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Phlegm cold: The request could not be satisfied

Cold symptoms: Does drinking milk increase phlegm?

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t drink milk when you have a cold because it increases phlegm. Is this true?

Answer From Julie Baughn, M.D.

Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus that drips down the back of your throat when you have a cold. It’s a combination of the normal protective fluid in your respiratory passages and debris related to your infection.

While it’s commonly believed that drinking milk increases phlegm, the science doesn’t back up the belief. Conclusions from research about milk and phlegm — a relatively small field of study — include the following:

  • Milk consumption and phlegm production among people with the common cold in a clinical study showed no increased phlegm associated with drinking milk.
  • Self-reported problems with mucus were the same between two study groups — one drinking milk and another drinking soy milk.
  • Children with asthma, who often avoid milk because of the increased-phlegm theory, experienced no differences in breathing symptoms whether they drank milk or soy milk.

The problem with milk may be a sensory trick. Milk and saliva in your mouth create a somewhat thick liquid that can briefly coat the mouth and throat. The sensation that lingers may be mistaken for increased phlegm.

Reasons not to avoid milk

A glass of cold milk or a few bites of frozen yogurt may, in fact, soothe a sore throat and provide some nutrients and calories at a time when you don’t feel like eating. You might also try a nutrient-packed fruit and yogurt smoothie, which provides zinc, calcium, probiotics, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.

  • Do zinc supplements shorten colds?

June 25, 2021

Show references

  1. Balfour-Lynn IM. Milk, mucus and myths. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2019; doi:10.1136/archdischild-2018-314896.
  2. Koren Y, et al. Respiratory effects of acute milk consumption among asthmatic and non-asthmatic children: A randomized controlled study. BMC Pediatrics. 2020; doi:10.1186/s12887-020-02319-y.
  3. Cifelli CJ, et al. Association of yogurt consumption with nutrient intakes, nutrient adequacy, and diet quality in American children and adults. Nutrients. 2020; doi:10.3390/nu12113435.
  4. Lehtoranta L, et al. Role of probiotics in stimulating the immune system in viral respiratory tract infections: A narrative review. Nutrients. 2020; doi:10.3390/nu12103163.

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Mucus Vs. Phlegm: What’s the Difference?

Whether you’re suffering from a cold, the flu or allergies your body may produce an excess amount of mucus – particularly in your nose and sinuses, throat or lungs. Depending on the type of infection, this excess mucus can sometimes be dangerous as it can clog your airways and can be an indicator for other health issues. What’s important is to understand various cause(s) of this mucus build-up and how to treat it to find relief.

The following frequently asked questions should help provide insight into your experience with excess mucus and how you may be able to treat it.

Q: Are mucus and phlegm the same?

A: Essentially, yes. Phlegm is the term used to describe mucus that is produced by the respiratory system. When you’re suffering from an infection (such as a chest cold), the phlegm contains both the virus/bacteria causing the infection as well as your body’s white blood cells that are battling the infection.

Please consult a doctor or physician to check on mucus symptoms, when it could be something other than a cough, cold or flu symptom.

Q: Are phlegm and excess mucus dangerous?

A: Possibly. Phlegm can build up in your throat and chest and can clog your airways if left unaddressed.

Please consult a doctor or physician to check on mucus symptoms, when it could be something other than a cough, cold or flu symptom.

Q: How do I know if I have excess mucus?

A: When you’re sick, that scratchy sore feeling at the back of your throat can often be caused by excess mucus. Throat irritation and soreness is typically due to a post-nasal drip and cough.

Q: How do I get rid of excess mucus?

A: There are many over the counter (OTC) cough medicines designed to help manage excess mucus. Taking a medication that includes an expectorant like Guaifenesin can help by thinning and loosening the mucus associated with productive cough.

Q: What if I have excess mucus when I’m not sick?

A: If you’re experiencing excess mucus regularly, you should monitor closely and consider speaking to your doctor.

Please consult a doctor or physician to check on mucus symptoms, when it could be something other than a cough, cold or flu symptom.

Q: Is excess mucus really a “bad” thing?

A: It depends. Mucus in general is a natural component of your body and is important to overall body functions and well-being. Mucus traps irritants that have entered your body and removes them whenever you cough or sneeze.

Additionally, mucus can be an effective indicator for your overall health. For example, pink or reddish mucus could be an indicator of fluid with small traces of blood in your lungs (pulmonary edema). Mucus with streaks blood could be a sign of anything from bronchitis to serious issues like tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia, or cancer.

It is important to note that mucus color alone should not be used as a diagnostic tool for your health. Please consult a doctor or physician to check on mucus symptoms, when it could be something other than a cough, cold or flu symptom.

Q: Does the color of my phlegm matter?

A: Yes. Your phlegm’s color can provide insight into your current state of your health. Clear mucus can be an indication of “allergies”, but gray, white or green/yellow phlegm is an indicator that you’re probably suffering from a bacterial or viral infection in your respiratory system.

Phlegm that is gray or white is a sign of an upper respiratory infection. You are probably coughing up this kind of phlegm because mucus drained to the back of your throat from your sinuses. Gray phlegm could also be an indicator that your body is trying to release toxins inhaled from large amounts of air pollutant, including cigarette smoke.

Dark yellow or green phlegm could be a sign of a viral or bacterial, sinus, or lower respiratory infection. The hue occurs as your body sends neutrophils (white blood cells) to the area of infection. These cells contain a protein causing the mucus to appear green when present in excess amounts.

Overall, pay attention to your cold or flu symptoms and the excess mucus they can cause. Knowing what your body is suffering from can help you fight it and find relief. Robitussin Maximum Strength 12 Hour Cough & Mucus Extended-Release Tablets is a great place to start because it contains the powerful cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which works for up to 12 hours to help control your cough. Plus, it thins and loosens mucus by increasing the amount of water in secretions, helping to clear congestion of phlegm and making it easier for you to breathe.

Please consult a doctor or physician to check on mucus symptoms, when it could be something other than a cough, cold or flu symptom.

Sore throat, cough and phlegm – all you need to know about your horrible cold

The human body has a large surface area that is in contact with the outside world, much of this comes from the body’s largest organ – our skin – which protects us from a variety of potential threats. The other major sites of contact with the outside world come from the openings in the body – and our nose and mouth have the greatest exchange with the outside world as we breathe in and out.

When we breathe, air enters through these openings before travelling into the pharynx, the space at the back of the nose and mouth, and then down into the larynx and trachea in the neck, before descending into the lungs through the bronchi, the tubes that carry air into the lungs, the bronchioles and eventually into the alveoli, which is where gas exchange occurs over a surface area of about 75m².

A look at the lungs.
US Government/Wikipedia

All surfaces of the body are lined by specialised cells that protect us against pathogens, and the specialised type of cells change depending on where they are in the body.

The fightback begins …

Specialised cells that line the respiratory system produce a sticky substance called mucus, which catches bacteria, viruses and dust-like particles, which prevents them from getting into the tissues of the body. These cells also have another adaptation: tiny hairs called cilia. These cilia beat, but this beat is not random, it is a co-ordinated wave-like rhythmic beat, from the bottom of the trachea to the top, known as the mucociliary escalator.

This mucociliary escalator is a second line of defence. It enables the body to get rid of the particles that are trapped in the mucus by moving them to the top of the trachea before either coughing them out, or swallowing them.

When either of these defences fail, the infecting agents can get into our tissues and cause an infection. These are usually divided into upper or lower respiratory tract infections, with the vocal cords forming the border between the two. In either region, the infecting agent can be viral or bacterial.

