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Asthma

Problems with Excess Phlegm

10/25/2007

Question:

For the past couple months I have a hard time breathing at night when I'm going to bed or just laying around. Ihav eto keep coughing to keep my airways open and I cough up a lot of phlegm. My doctor has put me on 2 different medications that didn't work and prescribed me and inhaler that does work. Even during the day I will sneeze and phlegm comes up. It`s getting annoying and I can't enjoy things at night anymore unless I have my inhaler. I have no idea what it is.

Answer:

There are many conditions that can cause cough with sputum production that worsens at night. Some of these would include chronic bronchitis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or sinusitis. Often times, these conditions may co-exist. In this situation, controlling one component (such as allergic rhinitis) may improve the control of another (such as asthma). It is beyond the scope of this webpage to make specific diagnoses. If you symptoms are not controlled on your current medication regimen, I would encourage you to seek re-evaluation by your physician with discussion about other possible problems which may be contributing to your symptoms.

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Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University