Excessive mucus without cough

Posted by hishamhussain @hishamhussain, Dec 8, 2016

Dear kind community group
I am Hisham Hussain. 40 years
I have been suffering with excessive mucus coming from lungs with out coughing 3 months ago.
I find difficulty to expel continually accumulating phlegm coming from my lungs to throat
my case get worsen day by day and i feel recently short-breathing.
what make my case get worse is that i have not cough to help in expelling mucus out so it go to accumulate into lungs and airways.
I took montelukast and xyzal medicines for 2 weeks but i did not feel any better

have you found anything that helps ?

I've been having the same issue, for a few years actually, It just leads to me having to cough it up but it's a continuous issue, if I go a while without coughing some up it shows in my voice, then I end up coughing violently

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Well, here is the update. I went back to Betaine HCL and it is a great improvement. I still have symptoms but now I can breathe again and I don't produce as much saliva as before. I take only one with meal, so far three a day.

Liked by alamogal635

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Hello, your symptoms sound like a rare condition that is curable though. It is definitely misdiagnosed in most patients. It is called Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak (CSF) – medical condition caused by a small tear or hole in the outer membrane that contains the fluid surrounding the spinal cord and brain. In many cases it heals on its own with lots of bed rest and high fluids intake. Often it is necessary blood patching or surgical sealant – fibrin glue to be applied. Neurosugery may help in more complicated CSF cases.

Liked by julianned

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@berliner

Well, here is the update. I went back to Betaine HCL and it is a great improvement. I still have symptoms but now I can breathe again and I don't produce as much saliva as before. I take only one with meal, so far three a day.

Jump to this post

Ask your doctor to check you for Cerebrospinal fluid leak. This is a rare condition and could be the reason for your excessive mucus production. Another one is vasomotor rhinitis.

Liked by julianned

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@jenniferhunter

@hishamhussain @aman Staff infections can cause sinus infections, and I have had similar trouble. A lot of people carry staph in their noses unknowingly. I had some instances of excess phlegm in my lungs that I can feel, but little other symptoms except the post nasal drip. I have asthma. No fever or cough. Sometimes phlegm is caused by some type of low grade infection, and I have found that to be true in my case. I've had some reoccurring chest infections that seemed to start in my sinuses. I use a saline rinse bottle. I take generic Mucinex to thin the mucous so it's easier to expel. I had spine surgery at Mayo 2 years ago. Before surgery, they had me treat my nose by putting a pea sized bead of Mupirocin (generic for Bactroban) ointment in the nostrils twice a day for about 10 days to kill any staph infections. I had some ointment left and I tried it when I had breathing issues with excess phlegm, and it worked. After treating for about 3 days, breathing would be normal again because I wasn't labored with phlegm. I'm better at recognizing this earlier now, but it's been enough to raise my resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute and the first time that happened, I went to the emergency room. They diagnosed bronchitis and put me on oral antibiotics which cured it, but it happens periodically. My doctor wrote prescriptions for Mupirocin so I have it on hand now and can treat my sinuses as soon as it starts. I do have allergies and do allergy shots and antihistamines, and I have to avoid foods that cause allergies and phlegm (like milk). You might want to consider seeing an ENT to see if they can culture what's in your sinus and throat. You can also do physical therapy or use a massager to loosen phlegm. Walking would help if you feel up to it. I also have a nebulizer which helps the asthma rescue medication get deeper into the lungs to clear them. I remember reading an article once about this kind of chest infection which is why I tried the antibiotic ointment. I hope these suggestions help and gives you something to ask your doctor about.

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Hi All, I have had persistent mucus in my throat with no cough. this has come with dizziness and shortness of breath. I am a female in my late 20s and i have seen every specialist out there and had every test out there. i spend about 20 minutes every morning hacking up thick mucuos. the reference to staph interests me becuase about two months ago my sputum sample was sent to teh lab and staph grew. i was put on bactrum and finished that round of antibiotics but have had little change since then. sometimes the mucus is so thick i have to pull it out of my mouth becuase it gets stuck. other times i am too exhausted from trying to expel it that i give up. i did faint once too. I saw an ENT, had an endoscopy, was treated with pantoprazole, and it was not effective. I also had esophogeal manotromy, and barium swallow test. CT scan of abdominal organs, ultrasound of my lymphnodes, mri of my brain becuase i am having spotty vision. i am also experiencing episodes of severe pain in my upper torso behind my ribs. it will come on suddenly and last from 1 to 6 hours…totally random and i cannot seem to connect it with any food or other allergen. i saw an allergist who said this would not be a food allergy and she did do various blood tests. she said i had signs of mast cell activation and suggested trying nasacourt and an antihistimine. so far it has been useless.
all of this has come with extreme exhaustion. I go to work and go home straight to bed. on weekends I can sleep 17 hours straight (getting half awake to urinate) and then i wake up still tired. I was put on an inhaler for possible asthma even though the inhaler has not helped. I am winded from talking too much. I have seen every specialist other than oncology. I was not depressed or anything…although this is certainly taknig a toll on my morale.
i do find @jenniferhunter story interesting becuase i had the staph and wonder about the spine surgery….was that for this mucus problem if you dont mind me asking? I have not had spinal surgury but i have had several lumbar punctures throughout my childhood due to pseudotumor cerebri i was diagnosed with as a kid . Like i said i am only in my late 20s.

ps i appologize for spelling and grammer…my post is totally stream of conciousness. Thank you all!

REPLY
@sashaintexas

Hello, your symptoms sound like a rare condition that is curable though. It is definitely misdiagnosed in most patients. It is called Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak (CSF) – medical condition caused by a small tear or hole in the outer membrane that contains the fluid surrounding the spinal cord and brain. In many cases it heals on its own with lots of bed rest and high fluids intake. Often it is necessary blood patching or surgical sealant – fibrin glue to be applied. Neurosugery may help in more complicated CSF cases.

Jump to this post

oh my gosh can you tell me more about this???????? i have had those awful awful headaches many times due to a childhood diagnosis with pseduotumor cerebri, and a reoccuring episode in my late teens. now anytime i have a certain type of headache the do an LP….I even had one during this whole process!!!!!! the last three i had those headaches and with the exception of this most recent one got the blood patch.

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@julianned

Hi All, I have had persistent mucus in my throat with no cough. this has come with dizziness and shortness of breath. I am a female in my late 20s and i have seen every specialist out there and had every test out there. i spend about 20 minutes every morning hacking up thick mucuos. the reference to staph interests me becuase about two months ago my sputum sample was sent to teh lab and staph grew. i was put on bactrum and finished that round of antibiotics but have had little change since then. sometimes the mucus is so thick i have to pull it out of my mouth becuase it gets stuck. other times i am too exhausted from trying to expel it that i give up. i did faint once too. I saw an ENT, had an endoscopy, was treated with pantoprazole, and it was not effective. I also had esophogeal manotromy, and barium swallow test. CT scan of abdominal organs, ultrasound of my lymphnodes, mri of my brain becuase i am having spotty vision. i am also experiencing episodes of severe pain in my upper torso behind my ribs. it will come on suddenly and last from 1 to 6 hours…totally random and i cannot seem to connect it with any food or other allergen. i saw an allergist who said this would not be a food allergy and she did do various blood tests. she said i had signs of mast cell activation and suggested trying nasacourt and an antihistimine. so far it has been useless.
all of this has come with extreme exhaustion. I go to work and go home straight to bed. on weekends I can sleep 17 hours straight (getting half awake to urinate) and then i wake up still tired. I was put on an inhaler for possible asthma even though the inhaler has not helped. I am winded from talking too much. I have seen every specialist other than oncology. I was not depressed or anything…although this is certainly taknig a toll on my morale.
i do find @jenniferhunter story interesting becuase i had the staph and wonder about the spine surgery….was that for this mucus problem if you dont mind me asking? I have not had spinal surgury but i have had several lumbar punctures throughout my childhood due to pseudotumor cerebri i was diagnosed with as a kid . Like i said i am only in my late 20s.

ps i appologize for spelling and grammer…my post is totally stream of conciousness. Thank you all!

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@julianned thanks for asking. My spine surgery was because I had spinal cord compression from an old injury. I had the problems with mucous and repeated chest infections because of inhaled allergies that created the excess mucous and made a breeding ground for germs. Doing my allergy treatments helps to prevent this which is customized allergy shots, antihistamines (if needed), saline nasal rinses, and prescription Singulair (montelukast sodium generic). I also use generic Mucinex (Guaifenesin) and drink lots of water to thin the mucous making it easier to expel, and I bought some disposable doctor procedure masks that filter out 99 % of particles 0.1 microns in size and I wear them to prevent exposure to dust. (3 M Procedure Masks # 1820) I have 3 cats that I am allergic too, and I think they were causing a lot of the phlegm, but they don't make me sneeze, and I was already doing allergy shots for the cats, and missed the connection. It made a significant difference to move my HEPA filter in my bedroom, so it was blowing clean air on my face while I slept, and to wear one of the paper masks at night when we are most vulnerable. The phlegm isn't moving or being cleared when we sleep and can build up and be a problem in the morning. I have to maintain the HEPA filter because an overly dirty filter will start spreading the dirt. I did have a problem with excess phlegm after my surgery because anesthesia slows down everything including a patient's ability to clear the phlegm which is why patients need to walk and use breathing exercise devices after surgery. Physical therapy also helped because one side of my chest is too tight due to thoracic outlet syndrome, and that affects my breathing when that side doesn't expand as much as it should. I also have all my bedding and mattress encased in protection for dust mites and change the bed often. I need to be on top of house cleaning, and I avoid laundry and cleaning products with fragrance that will cause asthma problems. I do also have food allergies, and they can cause breathing problems with phlegm for me. Eating a diet to reduce inflammation improves health in general and helped me to reduce asthma symptoms. Make sure you are not dehydrated. I would think that would make mucous thicker. It sounds to me like you might be having muscle spasms in your rib cage muscles because you are working so hard to expel the phlegm. Muscle spasms can twist ribs and are quite painful. I've had that happen myself and my physical therapist can fix it. You can measure your oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter on your finger that you can buy for around $30. According to my physical therapist, oxygen levels should be over 90%, and long term low levels can cause organ damage slowly over time. My levels have always been above 90% even when I'm having breathing problems. I think your efforts at clearing phlegm could be raising your blood pressure, and the body has a protective measure for this, fainting. Of course there can be other reasons and a doctor needs to diagnose it, but it sounds logical. You can measure blood pressure yourself too with a cuff.

I would suggest that you look at your environment at home and what you may be exposed to that you could be allergic too. Mast cells are blood cells that release histamines which cause an allergic reaction which is why there are antihistamines. It happens in your lungs and causes swelling. When you get an insect bite that itches, it is a histamine reaction. I did go to a pulmonologist at Mayo thinking I could have a lung infection like MAC, but that wasn't true. It was my allergies and asthma that were not controlled enough. My experience is that my allergies tend to get worse and when there is a lot of exposure in spite of allergy shots, and sometimes the only relief is to use the HEPA filter and masks to avoid the problem. My physical breathing problems also added to the issue. I can feel phlegm build up in my lungs and it is like an ache and that would always start on my left side where my chest is too tight. I also get tired. using my rescue inhaler helps, but if it has progressed to a staph infection, that is only resolved by the Mupiroicin ointment (Bactroban) which might take several days of treatment when none of my allergy treatments are helping. Gradually each day gets better and the antibiotics cause phlegm that needs clearing, but I do get to where my lungs are clear and I wake up with hardly anything to clear at all. It took me a few days of being away from home before any allergies from the cats cleared up enough, so I didn't recognize the problem at first. with the changes, I can coexist with my cats. This is why doctors advise not to have pets in the room where you sleep since we are most vulnerable then. the allergy testing I had is where they individually test things like specific pollen or mold species and find the maximum dose they can inject under the skin that does not cause a reaction within 5 minutes. that is treating dose for the allergy shots and each vile is customized specifically and not a mix of common things that other doctors may be using. This doctor is in the Environmental Medicine specialty. You can find providers at this link. https://www.aaemonline.org/find.php

I would urge you to keep digging until you solve this problem, because if it is this bad now in your twenties, it can only get worse as time goes on, and infections and allergies can cause permanent changes to the lungs affecting breathing. You can probably prevent this with some good detective work and changes now. Don't give up because your doctors haven't figured this out yet and you might need some other opinions. You are the best source to find problems. Keep a diary of what changes you make and if it helps or not, as well as the allergy reports, weather and humidity levels each day, and the foods you eat when you are having problems. If you do have an infection now, that must be cleared before you will be able to tell what is affecting your allergies. It could be an antibiotic resistant strain of something or the antibiotics you have been given are not targeting your infection. You may want to see one of the MAC specialists at Mayo and have them culture the sputum. In the MAC discussion, you can find information on devices that help clear phlegm, and doctors can do procedures to wash out the lungs if there is a bad infection. I don't have that experience, but others in the MAC & Bronchiectasis discussion are quite helpful about those issues and know the doctors who are experts. I saw a Mac specialist in Rochester recommended by my neurosurgeon. I think staff infections can start in the nose and sinuses and spread to the lungs. I've been able to break that cycle with my changes in allergy prevention.

This discussion is about chronic lung infections and inflammation. There are specialists in this too in Rochester, and not just at the other campuses that have a specialized clinic in the second link.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/mac-bronchiectasis/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/mycobacterial-and-bronchiectasis-clinic/overview/ovc-20398963

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@jenniferhunter thank you so much for sharing and for such a speedy response. I am sorry to hear about your struggle too.

Right now i have incorporated antihistamines and a prescription inhaler. I have cut out all sodas and fast foods and I do not have any dogs or cats in my environment. I have maintained a very clean home environment and also using the allergy reducing bedding, but I have not tried the procedure masks so thank you for this helpful information. My doctor has ruled out allergy to dust mites or coach roach gasses as the cause. I do not have any food allergies that have been determined at this point. Your point about the muscle spasms definitely resonates so I will have to explore that maybe see a physical therapist. I have been drinking a lot of water and even have been drinking gatorade to keep me hydrated, although i try to limit my intake on this in case it aggravates my alleged GERD. Surprisingly I have great oxygen levels. My pulmonologist did note that i have some pulmonary obstruction but she and another pulmonary specialist believed that was likely related to asthma. I have never been a smoker or done recreational drugs, and i no longer consumer alcaohol but prior to all of this would have 2 drinks a week. I tend to have low blood pressure which has stayed pretty low despite all of this shockingly!

I am wondering if i need more antibiotics for the staph infection, because i finished the regimen about 45 days ago. Naturally i am speaking to her about that.

Thank you so much for all of your information and especially the links! I am going to check all of this out. I am hoping that I can get this under control soon becuase my quality of life has plummeted and it is getting hard to get out of bed. I am sorry that you have clearly gone through all of this as well, but i really appreciate your thoughtful response and taking the time to share.
MUCH APPRECIATED AND BE WELL.
Julianne

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@julianned

Hi All, I have had persistent mucus in my throat with no cough. this has come with dizziness and shortness of breath. I am a female in my late 20s and i have seen every specialist out there and had every test out there. i spend about 20 minutes every morning hacking up thick mucuos. the reference to staph interests me becuase about two months ago my sputum sample was sent to teh lab and staph grew. i was put on bactrum and finished that round of antibiotics but have had little change since then. sometimes the mucus is so thick i have to pull it out of my mouth becuase it gets stuck. other times i am too exhausted from trying to expel it that i give up. i did faint once too. I saw an ENT, had an endoscopy, was treated with pantoprazole, and it was not effective. I also had esophogeal manotromy, and barium swallow test. CT scan of abdominal organs, ultrasound of my lymphnodes, mri of my brain becuase i am having spotty vision. i am also experiencing episodes of severe pain in my upper torso behind my ribs. it will come on suddenly and last from 1 to 6 hours…totally random and i cannot seem to connect it with any food or other allergen. i saw an allergist who said this would not be a food allergy and she did do various blood tests. she said i had signs of mast cell activation and suggested trying nasacourt and an antihistimine. so far it has been useless.
all of this has come with extreme exhaustion. I go to work and go home straight to bed. on weekends I can sleep 17 hours straight (getting half awake to urinate) and then i wake up still tired. I was put on an inhaler for possible asthma even though the inhaler has not helped. I am winded from talking too much. I have seen every specialist other than oncology. I was not depressed or anything…although this is certainly taknig a toll on my morale.
i do find @jenniferhunter story interesting becuase i had the staph and wonder about the spine surgery….was that for this mucus problem if you dont mind me asking? I have not had spinal surgury but i have had several lumbar punctures throughout my childhood due to pseudotumor cerebri i was diagnosed with as a kid . Like i said i am only in my late 20s.

ps i appologize for spelling and grammer…my post is totally stream of conciousness. Thank you all!

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@julianned– You must feel so frustrated. I'm wondering if you have asked your doctor to run another sputum test. Since there hasn't been any change it might be a good idea. Staph is very difficult to get rid of. It also might be worth your while to see an allergist if you haven't already. It's important I think to continue searching for a reason for this. There are a lot of new bugs around because of the temperature changes that we have see. All it takes for a change is a couple of degrees and some rare things happen. Molds and bacterium and spores have exploded. Please let us know what you find.

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Thank you! I just left my pcp a voicemail LOL. I will let you all know. I am very interested in @sashaintexas 's comment though, given my history with pseudotumor and the fact that I have had so many LPs, some of which have resulted in leaks causing me to need a blood patch.

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Hi all, my name is William. I am a sophomore in college, with a similar case. For my entire life, I have had excess mucus, but never enough to warrant me going to the hospital. However, this year in January, I started gagging one night on my own mucus. Since then, I have been to 3 hospitals, and seen 6 doctors. I have used pseudophedrine, prednisone, cetirizine, flonase, albuterol, omeprazole, azelastine, montelukast, mucinex, zyrtec, claritin, and daily sinus rinses. I am still having massive problems. Many times, there is so much mucus I cannot even breathe, but just end up gagging. This is affecting my studies, sleep, and overall quality of life. I have done CT scan of my sinuses, chest X-Ray, and allergy test. Any help would be amazing.

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@wrliu24587

Hi all, my name is William. I am a sophomore in college, with a similar case. For my entire life, I have had excess mucus, but never enough to warrant me going to the hospital. However, this year in January, I started gagging one night on my own mucus. Since then, I have been to 3 hospitals, and seen 6 doctors. I have used pseudophedrine, prednisone, cetirizine, flonase, albuterol, omeprazole, azelastine, montelukast, mucinex, zyrtec, claritin, and daily sinus rinses. I am still having massive problems. Many times, there is so much mucus I cannot even breathe, but just end up gagging. This is affecting my studies, sleep, and overall quality of life. I have done CT scan of my sinuses, chest X-Ray, and allergy test. Any help would be amazing.

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@wrliu24587– Welcome to Mayo Connect. This sounds so frustrating and very familiar to a lot of people here. Let me ask you if you are over 18 years of age. There are students of all ages that are in college now so I don't assume anyone's ages.
Can you tell me what kinds of doctors you have seen? Have any of them been specialists like ENT, GI, Pulmonologist?

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@merpreb

@wrliu24587– Welcome to Mayo Connect. This sounds so frustrating and very familiar to a lot of people here. Let me ask you if you are over 18 years of age. There are students of all ages that are in college now so I don't assume anyone's ages.
Can you tell me what kinds of doctors you have seen? Have any of them been specialists like ENT, GI, Pulmonologist?

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Hello! I am 19, soon to be 20. I have seen an ENT 3 ENT specialist, 2 general paediatricians, and an allergist. I plan to see a GI and/or pulmonologist sometime this summer.

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@wrliu24587– Glad that you are over 18 so that we can talk without your parents. You are probably studying for exams now but I would suggest seeing a pulmonolgist as soon as you can. You don't want to be gagging on so much mucus. Have any of the doctors drawn blood to see if you have an infection? What did the ENTs says?

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@merpreb

@wrliu24587– Glad that you are over 18 so that we can talk without your parents. You are probably studying for exams now but I would suggest seeing a pulmonolgist as soon as you can. You don't want to be gagging on so much mucus. Have any of the doctors drawn blood to see if you have an infection? What did the ENTs says?

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I have had blood drawn, but only for an allergy test (my skin is too sensitive for the prick test). The ENT first suspected infection, but the antibiotics had no effect. We then moved on to GERD, but omeprazole has had no effect. The allergy test indicated allergy to many airborne sources, but it doesn't seem to be the direct cause of this problem. I am about to start using an Breo device to see if that has any effect. I recently started using Vaporub all over my chest and neck area, and that seems to provide some relief. On another note, I do have a deviated septum may be a part of the cause. However, the ENT says the deviated septum should not be causing all this trouble.

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