No pain no gain

“Soreness” is a good thing, despite your throat being red and inflamed. This redness and inflammation comes from blood vessels dilating – letting more blood flow into the infected tissues which, in turn, brings more white blood cells in to fight the infective agent. The presence of the white blood cells causes a doubling of efforts in the tissue, further increasing the redness and temperature of the tissue.

This is all part of the body’s mechanism to destroy viruses, as viruses struggle to replicate and are destroyed at these increased temperatures. And this increasing of body temperature has allowed vertebrates to survive against infecting pathogens for hundreds of millions of years.

Clearly feeling better then.
Just Dance/Shutterstock

Snot, mucus and phlegm

Why do we get sore throats and a runny nose, usually together? The short answer is they’re connected. The mucus that protects our airways is also produced elsewhere in the body, including the gastrointestinal system. In total we produce somewhere in the region of 1.5-2 litres on a healthy day that is swallowed. We are constantly told to drink plenty when we have a cold, flu or other respiratory infection. This is because the production of these fluids increases to try and flush the infecting agent out of the body.

I. Just. Can’t. Take. It. Anymore.

Snot is the name given to mucus that is produced in the nose and the sinuses connected to it. Sinuses are the things that make our head and face hurt when we have colds. Snot is produced on all the surfaces within the sinuses and runs out of the nose. The mucus is produced, in relation to the respiratory system, in the upper airways, whereas phlegm comes from lower down the airways and is usually coughed out.

Why you cough

Coughing is a protective mechanism, it serves to clear the airways from liquid and other substances, to ensure that air can flow freely into the airways. Coughing rapidly forces air out of the lungs to try and clear any obstructions, propelling them into the mouth or pharynx where they can then be swallowed.

Coughing is instigated by the detection of anything in the trachea that shouldn’t be there. And the coughing reflex is triggered by highly sensitive nerves that sit among the lining cells of the upper part of the trachea that detect things that shouldn’t be there. With runny noses, snot doesn’t just run out of the nose, it also runs backwards towards the throat and in here it can cause a cough.

However, in some instances, the clearance fails and infectious agents make it into the lungs, prompting things such as bronchitis, an inflammation of the bronchi. Occasionally, the coughing mechanism fails to clear foreign objects. One extreme case was the person who had a Playmobile road cone lodged in his bronchi for 40 years, which was only discovered after he sought treatment for a persistent cough that he’d had for over a year. The cough combined with a shadow in his lung initially suggested that it may have been cancer.

Coughs can persist for a while after the infection has gone; you may feel better but the cough lingers. This is because the virus responsible for causing it results in the airways becoming swollen and overly sensitive as part of the body fights back. It takes longer for the tissues in the respiratory system to settle, hence the cough hanging around longer than you might want it to.

However, persistent sore throat was recently flagged as a warning sign for laryngeal cancer. This is a logical link given that bacterial, viral or allergic causes usually respond to treatment or the body overcomes them, so a persistence or worsening of symptoms could be associated with cancer. Most coughs are harmless though and will subside as the body fights the infection, but those that persist beyond a reasonable time should be checked out by a qualified medical professional.

And a final thought: the cilia that clear your throat function 24 hours a day, so every night as you go to sleep you breathe in anything that exists in or on your pillow – dead skin, particulates and dust mite faeces. The cilia catch these, beat them to the top of your throat and then you swallow them … bon appetit.

A Look at the Symptoms – NBC Chicago

As the list of symptoms for coronavirus continues to evolve, many may be wondering if they have COVID-19 or just a cold.

Congestion or a runny nose is now considered a symptom of COVID-19, according to the latest update from the nation’s top health agency. That’s in addition to several other symptoms previously released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But how does coronavirus differ from the cold?

Here’s a breakdown of the symptoms for each.


Though the CDC says its list does not include all possible symptoms and will continue to be updated as more information related to coronavirus is discovered, the full list of key symptoms currently includes:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The World Health Organization also breaks down its list of symptoms by severity, including other potential symptoms like conjunctivitis, rash or discoloration of fingers and toes, and loss of speech or movement.

Most common symptoms:

  • fever.
  • dry cough.
  • tiredness.

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains.
  • sore throat.
  • diarrhoea.
  • conjunctivitis.
  • headache.
  • loss of taste or smell.
  • a rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • chest pain or pressure.
  • loss of speech or movement.

Skin doctors have also been looking at feet amid concern over a condition dubbed “COVID toes.” The condition brings red, sore and sometimes itchy swellings on toes that look like chilblains, something doctors normally see on the feet and hands of people who’ve spent a long time outdoors in the cold.

According to the CDC, anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Coronavirus cases are spiking across the U. S. and the largest increase is among people aged 20 to 44. Natasha Bhuyan, a medical provider and regional director for One Medical, explains how social gatherings are leading to an increase in Covid-19 cases.


According to the CDC, symptoms of a cold usually peak within two to three days and can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Mucus dripping down your throat (post-nasal drip)
  • Watery eyes
  • Fever (although most people with colds do not have fever)

“When viruses that cause colds first infect the nose and air-filled pockets in the face (sinuses), the nose makes clear mucus. This helps wash the viruses from the nose and sinuses. After two or three days, mucus may change to a white, yellow, or green color. This is normal and does not mean you need an antibiotic,” the CDC reports. “Some symptoms, particularly runny nose, stuffy nose, and cough, can last for up to 10 to 14 days, but those symptoms should be improving during that time.

Should I go to Work With Green Phlegm

What your doctor calls phlegm becomes mucus in polite conversation, and snot for those who are plagued by too much of it. Whatever you call it, phlegm is something your body manufactures on overdrive when you have a cold or the flu. Sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia can also give you an ample supply of the stuff, as can hay fever and other allergies. Although the color of your mucus may have meaning, it’s usually not enough to determine if you need to call in sick.

If you’re like most people, your opinion of phlegm is stuck somewhere near “gross.” But phlegm is essential to good health. The fluid, sticky substance helps protect against illness by trapping and expelling foreign invaders; it also keeps your nasal tissues nice and moist. Normal phlegm is clear. Although it’s mostly water, it also contains proteins, antibodies and dissolved salts. When you’re congested, your phlegm is more likely to be white. That’s because inflamed nasal tissues are slowing its flow, causing it to thicken and become cloudy. Yellow phlegm may indicate that you have a cold or other infection, and it’s progressing. Your body uses phlegm to expel white blood cells once they’re spent; phlegm’s yellow tinge comes from having a higher concentration of these infection-fighting cells.

Having green phlegm may mean that your immune system is really fighting back. According to Cleveland Clinic, phlegm turns green when it has a very high concentration of dead white blood cells in it, which generally means that your body is in the throes of battling a big infection. When you don’t blow your nose for a while, your phlegm becomes even more concentrated; that’s why it may be a deeper shade of green in the morning, when you first get up. Although it was once generally accepted that green phlegm indicated a bacterial infection — meaning it would require an antibiotic to defeat — this has since been proven a myth. As Harvard Health Publications points out, your body can produce green phlegm when you’re fighting a viral infection, too; even seasonal allergies have been known to generate green mucus.

If green phlegm is your only real symptom — that is, if you have green mucus, but you don’t have a fever or sore throat, you aren’t sneezing or coughing frequently, and you don’t have any sinus pressure — chances are, you’re not going to spread too many germs by heading to work. But when you have a fever, or your body aches, or you just don’t feel well, it’s probably in your best interest, as well as your co-workers’, to stay home and rest. You can generally return to work once you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, especially if your other symptoms seem to be improving. If your symptoms don’t improve much after 10 days, or if they get worse after a week, consider seeing your doctor.

