Medical Specialty >> Pulmonology

Doctors Lounge - Pulmonology Answers

Back to Pulmonology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Clear Sticky Right Lung Congestion - NO COUGH

 obsidianNM - Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:02 pm

For over three months I have had a problem with my upper right lung and right side of throat. I have no cough, no desire to cough, but have the feeling of some phlegm i need to hack up. The feeling is constant through out the day - though it get worse in the evening, around 5/6 pm and then wanes until it comes back at around 10/11 pm. When i clear my throat to bring it up it is only a minimal amount and is mostly clear, frothy, and sticky, but on occasion it is off white. About every 4 or 5 days I experience a bought where it is really hard to bring up and when i do it is tan or off white colored and sometimes with brown specks.
The condition is eased by taking Mucinex, which helps my ability to easily bring up the phlegm - however it never really clears completely. If i don't take Mucinex I find that i feel greater pressure on my right lung where the phlegm is coming from. In addition to the congestion and phlegm my right side of my throat constantly feels like something is in it - although the feeling has greatly been reduced since taking Mucinex - but i no matter how much i hack and hack the left side of my throat becomes irritated and sore and the right side just feels like i need to clear my throat.
A history of the onset of this problem: In January 2009 I had what i believed to be a cold. I awoke one morning with a sore right throat, right nasal congestion and body aches. I rested and in a couple of days I was felling better, though i still had a stuffy nose. A friend came over to my house and we (stupdily) smoked some marijuana mixed with hallucinagenic mushrooms. Subsequent to smoking It had been over a month that i had smoked marijuana. The next night after the mushrrom/weed inhalation i got a really bad cough and congestion where i lost my voice and had a sore throat for about a week. My cough and congestion was so bad that when i would cough it up i could feel it comming from an area of my right lung that i had never felt congestion come from. Durring this period of laryngitis i had the constant feeling of something stuck in my right side of my throat - i assumed it it was phlegm or post nasal drip but it was really irritating and i constaly would try to clear my throat to clear it. i also had pressure on my right lung where i could feel the phlegm "settling"
I finally went to the Dr. after about three weeks of suffering. I was told i had Walking Pnuemonia and was given Eurythromicin and told that It was unlikey i had a fungal infection from the mushrooms as i did not have AIDS. After completing the anitbiotics my symptoms still remained. I began to notice that i had an eye infection developing also and returned to the doctor who gave me eye drops for my eyes and told to wait for my body to heal since I had probably irritated my lungs and airways with all the coughing and hacking. A month and a half after the anitbiotcs i still had the feeling of pressure on my chest and congestion which was really hard to expel. Durring this time i had no body aches, no head aches but still had nasal congestion in my right nose and what and earache in my right ear. i went back to the doctor who gave me a Zpac and an abutoral inhaler and said that it should clear it up and to wait a couple of weeks after i finished to see results.
I started taking mucinex and immediately the pressure on my chest was relieved and i was able to clear my throat of something. i also expereinced a couple of throat clearings where thick green and yellow "ball" like phlegm was expelled and releived the feeling of having something stuck in my throat - though i still felt it was swollen and still had chest congestion.
Fast forward to today - I still have chest the sticky, clear, frothy, phlegm congesting in my right lung. My right nostril is no longer stuffy and i don't have an ear ache any more. I stil have problems with my right eye. Mucinex helps to keep the congestion from making my right side of my chest feel pressure but without it i still get the feeling of fullness. My right side of my throat still feels "swollen" and lately i have been feeling a dull pain on my right side of my chest where i feel the congestion originating.

What is wrong with me?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:03 pm

User avatar Hello --

While it's impossible to diagnose at a distance, and so we cannot tell you with any certainty what "is wrong" with you, we can certainly follow your detailed history and story and come up with a pretty good guess.

FIrst, you have had symptoms of a deep sinus infection. These can contribute to your main complaint in two ways: one, by simple post-nasal drainage, which can deposit infectioius mucus in your airway and bronchial tree; two, by this same mechanism allowing spread of the same bacteria to those areas where it can sometimes take on a second life. Either way it will cause the exudate and phlegm symptoms you describe. The fact that the phlegm is sometimes off-color or flecked with brown most likely means it contains some blood, and this is most likely carried down from the sinus infection which will often cause some erosion of tiny capilaries up in there. Further, these deep sinus infections are often difficult to kill with regular antibiotics because they are located relatively far from local blood supply , so not much of the medication finds its way to the location.

There is also the remote possibility this is, in fact, a fungal infection, although whether or not it was caused by the mushroom smoke is both moot and fairly unlikely. It just doesn't matter. The problem needs to be treated. Part of the solution is Mucinex (or generic guaifenesin), as well as a more potent antibiotic and albuterol inhaler. First, however, infection of the pharynx and/or bronchi. The treatment would likely be the same anyway, but it's important to know what is being treated. Hopefully the symptomatic treatment now underway will manage this pretty well, but since it's been so persistent it does require further study and probably a potent broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
 dzlmick - Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:47 pm

i am having almost these same problems to a T, except I'm having a hard time breathing and the right side of my throat has pain at times, also I am burping alot and wonder if what ever is wrong in my throat could be contributed to the burbing, often times i have to burp up food and it makes me feel slightly better, but i still feel pressure on the right side of my head and back of my right side of my throat, sometimes i stick my finger in my right side of my throat and I spit up alot of blood from that area, I have a large bump below and behind my right ear that my Dr said was a lymph node and kind of dismissed it. I was wondering if the first case here had any success with resolving this and if anyone had anymore information for me or what i should look into. I've also just developed wheezing when i exhale and have a hard time relaxing as i cannot breathe normally thank you for what ever help you can give me

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us