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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Blood in Phelgm


 ariom63 - Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:24 am

Hi...Seems like this all started about 1 week ago. I would start waking up in the morning and my throat was inflammed, stuffy nose, could barely breathe correctly. My throat always felt dry no matter how water I would drink. I really don't have a bad cough. I do smoke. About 2 days ago, I started basically trying to get the phelgm out....by snorting, it sounds gross but I don't know the actual term for it. When I do this, I see streaks of blood and sometimes a little more than usual. I am terrified this could be lung cancer. I have not lost weight, I drink lots of water always have. I do not cough blood at all. I am active...I just don't know why this is happening? Back in August I did have an upper resp infection and the doctor prescribed massive doses of Predisone..which helped me breathe alot easier..and Amoxicilian 875 mg twice daily. Now this...what is happening?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:19 pm

User avatar Hello -

First there was that prior infection, which you referred to as "upper" (and so I assume was in your nose and/or sinuses), and now what sounds very much like a chronic sinus infection. The blood in your sputum seems to be coming from post-nasal drip (PND) which occurs most often at night, while asleep, and carries with it any colorful mucus, blood, and of course, bacteria, down into the pharynx and even the bronchial tree. In the morning, especially, one can wind up coughing up some pretty colorful stuff, which seems to have "grown" in the throat of chest. Eventually it may sometimes take root there, too, but usually it is from one or more infected sinuses. The fact that you're able to bring up blood-tinged sputum by "snorting" strongly suggests this is what's happening. While one doesn't generally welcome the sight of blood anwhere outside the body, the sinuses are lined with a great many superficial capilaries, which will break when chronically irritated, infected, or even just subjected to dry air.

With or without a sinus infection,dry air can cause a sore throat, bloody mucus, and all the other things you've described. If you already have a history of a severe upper respiratory infection (as you do) then this is probably more of the same, or at least what led to it.

An over-the-counter medication, guaifenesin (marketed also in slow release form under the brand name Mucinex) can help with this, as can proper humidification of the room where you sleep. If things don't improve shortly you may have a new infection and so would need an antibiotic to get rid of it.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you. Please keep us updated.

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