humidity can help in thinning the phlegm and reducing the nasal irritation. A humidifier is a good technique to increase the humidity in the home.
Use of Neti Pot:
Neti pot is an Ayurvedic technique which is used for nasal irrigation using saline water. It helps in reducing the congestion present in the sinuses and the nasal passages.
Apply a warm compress:
You can also apply a towel dipped in hot water over the affected areas like eyes, cheeks, and nose. This would provide relief as well as reducing the thickness of the mucus.
Use of essential oils:
Aromatic oils have essential oils that help in providing decongestive as well as anti-microbial property. Some of the essential oils used are:
- Eucalyptus: is used for its antiviral, antiseptic and decongestive property
- Tea tree oil: Used for its antimicrobial, antiseptic and decongestive effect
- Peppermint oil: Dilates nasal passages, thus reducing the blockage
- Basil: Antiseptic nature which helps in removing the blockage
- Rosemary: It is an antiseptic that helps in opening the nasal pathways
- Lavender: Antihistamine, is good for allergic reactions
- Pine: Pine oil has an antiseptic and decongestive property
It is a very effective remedy for constant phlegm in throat. Salt water helps in removing the irritants and mucus from the throat.
Some of the changes in lifestyle can also help avoid congestion. These include avoiding places that have allergens, pollutants. These substances can aggravate the problem.
People should also change their sleeping position. You should sleep with a raised head; this would also prevent allergens from entering the lungs.
Licorice root is a herbal ingredient that can be used to prepare tea and this tea can help to reduce the congestion and to expel the mucus out of the nose.
Apple cider vinegar:
This helps in breaking the mucus and provides relief from mucus related problems and also the removal of the mucus.
Change in diet:
Certain food items should be avoided from the diet. These include:
- Dairy products
- Coffee and soda etc.
Apart from these, a person having these issues should avoid food items which he is allergic to and which are aggravating the situation.
Over the Counter medicines:
Decongestants provide relief from the blocked nose. Decongestants do not require a medical prescription and provide relief by reducing the inflammation of the nasal tissues and vessels.
Decongestants provide relief from common cold, sinusitis, rhinitis and other allergic problems. There are some of the other decongestant medicines also available in the market like decongestant sprays. They also serve the purpose of an expectorant to expel the extra mucus out of the throat
There are chest rubs also available like Vicks; these contain eucalyptus oil. These can be applied to upper chest and neck area, and they can help to ease a cough and reduce the congestion in the chest.
When should you see the doctor?
You should visit a doctor if there is constant phlegm in throat and is not getting resolved by using home care remedies, and then you should visit a doctor, who can diagnose if there is any serious problem associated with it and would prescribe the medicines accordingly.
If there is constant phlegm in throat, the doctor will diagnose the cause of these symptoms and prescribe medicines accordingly.
In case of chronic lung infection, the doctor will prescribe to thin the mucus.
Some of the treatments used are:
Saline solution: This can be used through a nebulizer. It works by increasing the salt content in nasal passages and can be used in for all age groups.
Pulmozyme is another medication that can be used to reduce the thickness of mucus and is used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. This can be used for people 6 years and above. It should not be used for long due to side effects associated with it like rashes, fever, voice loss etc.
It is essential to note that some amount of phlegm is important for the body. However, you should keep a check on the symptoms associated with it or if there is a sudden increase in phlegm.
Some of the preventive measures include:
- Having a healthy and balanced diet
- Drinking lots of water
- Using certain home remedies included in the daily diet like tulsi leaves, yoghurt, and garlic which improves the immunity
- Adequate sleep and exercise are also important.