Even if you don’t necessarily feel congested or otherwise unwell, there are still things you can do to support your body’s effort when it’s overcoming an infection.

  • Apply a warm, moist cloth to your face several times a day to help loosen phlegm. Running a humidifier will have a similar effect.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to thin out your phlegm. This makes it easier to expel, which can help you clear the infection more quickly.
  • If you’re congested, a gentle saline nasal spray may help you get through the day. An over-the-counter decongestant can help you breathe easier at night, so you can get the rest you need.

Mucus: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Ways You Might be Making Your Phlegm Worse

Yellow, red, green. What color is your phlegm

Consistently rated one of the worst words in the English language, “phlegm” is hardly a great conversation starter. Medically speaking, however, your phlegm can be an important barometer for your health. Serious changes in your phlegm can be a valid reason to speak to your physician.

“Color changes in your phlegm can mean a number different things health-wise. Importantly, you can observe these changes quickly and easily, and these can help you decide if you need to seek medical attention,” explained Dr. Barbara Kreel, Geisinger otolaryngologist.

What is phlegm?

The body uses mucus to trap germs and contaminants. Many parts of the body produce mucus, like the GI tract, throat, nose, sinuses, mouth and more.

Phlegm is mucus from your lungs and lower airways that protects against germs and foreign contaminants like pollution.

“Clear phlegm is normal. It’s made of water, salt and other cells,” said Dr. Kreel. “When you become sick, the phlegm may thicken as well as change color as your body fights off the infection.”

Here are what some of the colors of your phlegm might be trying to tell you:


White phlegm is normally no cause for alarm. It indicates sinus activity and nasal congestion. As the airway passages get inflamed the phlegm in the respiratory tract can thicken and become white.


Yellow phlegm is a sign that your body is fighting off a mild infection.

“White blood cells are responsible for fighting infections, and as they get picked up in the mucus, they can cause it to have a yellowish hue,” said Dr. Kreel.


Green phlegm is an indication that your body is fighting off a more serious infection. While the green color may be alarming, it is a natural byproduct of the immune system activity necessary to fight off the infection. Consider seeing your doctor if your other symptoms are getting worse.


Red or pink phlegm can be a more serious warning sign. Red or pink indicates that there is bleeding in the respiratory tract or lungs.

Heavy coughing can cause bleeding by breaking the blood vessels in the lungs, leading to red phlegm. However, more serious conditions can also cause red or pink phlegm.

“If you’re experiencing red or pink phlegm, you should talk to a physician sooner,” said Dr. Kreel. “As a one-time symptom, it may not really be an issue, but if persistent, it might signal conditions

like tuberculosis or a pulmonary embolism. Determine if you are experiencing other symptoms which may indicate something serious, and always err on the side of safety.”


Brown phlegm can also be a warning sign because it signals prior bleeding. As the blood ages, it turns brown. If you notice brown phlegm, you should see your doctor.


Black phlegm is cause for alarm—it likely signals a fungal infection, especially for people with compromised immune systems. You should see your doctor immediately.

“Bear in mind that phlegm discoloration is only part of the story,” explained Dr. Kreel. “Just because your phlegm is white or yellow does not give you a clean bill of health. Phlegm color is a reference point that needs to be considered along with other symptoms. If you have any reason to think your condition is worsening or your symptoms are bad, talk to your doctor.”

Geisinger otolaryngologist Dr. Barbara Kreel, MD, sees patients at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kreel or another ENT specialist, please call 800-275-6401 or visit Geisinger.org.

Do you have a cold, flu or pneumonia?

Our ability to breathe is often taken for granted until it’s compromised. When wintertime illnesses take the air out of your lungs, it helps to know what you have so you can treat it accordingly. While your healthcare provider is the best source of information for your specific disease, here is a cheat sheet from The Lung Association to help you sort through the symptoms and get back to breathing.

Common cold. This is the most common respiratory illness and the least severe one. The common cold is contagious and since it’s caused by a virus, no antibiotic will treat it. Symptoms include sore throat, cough that can last up to two weeks, runny nose, congestion, feeling tired and run-down, sneezing, mild headache, mild soreness and achy muscles. Treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medication. If you have a lung disease, do not take cough or cold medicine unless approved by your doctor.

Influenza (flu). Caused by the influenza virus, the flu is more serious than the common cold and infects the lungs, throat and nose. Symptoms include sudden fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, loss of appetite, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Talk to your doctor about medication to treat the flu. If you have asthma or COPD, follow the advice in your action plan. You may have to take extra medicine to control your symptoms.

Pneumonia. Unlike the common cold and flu, pneumonia settles in your lungs where the germs, bacteria or virus cause inflammation. This makes breathing a struggle. Of the three diseases, this is the most serious one and should be treated as such. Symptoms include fever, cough, phlegm, shortness of breath, feeling very tired and unwell and chest pain. Antibiotics are the best solution for pneumonia caused by bacteria. Seek medical treatment if you experience difficulty breathing.

All three sicknesses have some similarities in terms of prevention, such as avoiding contact with sick people, washing your hands and quitting smoking. Flu vaccine is also great way to prevent the flu. Two treatments that work for all are plenty of fluids and rest. Not only will rest and staying home from work speed up your recovery, you will avoid spreading your germs further and your co-workers will thank you.

90,000 Pulmonologist told how to get rid of cough in cold weather

Photo: depositphotos / tommaso1979

Pulmonologist Sergei Puryasev told in the Doctor 24 program why some people have a cough when going out into the cold.

“Cold air always causes an increase in the tone of the bronchi. And if there is sputum, it naturally irritates the cough zones, the person starts to cough,” Puryasev explained.

The doctor said that sputum is produced by people suffering from chronic diseases, allergic problems or bad habits.”A healthy person compensates for these problems: he does not have sputum clots, inflammatory foci, due to which the cold causes cough reflexes,” the doctor said.

When a person smokes, irritation of the mucous membrane occurs, it swells and causes such manifestations when the temperature changes. The person starts to cough.

Sergey Puryasev


According to the specialist, cold air also provokes the release of a large amount of histamine onto the mucous membrane.”Cold is a powerful allergen. This leads to compression and swelling of the bronchi. As a result, disruption of the airways, air movement and irritation of the cough center,” the doctor said.

Puryasev noted that allergic, cold asthma is usually accompanied by additional manifestations. Often this is hives and itching of the skin (ears, face, wrists).

The doctor said that ENT pathology, such as sinusitis, can also be the cause of coughing in the cold. In addition, it is common in children with adenoiditis and sinusitis.

Cough zones are located in the nasopharyngeal areas, therefore, purulent or non-purulent edema of the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx in patients with chronic diseases also leads to irritation of the cough zones.

Sergey Puryasev


To eliminate the cause of mucus secretion, the doctor recommends high-quality treatment of exacerbation of chronic ENT diseases and allergic reactions. Also, a mask or scarf will help from the reaction of the throat to changes in temperature, which will protect the respiratory tract.

The doctor added that sometimes such a reaction may indicate that a person has not recovered from sinusitis, lung disease, or has been taking antibiotics for a long time. In this case, Puryasev recommends changing the method of treatment, adding physiotherapy or going to a spa treatment.

Read also

90,000 “There should be no sputum.” Eight Questions About Coughing | HEALTH: Medicine | HEALTH

Often colds turn into coughs.There are many preparations from it: lollipops, syrups, tablets, from wet, from dry, etc. And many have inhalers at hand, and no one has forgotten the folk methods. What of all the variety for the treatment of cough is really needed and how quickly it should pass , Natalya Tryaztsyna, a pulmonologist at the Tyumen Cardiology Center, answers in the material “AiF-Tyumen” .

Anna Smirnova, AiF-Tyumen: Why does a sore throat most often turn into a cough, can it go away on its own?

Natalya Tryaztsyna: Sore throat and cough are symptoms of the same acute respiratory disease, the causes of which may be different.Any viral or bacterial infection can proceed this way. The appearance of a cough does not mean that it has become worse. This is just a natural development of the disease. It can be dry when there is irritation and swelling of the mucous membrane, moist – when the discharge from the nasopharynx flows down the larynx and there is something to expectorate. Normally, there should be no sputum, its constant separation is characteristic of chronic diseases.

– There are preparations for dry and wet cough. What is the difference between them? What happens if you take the wrong medicine?

– Dry cough medicines include substances that reduce the reflex to reduce this symptom of the disease so that it is less disturbing and less irritable.If at this stage you start taking drugs for a wet cough, phlegm will form, then the treatment will last longer. In addition, they stimulate coughing, which means that the patient will suffer longer with a dry cough.

You also need to be careful with drugs for dry cough. If phlegm has already appeared, and you are still suppressing the reflex, then it will stagnate in the upper and lower respiratory tract, start to fester and become worse. There are “gold standard” drugs that can be taken from start to finish, regardless of the type of cough.

– Are lozenges effective in treating coughs?

– They have no effect on coughing up and the formation of phlegm, but soften the cough by reducing the reflex. Such lollipops are rather a distracting maneuver, when the patient dissolves the lollipop, he seems to switch attention and forgets about the cough. The same effect is obtained by dissolving regular lollipop or a lump of burnt sugar.

Lozenges do not affect coughing and phlegm formation. Photo: pixabay.com

– Can I go to the bathhouse, take a shower and apply mustard plasters when coughing?

– All this is called distracting procedures, they improve the blood supply to the respiratory system and, conversely, increase the cough. Therefore, if you do such procedures, it is better to apply the same mustard plasters on the legs, on the calf muscles, not on the chest. Hot foot baths, if the house is warm and does not come through anywhere, can also be done. But unpleasant consequences are also likely. For example, allergy sufferers can get worse.

It is definitely impossible to go to the bathhouse, it is a huge stress for a healthy organism, not to mention a sick one. There is no need to rub the chest with various ointments and fats because of the possible edema of the respiratory system, if there is an edema of the larynx – the only “tube” through which air enters the body, the consequences can be very sad. With edema of the bronchi, especially small and large, bronchostructive syndrome develops, when air does not pass and shortness of breath appears.

– Now almost everyone has inhalers, how necessary are they for treatment?

– For children with allergies (atopics) for some diseases, inhalations are prescribed immediately. A conditionally healthy child does not need them, this is an unnecessary medication intervention, you should not even breathe saline solution “just in case”. There should be adequate humidification of the indoor air, not the respiratory system.

– How to distinguish an allergic cough from a cold?

– It is quite characteristic, it will not be difficult for a specialist to recognize it, but, unfortunately, many other types of cough can look almost the same.In general, this is not a specific feature. And only a connection with anamnesis, allergy examination can tell what was the reason. An accurate diagnosis is made only by a doctor of the appropriate specialization – an allergist.

– How quickly should a cough go away in case of colds?

– If there are no complications, it should get better within seven days, but may not go away completely. There will be positive dynamics: a less intense cough, only in the afternoon or in the morning after waking up, with physical exertion, with laughter, screaming, cold air.It takes 7-10 days to recover from a banal viral infection.

– What is COPD, does it only appear in smokers?

– Unfortunately no, this is not only a problem for smokers. There are absolutely healthy men, women and children who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a progressive disease with a steady decline in lung function. More common in adults and smokers. There are no clear reasons, there is an assumption that the gene is guilty, but which one is still unknown.It can also be provoked by chemical elements, if a person at work constantly breathes “chemistry”, and dust, and allergies.

There is no one symptom by which to say – this is asthma, but this is COPD

It is not easy to distinguish COPD from other pulmonary diseases, because they all have the same nonspecific manifestations: cough, shortness of breath, fever during exacerbation, possibly sputum formation, weakness, lethargy. There is no one symptom by which we would say – this is asthma, but this is COPD.Everything needs to be analyzed in a complex, from complaints to diagnostic studies. Only when everything comes together in one picture, you can make some kind of diagnosis. Since this is a chronic disease, the treatment will be permanent. There may be periods of exacerbation, remission, but, one way or another, this is with a person forever.

90,000 Sputum examination in Odintsovo and Golitsyno – Baby Plus network of medical centers

Sputum is a pathological discharge from the bronchi, trachea, larynx, formed in various diseases of the respiratory system.Sputum examination is carried out, if necessary, to make a correct diagnosis, to identify bacteria, cancer cells. When pathologies are found, sputum examination also determines the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics.

Bacteriological examination of sputum

Laboratory tests evaluate sputum according to several indicators, including determining its structure (the presence of purulent impurities), color, odor, volume of discharge.

The indications for the analysis are suspected diseases:

  • bacterial pneumonia;
  • bronchial asthma;
  • pulmonary tuberculosis;
  • all types of bronchitis;
  • various lesions of the lungs;
  • whooping cough.

Sputum in small quantities indicates the presence of congestion in the lungs, bronchitis, attacks of bronchial asthma. When conducting an analysis for tuberculosis, it is also taken into account that the amount of sputum in this condition increases. A putrid odor indicates the development of a severe complication with tissue necrosis. Also important are color (yellow, transparent or greenish), structural features (viscous, thick or thin sputum).

Only with the help of laboratory tests of sputum, a diagnosis is not made, but this study is included in a set of diagnostic measures.

Research methods

There are several types of study of pathological discharge: macroscopic, microscopic, microbiological, chemical.

Microscopic studies give accurate results, determine the characteristics of the composition of sputum.

How to take sputum for analysis

Before taking the test, it is recommended to drink plenty of warm water and take an expectorant. The biomaterial is taken only that which is separated by coughing.It is placed in a sterile container and taken to the laboratory for immediate analysis, since it cannot be stored in a cold place.

You can donate sputum when coughing for analysis in Golitsyno and Odintsovo at the Baby Plus clinic. We guarantee sterile sampling of material, correct storage and accuracy of the study.

Accurate and timely diagnosis is the key to a successful recovery. Do not postpone the analysis, especially since you can do it with us at an affordable price.You can find the exact cost of the study on the clinic’s website.

2.1.4. Types of diagnostic material / ConsultantPlus

Since the most common form of tuberculous lesion is respiratory tuberculosis, the main research material is sputum and other types of detachable tracheobronchial tree.

In pulmonary forms of tuberculosis, the following materials are most often examined: sputum; discharge of the upper respiratory tract, obtained after aerosol inhalation; bronchial lavage water; bronchoalveolar lavage; material obtained by bronchoscopy, transtracheal and intrapulmonary biopsy; aspirate from the bronchi; laryngeal swabs; exudates; swabs from thoracic wounds; gastric lavage (mainly in children).

Sputum. In patients who excrete enough sputum, the morning portion is collected for examination. A quality material can be considered sputum, which has a mucous or mucopurulent character, as well as containing dense whitish inclusions. The yellowish, gray, or brown color of the sputum suggests the diagnostic value of the material. A sufficient volume of the investigated portion of sputum is 3 – 5 ml, however, the study of smaller portions is also permissible. Some patients excrete mycobacteria irregularly, therefore, in order to increase the information content, repeated (up to 3 times) sputum examination is practiced.This tactic allows you to increase the number of positive finds.

Collection of sputum for testing for acid-fast mycobacteria is a very important stage of the diagnostic procedure, the accuracy of which largely determines the result of the study.

When collecting sputum, it must be borne in mind that at the time of coughing up a high risk of airborne spread of infection is created. In this regard, it is desirable that sputum collection be carried out in a separate, well-ventilated room specially allocated for this purpose, equipped with a germicidal lamp and disinfectants, or in the open air.Between visits to individual patients, the room should be well ventilated to avoid or significantly reduce the risk of nosocomial infection.

Sputum collection should be carried out in the presence and with the direct participation of a medical professional. Persons responsible for collecting sputum should be guided by the following rules:

1. Persons responsible for collecting sputum should explain to the patient the reasons for the study and the need to cough up not saliva or nasopharyngeal mucus, but the contents of the deep respiratory tract, which is achieved as a result of productive cough that occurs after several deep breaths.

2. It is necessary to warn the patient that he must first brush his teeth and rinse the mouth with boiled water, which allows to mechanically remove the main part of the microflora growing in the oral cavity and food debris that contaminate the sputum and make it difficult to process it.

3. A medical worker participating in the collection of sputum, wearing a mask, rubber gloves and a rubber apron, should be behind the patient’s back, choosing his position so that the direction of air flow is from him to the patient.The healthcare professional should open a sterile sputum collection bottle, remove the cap and hand it over to the patient.

4. Standing behind the patient, it should be advised to hold the bottle as close to the lips as possible and immediately spit phlegm into it as it is coughing up. Sputum production increases after one or more deep breaths.

5. Upon completion of the collection of sputum, the medical worker must close the bottle with a lid, assess the quantity and quality of the collected material, enter these data in the direction.The bottle with the collected portion of sputum is carefully closed with a screw cap, marked and placed in a special container or box for transportation to the laboratory.

If the patient does not excrete sputum or excretes it only sporadically and in a scanty amount, then the night before and early in the morning on the day of sputum collection, the patient should be given an expectorant or irritated inhalation. The material collected in this way cannot be preserved and must be examined on the day of collection.

For aerosol inhalation use portable or stationary aerosol inhalers. For inhalation, we recommend a solution containing 150 g of sodium chloride (NaCl) and 10 g of sodium bicarbonate (Na2CO3) in 1 liter. Sterile distilled water is used to prepare the solution. To provoke sputum, it is necessary to inhale for 10 – 15 minutes from 30 to 60 ml of the mixture warmed up to 42 – 45 ° C. Since the solution inhaled during the inhalation procedure causes increased salivation even before the appearance of cough and sputum separation, in the first minutes after the completion of the inhalation procedure, the patient should spit saliva into a specially prepared tray with 5% chloramine solution (or other disinfectant) and only then collect phlegm of the day of the study.

Due to the fact that aerosol inhalation causes the release of a watery secretion that resembles saliva in consistency, in order to avoid rejection of the material in the referral form and on the bottle with the material, there must be a mandatory marking indicating that the material was obtained after aerosol inhalation.

In most patients, after aerosol inhalation, residual hypersecretion of bronchial discharge is observed for several hours, therefore the patient is recommended to collect sputum for a second study within 24 hours after inhalation.

In the absence of sputum, the impossibility of aerosol inhalation or the failure of this procedure, bronchial or gastric washings are taken for mycobacterium research.

Bronchial washings. Collection of bronchial lavage water is performed by an otolaryngologist. During inhalation, the patient is injected with a syringe into the trachea with 5-7 ml of sterile isotonic solution, which causes a cough reflex. At the same time, together with the isotonic solution, a secret is cleared from the deep sections of the bronchial tree.Bronchial washings are collected in a sterile bottle and immediately sent to the laboratory.

For patients with a pronounced pharyngeal reflex, this procedure is performed after preliminary anesthesia of the epiglottis, larynx and posterior pharyngeal wall.

In the absence of sputum or the impossibility of obtaining it, the most valuable diagnostic materials are aspirates from the trachea and bronchi obtained during bronchological examination, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL), as well as materials from targeted catheter and brush biopsy.

Gastric lavage is examined mainly in young children who do not cough up phlegm well and often swallow it. To avoid mixing swallowed sputum with food, gastric lavage should be taken on an empty stomach. The last meal should be at least 12 hours before taking gastric washings. Before collecting material to neutralize gastric contents, the patient is given to drink 100 – 150 ml of baking soda solution (1 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 glass of water), prepared in sterile distilled water to exclude the possibility of acid-resistant saprophytes that may be contained in tap water from entering the stomach.After that, a gastric tube is inserted and the contents of the stomach are collected in a sterile vial. The material is immediately delivered to the laboratory and processed in order to exclude the damaging effect on the causative agent of the gastric enzymes contained in the material.

The method of obtaining gastric lavage water in combination with preliminary aerosol inhalation is especially effective. Gastric lavage should be collected after 30 minutes. after aerosol inhalation. This combination of these two methods gives a significantly higher percentage of positive results than either of them separately.This method of obtaining diagnostic material can also be useful in patients with a suppressed cough reflex, in whom it is not possible to obtain material even with provoking inhalations.

In extrapulmonary forms of the disease, mycobacteria can affect almost any organ, therefore, a wide variety of materials are suitable for research: cerebrospinal, pleural, pericardial, synovial and ascitic fluid, blood, pus, bone marrow punctures, resected tissues, purulent-necrotic masses, scrapings of synovial membranes, biopsy material of lymph nodes.

In extrapulmonary forms of the process, 2 groups of diagnostic materials can be distinguished:

– aseptically obtained material, usually free from contaminating concomitant microflora, and

– knowingly contaminated material from open lesions, in relation to which it is known in advance that it is contaminated with concomitant microbial flora or collected without following the rules of asepsis.


All liquid materials to avoid clotting are immediately transferred to a sterile vial and mixed with an equal volume of sterile 3% sodium citrate solution.

Blood and other liquid materials with a large admixture of blood, after adding a 3% sodium citrate solution, are centrifuged at 3000g and the precipitate is washed 3 times with sterile distilled water.

If the aseptically collected liquid material cannot be immediately delivered to the laboratory, a sterile 10% solution of potassium oxalate is added to it at the rate of 0.01 – 0.02 ml per 1 ml of material or heparin at the rate of 0.2 mg per 1 ml.

Aseptically collected tissue material most often consists of resected tissue of an organ, purulent-necrotic masses, granulations, scrapings of synovial membranes, lymph nodes or punctates of their contents obtained during biopsies or surgical interventions. The material is placed in a sterile vial without preservatives and immediately delivered to the laboratory. If the material cannot be delivered to the laboratory immediately, a small amount of sterile isotonic solution is added to it to avoid drying out and it is placed in a refrigerator at 4-10 ° C or in a bottle of dry ice.

Aseptically collected material is inoculated onto nutrient media without prior decontamination.

In cases where it is not known to what extent the aseptic rules were followed during the collection of the material, it is advisable to transfer it to a sterile mortar with sterile sand, grind thoroughly with sterile scissors, add 0.5 – 1.0 ml of sterile isotonic solution and grind vigorously until a homogeneous mass is obtained , gradually bringing the volume of the added isotonic solution to 4 – 5 ml.The resulting mass is settled for 1 – 2 minutes and then the supernatant is taken. Half of the resulting liquid without treatment is inoculated on nutrient media and used to prepare a smear. The other half is decontaminated according to the standard method and is also inoculated on culture media.

Known contaminated materials. This category includes most of the materials listed below, as well as the main and most accessible material for urogenital tuberculosis – urine.

Urine (the middle part of the morning portion or the entire morning portion) is collected in a sterile container after a thorough toilet of the external genitalia.Analysis of urine for mycobacteria should provide for a mandatory triple study. In the laboratory, urine is centrifuged using a sediment collection method. A feature of the existence of M. tuberculosis in liquids is their ability to be in suspension for a long time. In this regard, it is recommended to centrifuge the entire material at 3000g, and not its bottom fraction obtained after settling under natural conditions.

The collection of daily urine for bacteriological examination is not practiced.This is due to the fact that when urine accumulates during the day, it is impossible to maintain its sterility. Storing the urine container in a cool place can lead to salt precipitation, which adversely affects the subsequent processing of the sediment. In addition, the urine contains bactericidal products that can not only inhibit the viability of mycobacteria, but even destroy microbial cells during the day. At the same time, with prolonged storage of urine, it is impossible to avoid the reproduction of putrefactive and pyogenic microflora in it.It was found that when urine is stored for more than 1 hour after collection, the number of microbial cells of nonspecific pyogenic and putrefactive microflora increases several times. The enzymes of the vital activity of this flora can inhibit the ability of mycobacteria to grow. And, finally, when collecting urine for a long time, one should bear in mind the possibility of acid-fast saprophytes getting into it, which can lead to diagnostic errors. In this regard, the results of the study of urine obtained from men should be evaluated with particular caution, as it may contain Mycobacterium smegmatis and other non-tuberculous mycobacteria, which can be mistaken for Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Menstrual blood. The study of menstrual blood requires a special methodological approach. The presence of a large number of proteolytic, fibrinolytic and other enzymes in this material necessitates the immediate delivery of the material to the laboratory and its careful processing, since menstrual blood, on the one hand, is a very suitable material for the development of pyogenic and putrefactive flora, and on the other, due to the abundance enzymes adversely affects the viability of mycobacteria.Menstrual blood should not be collected with a swab, but with a vacuum suction or a Kafka cap. They examine it in the same way as blood or other materials with an admixture of blood.

Feces are collected and sterile dishes. For sowing, a small amount of feces (1 g) is ground in a mortar with 3-5 ml of distilled water, filtered through a cotton-gauze filter, centrifuged and the resulting precipitate is examined. Bacteriological examination of feces is rarely performed, since usually a positive result cannot be obtained.

If an extrapulmonary form of tuberculosis is suspected in a patient, in addition to other types of diagnostic material, it is advisable to also examine sputum, since this significantly increases the frequency of detection of combined pulmonary and extrapulmonary forms of tuberculosis.

Anti-tuberculosis drugs or their active metabolites during chemotherapy may be present in the diagnostic material and affect the seeding rate of mycobacteria. Most anti-tuberculosis drugs are excreted from the body in the urine, therefore, you can find recommendations for discontinuing drugs for 2 – 3 days before collecting the material so that the secreting cells and urinary organs are completely cleared of drugs.However, such cancellation should be rational, based on the pharmacokinetics of the drug or its derivatives. To exclude the effect of chemotherapy in the diagnostic material on the growth of mycobacteria, it is recommended to use the procedure for washing the material sediment with distilled water or sterile saline solution.

Investigation of surfaces of various materials is used to control the quality of disinfection measures, as well as to examine foci of tuberculosis infection for epidemiological purposes.The method is based on determining the contamination of surfaces of various objects with mycobacteria by taking swabs with a sterile swab from a fine-porous foam sponge measuring 15 mm x 15 mm x 15 mm.

The most dangerous objects subject to mandatory research for contamination by mycobacteria are surfaces located in the patient’s breathing zone in wards, offices and places of greatest concentration of patients (toilets, treatment rooms), as well as equipment for inhalation rooms, bacteriological laboratories, collection rooms sputum.

Before carrying out washings, it is necessary to determine from which items they will be taken and in what quantity. The study area of ​​the surface of a material depends on the type of this material (see table 1).

Tracheitis is not a trifle

The pharynx and nose are the gateway for most viruses (ARVI), which often cause respiratory disorders such as runny nose, sore throat, pharyngitis, cough … If a person does not quite effectively cope with the infection, it can spread deeper, and then tracheitis develops.Chronic foci of bacterial infection in the nasopharynx – tonsillitis, sinusitis – can also cause inflammation of the tracheal mucosa, especially after hypothermia or fatigue, inhalation of cold, dry or dusty air.

Usually symptoms of acute tracheitis appear after catarrhal inflammation of the overlying parts of the respiratory tract. The most characteristic symptom is a dry, excruciating cough at night and especially in the morning, aggravated by a deep breath, laughter, crying, and a change in air temperature.During an attack, the patient feels a raw pain and burning sensation behind the sternum and in the throat, breathing becomes rapid and shallow. If not treated appropriately, the cough continues for several weeks. In some cases, there is a hoarseness of the voice (due to concomitant laryngitis), sometimes so strong that it is difficult to speak. The phlegm is at first viscous, mucous in nature and leaves in small quantities, but gradually becomes more abundant, mucopurulent in nature and is separated more easily, thereby reducing the intensity of pain when coughing.The general condition, as a rule, does not suffer: there is a slight increase in body temperature and slight malaise. However, this does not mean that the disease can be ignored or self-medicated. It is not so rare that the inflammatory process also captures the bronchi, then the clinical picture takes on the character of tracheobronchitis: the cough becomes more painful and constant, the fever progresses, intoxication increases. The most frequent and severe complication of the disease is bronchopneumonia, which is especially dangerous for the elderly and children.

Since the symptoms of a common cold, acute tracheobronchitis and pneumonia are very similar, the final diagnosis can only be made by a doctor, which usually requires additional studies, both laboratory and radiological.

Whatever the clinical manifestations of tracheitis, it is very important to start timely treatment so that the disease does not give complications and does not turn into a chronic form. Reasons for seeking medical help:

• cough that does not go away for several days;

• difficulty in breathing;

• persistent temperature rise or its repeated rise;

• wheezing and chest pain;

• the appearance of pus and blood in the sputum.

After the diagnosis is established, the patient is prescribed a home regimen, warming procedures, an abundant (up to 1.5 – 2 liters per day) warm drink: tea with lemon, decoctions and infusions of medicinal plants (chamomile, sage, mint, coltsfoot, licorice, marshmallow root), juices, fruit drinks. If necessary, it is allowed to take antipyretic drugs (at a body temperature above 38 ° C). Antibiotics are indicated only when a bacterial infection is attached!

In the fight against cough, breathing exercises and vibration massage of the chest, which are best done in the morning, immediately after waking up, are very effective.Steam inhalations (including with the help of a nebulizer), hot foot baths (with a water temperature of no higher than 42 – 43 ° C), as well as humidification of the air and periodic (for 10 – 15 minutes 2 – 3 times a day) through ventilation of the room.

Although modern medicines help to cure almost any form of airway inflammation, it is better to prevent the disease. To do this, at least one should adhere to the rules of a healthy lifestyle: eat rationally, be in the fresh air more often, avoid overwork and stress, quit smoking and alcohol abuse, do not overcool, treat colds and chronic diseases in a timely manner.

Vladimir Khryshchanovich, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor
Soviet Belarus , April 23, 2020


Sore throat: causes and treatment


28 220

9 minutes


What is commonly called tickling
Most likely causes of perspiration in the throat
What else can lead sore throat
What to do if sore throat appears
Treatment for sore throat
Sore throat during pregnancy

Sore throat, sometimes turning into pain when swallowing, most often accompanies inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract 1.2 .However, this symptom may not only be the result of a cold. Let’s figure out why it occurs and how to cope with it.

What is usually called tickling

Patients of otorhinolaryngologists who come for a tickle in the throat describe their sensations differently 1.2 . In some, they resemble itching, stinging and dryness. Others say that they have a sore throat, stinging, or throbbing. The saliva becomes viscous. The presence of a “prickly” lump in the throat makes you want to clear your throat, and from a dry, hacking cough, the throat “cramping”.

All this variety of symptoms in the overwhelming majority is associated with irritation of the pharyngeal receptors – the same ones that are responsible for the appearance of pain 1.2 . Their slight excitement causes dryness and itching in the throat, strong – the appearance of pain 2 .

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Most probable causes of sore throat

The causes of sore throat and pain are the same, in fact, tickling is a mild pain. It is caused by tissue damage from inflammation, trauma, circulatory disorders and edema 1 .In this case, the discomfort can be short-term, acute and long-term, periodically returning.

Acute discomfort in the pharynx

Acute inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis, tonsillopharyngitis) can be caused by infectious and non-infectious causes 1.2.3 . The mechanism of pain development will be the same 1.2 .

The impact of a damaging factor on the pharyngeal mucosa triggers a whole cascade of biochemical reactions that proceed with the release of biologically active substances called inflammatory mediators 1.2 .

Inflammatory mediators excite pain receptors of the pharynx, cause expansion and increase in the permeability of blood vessels of the mucous membrane and its edema, increase mucus secretion and increase its viscosity 2.3 . All this is accompanied by a sore throat and a dry cough, a desire to cough up scanty and very thick phlegm, which are typical symptoms of pharyngitis.

In 90% of cases, the development of pharyngitis and tonsillopharyngitis is associated with infection 1.2 . The pharynx is the gateway for most respiratory viruses 1 , therefore they are most often the causative agent 1.2 .In addition, the disease may be associated with bacterial microflora. Beta-hemolytic streptococcus of group A is found in 5-17% of cases in adults, less often – streptococci of other groups, staphylococci, neisseria and other bacteria 1.2 . Even less often, fungi of the genus Candida 1 become the cause of inflammation.

Non-infectious pharyngitis can be caused by the action of mechanical, chemical and thermal irritants on the mucous membrane of the pharynx: smoking, drinking strong alcohol, hot drinks and food, inhalation of cold or too hot air, prolonged loud conversation 1 .

Persistent discomfort in the pharynx

The cause of persistent sore throat is often chronic pharyngitis 3 . In this case, viruses and bacteria trigger the inflammatory process and cause an exacerbation of the disease 3 . Often the causes of chronic inflammation are associated respiratory and digestive problems 3 .

Chronic pharyngitis often accompanies:

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (in 83.7% of non-infectious cases) 3 : acidic stomach contents during sleep are thrown into the throat and “burn” it;
  • Difficulty nasal breathing with rhinitis, adenoiditis, nasopharyngitis: breathing through the mouth leads to dryness of the pharyngeal mucosa and predisposes to its infection 3 ;
  • abuse of vasoconstrictive drops in the nose, which, flowing down the back wall of the pharynx, cause narrowing of the superficial blood vessels and dry and sore throat 2.3 ;
  • chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, rhinopharyngitis: mucus released as a result of inflammation flows down the throat and irritates it 3 ;
  • diabetes mellitus, which is accompanied by a decrease in saliva secretion, dry mouth and throat 3 ;
  • Allergic reactions in which allergens are deposited on the pharyngeal mucosa and trigger a chain of inflammatory reactions in it 3 .

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What else can lead to sore throat

Discomfort and sore throat can be caused not only by direct irritation of pain receptors as a result of injury or inflammation. Unpleasant sensations are sometimes associated with the impact on other structures of the nervous system: on the nerves, through which the impulse from the receptors is transmitted to the brain, or on the very parts of the brain that perceive these signals. In this case, the pain in the pharynx can be strong, sharp, burning, resembling an electric shock or sudden convulsions.Sometimes discomfort is limited to a feeling of crawling along the pharyngeal wall, tingling, itching, numbness 1 .

Such sensations can accompany:

  • diseases of the teeth (more often the lower ones) and the tissues surrounding them, including the nerves;
  • cervical osteochondrosis, when the roots of the spinal nerves are compressed;
  • various tumors invading neural structures 1 .

Finally, sore throat and sore throat can be psychogenic, that is, associated with psycho-emotional disorders 1 .Itching in the throat and coughing can provoke acute and chronic stressful situations in which excitement, anxiety and fear arise. We are talking about a difficult atmosphere, worries, quarrels, conflicts at work, dissatisfaction with life in general, serious illnesses with a pessimistic prognosis.

In all these cases, patients complain of severe discomfort, but doctors cannot find any signs of inflammation in the pharynx 1 .

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What to do if a sore throat appears

Since in the overwhelming majority of cases, sore throat is associated with ARVI 1.2 , it is accompanied by a runny nose, weakness, decreased performance, fever and other symptoms of respiratory viral infections.Before taking any medication, it is advisable to consult a specialist.

A doctor’s consultation is necessary when:

  • Sore throat increases;
  • The state of health continues to deteriorate;
  • “deep” cough and shortness of breath join;
  • Fever and chills occur.

Pharyngitis and tonsillopharyngitis are treated by general practitioners, pediatricians and ENT doctors. You can call your local therapist at home or go directly to the clinic.Based on the results of the examination, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment for the diagnosis.

Constant sore throat in the absence of signs of a cold is also a reason for visiting an otolaryngologist. Examination of the pharynx will help to understand whether the pain is associated with inflammation or other processes. In case of chronic pharyngitis, you additionally need to visit a gastroenterologist, cardiologist and endocrinologist.

If the ENT doctor does not find signs of inflammation in the throat, but there is discomfort, it is worth contacting a dentist, neurologist and psychotherapist in order to exclude oral diseases, neurogenic and psychogenic nature of the disorders.

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Treatment for sore throat

Let’s analyze the most common variant – acute pharyngitis / tonsillopharyngitis.

Treatment prescribed by doctors includes general and local therapy. With the streptococcal nature of the disease, antibiotics must be prescribed 1 . Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus is the most dangerous pathogen associated with most complications of tonsillopharyngitis 1 , such as paratonsillar abscess, rheumatism and glomerulonephritis.

In viral infections, antibiotics are useless and treatment mainly includes symptomatic and topical therapy 1 .

Local preparations for sore throat 1 :

  • act directly on infectious agents in the focus of inflammation;
  • provide the maximum concentration of the drug in the pharynx;
  • works faster than oral medications;
  • are practically not absorbed into the bloodstream and do not affect the body as a whole;
  • have a minimal risk of systemic side effects 1 .

All local drugs that doctors recommend for sore throat can be divided into several groups.

  1. Topical antibiotics , which inhibit the growth of certain microbes, are indicated only for bacterial inflammation 1.2 . Their unreasonable use can lead to disruption of the microflora of the pharynx and the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria. In addition, they have no analgesic effect, pain decreases slowly as the infection is destroyed 1.2 .
  2. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs have analgesic effects and reduce inflammation, but do not target infectious agents.
  3. Immunomodulators help to strengthen local immunity and fight infection, but they cannot quickly eliminate a sore throat.
  4. Antiseptics are substances that have a detrimental effect on viruses, bacteria and some fungi, but do not have an analgesic effect.
  5. Anesthetics , or pain relievers such as lidocaine and benzocaine, are effective in relieving pain, but are powerless against pathogens 1 .
  6. Medicines with combined action (antiseptic and analgesic), such as HEXORAL ® .

In pharmacies, throat remedies are presented in the form of lozenges, sprays, rinses. They all have certain advantages.

  • HEXORAL ® aerosol can be used in the treatment of children over 3 years old 5 . The active ingredient of the drug, hexetidine, is a broad-spectrum antiseptic that is active against bacteria, viruses and fungi 4 .The mild pain relieving effect helps to reduce sore throat.

Dosage form – aerosol provides a uniform distribution of the drug over the entire surface of the mucous membrane, which contributes to effective treatment 5 .

  • For the classic rinsing procedure, you can use the HEXORAL ® 4 solution.
  • HEXORAL ® lozenges are likely to be chosen by those who do not like gargling and most of the time do not have this opportunity, for example, at work, school or university.

HEXORAL ® TABS tablets, based on chlorhexidine and benzocaine, help fight infection and discomfort in the throat and can be the choice of adults and children over 4 years old. They have a neutral minty flavor and can create a “chill” sensation that helps reduce sore throat 6 .

For adults and children over 6 years old HEXORAL ® TABS CLASSIC based on the antiseptic amylmetacresol 7 with lemon, orange, black currant, lemon and honey flavor.

HEXORAL ® TABS EXTRA, approved for use from the age of 12, can be useful for those who have a sore throat bordering on pain 8 . The lidocaine contained in the drug can relieve even severe pain 8 .

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Sore throat during pregnancy

Acute respiratory infections are very common during pregnancy 9 . Moreover, they are distinguished by a long course and the absence of pronounced symptoms 9 .Often everything is limited to a runny nose and sore throat. But even in this version, ARVI pose a considerable danger to the woman herself and the fetus 9 .

From the inflamed pharynx, viruses enter the bloodstream, spread throughout the body, enter the placenta, infect it and infect the fetus 9 . Against the background of long-term ARVI, placental insufficiency often occurs 9 . The fetus does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients and begins to lag behind in development 9 .The expectant mother herself has an increased risk of developing late toxicosis and eclampsia 9 .

Sore throat during pregnancy requires a doctor’s consultation. Only he can assess the existing symptoms and prescribe adequate treatment.

Drugs that are prescribed to pregnant women should not affect the course of pregnancy and should have a broad safety profile in relation to the unborn child 9 . When prescribing drugs, the doctor assesses the potential danger of the disease and the drug itself for the pregnant woman and the fetus.In the case of ARVI, the choice is made in favor of local treatment 9 .

As for HEXORAL ® , only a doctor can assess the possibility of its use during pregnancy 4-8 .

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The information in this article is for reference only and does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified professional for diagnosis and treatment.


  1. G.S. Maltseva. Differentiated approach to the treatment of sore throat. Consilium Medicum. 2019; 11: 20-23
  2. I. N. Zakharova, N. A. Korovina, E. M. Ovsyannikova. A sore throat. Medical Council No. 2, 2013, pp. 70-76.
  3. S. Ya.Kosyakov, B. Angotoeva, A. N. Isamov. Non-infectious causes of chronic pharyngitis. Medical Council, No. 20,2018, pp. 112-115.
  4. Instructions for use of the drug HEXORAL ® solution.
  5. Instructions for use of the preparation HEXORAL ® aerosol.
  6. Instructions for use of the drug HEXORAL ® TABS.
  7. Instructions for use of the drug HEXORAL ® CLASSIC.
  8. Instructions for use of the drug HEXORAL ® TABS EXTRA.
  9. Malinovskaya V.V., Baranov I.I., Vyzhlova E.N., Shuvalov A.N. Treatment of acute respiratory infections in pregnant women // Obstetrics and gynecology: news, opinions, training. 2019.Vol. 7, No. 4. P. 72–78.

Golden rules for patients with bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a chronic disease characterized by increased sensitivity of the bronchi to external stimuli.With this pathology, periodically arising attacks of suffocation are noted.

The development of bronchial asthma is associated with the influence of allergic factors (dust, fungal spores, certain types of food, medicines, etc.) and other components of the external environment. We are talking about physical activity, chemicals, cigarette smoke, unfavorable weather conditions, etc. Healthy people do not react to such influences. This is due to their lack of a genetic predisposition to the disease, as well as immune disorders and high sensitivity of the bronchi.

The presence of this disease is manifested by atypical inflammation of the bronchi, which is distinguished by a very high sensitivity not only to a specific allergen, but also to other influences. Each such effect leads to a rapid contraction of the smooth muscles of the bronchi. This is manifested by their spasm and obstruction. In addition, bronchial asthma is characterized by excessive mucus secretion and swelling of the mucous membrane of the respiratory system.

Clinical picture of bronchial asthma.

This disease is characterized by asthma attacks. The precursors of an attack are a runny nose of a watery nature, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, headache, increased urination and emotional disorders. In most cases, patients experience choking at night and in the morning. Complaints in bronchial asthma consist in a feeling of lack of air, difficulty in exhaling and heaviness in the chest. The appearance of a cough with thick sputum is noted. At a distance from the patient, wheezing wheezing is heard.It is worth noting that during an attack of the disease, additional muscles are involved in breathing. To alleviate their condition, patients carry out the adoption of a special position (orthopedic).

Anamnesis of the disease plays an important role in the diagnosis.

The goal of bronchial asthma treatment is to improve the quality of life and the ability to work.

It is necessary to train the patient to control the course of the disease.

It is recommended to exclude the action of factors causing seizures.

If it is impossible to prevent an attack, patients are prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs that dilate the bronchi.

Anti-inflammatory effect is possessed by glucocorticoid hormones, stabilizers of membrane structures of mast cells, NSAIDs, etc. Monoclonal antibodies are also used in the treatment of bronchial asthma.

It is very important for patients with asthma to adhere to certain rules , which will significantly alleviate their condition and will not lead to another attack.

  • Find out as much information as possible about the disease bronchial asthma. To do this, talk to your doctor, pulmonologist, or attend classes at an asthma school. For studies at the school of bronchial asthma in the health care institution “29th city polyclinic” in Minsk, contact a rehabilitation therapist (work schedule in the information desk).
  • Identify your asthma triggers and avoid contact with them.
  • Quit smoking yourself, prohibit smoking in your presence, and avoid contact with smoke from any source.
  • Make sure you understand correctly the instructions for using asthma treatment and control devices (spacer, metered dose inhaler, turbuhaler, aerolizer, nebulizer, peak flow meter, dischaler). If you do not understand how to use it, ask your doctor or nurse questions to learn how to use these devices correctly.
  • Avoid running out of supplies of medicines for asthma and emergency treatment for asthma attacks.
  • More air! This should be your motto. Despite severe frosts, your room should always be ventilated. Just for a couple of minutes.
  • Throw out all unnecessary things, stuffed animals, figurines and napkins from the house. In general, everything that quickly collects and accumulates dust.
  • For better regulation of breathing, try to breathe only through your nose. With this breathing, the air is humidified and purified.
  • More positive mood. Less emotion! Remember that all life’s problems and troubles are nothing … The main thing is your health.Repeat this to yourself constantly.
  • Don’t overeat. A full stomach puts a lot of pressure on the diaphragm. Drink water often and little by little. Eat less watermelons and grapes, as well as peas, after which there are stomach problems.
  • Forget the afternoon nap. You should not go to bed immediately after visiting the bath!
  • It’s never too late to start hardening your body. Start by rubbing wet and dousing your feet with cold water. