why am I coughing up foamy white flem what is it

    0  Views: 2207 Answers: 3 Posted: 7 years ago
    Tags: medical

    3 Answers

    Sputum, also known as phlegm, originates in the lower respiratory system, and is primarily composed of sloughed-off cells from the airway lining or even bacteria. During a course of the flu or common cold, coughing up sputum is common so long as it remains temporary - a productive cough is normal for up to two weeks. Coughing up sputum on a chronic basis can indicate a number of health problems that are diagnosed by observing the sputum's characteristics. Phlegm can be bloody, rust-colored, yellowish-green, milky white or foamy white; each of these properties point to specific health issues.Frothy sputum that is thin, white or pink-tinged with a foamy appearance can indicate a serious health problem called pulmonary edema. The condition is caused by an excess build-up of fluid in the lungs, creating breathing difficulties. Accompanying symptoms include severe shortness of breath (worsened when lying down), anxiety or restlessness, marked sweating, and pale skin. When the pulmonary edema is caused by heart disease, chest pains and an irregular, rapid heartbeat may be present.Pulmonary edema may stem from respiratory or cardiac problems. Noncardiac pulmonary edema is caused by several conditions: lung infections, kidney disease, smoking, adverse drug reactions, high altitudes, acute respiratory distress syndrome and even exposure to toxic substances. In contrast, the causes of cardiac pulmonary edema, known also as congestive heart failure, include coronary artery disease, damage to the heart or its valves and high blood pressure.Pulmonary edema can be acute (sudden) or long-term (chronic). Presence of frothy sputum is most often associated with sudden-onset pulmonary edema, while pink foamy phlegm indicates chronic cardiac pulmonary edema. In either case, the disease can be fatal and contacting a health professional immediately is critical. Oxygen treatment is the first step in improving symptoms. Both blood work and a chest X-ray will be performed to diagnose the health problem and determine a course of treatment.More reference links:


    Thank you, Dr. Romos. Seriously, that was a good answer.

    first of all, go to the doctor !  For what it's worth, I had that kind of phelegm, too, when I used to get bronchitis every winter or spring......and I got over it.

    The best advice I can offer you or anybody else with similar symptoms is to visit your local Doctor or G.P. If they are in any doubt they will refer you to a lung specialist or physician.

    Speed is of the essence or, to put it another way, a stitch in time saves nine. 


    I think I said that 7 years ago, hope the person is still alive.

    @ ROMOS
    I don’t copy other members' input and therefore this was a case of two minds thinking alike.

    Top contributors in Uncategorized category

    Answers: 18067 / Questions: 153
    Karma: 1101K
    Answers: 47277 / Questions: 115
    Karma: 953K
    country bumpkin
    Answers: 11277 / Questions: 159
    Karma: 835K
    Answers: 2339 / Questions: 29
    Karma: 757K
    > Top contributors chart

    Unanswered Questions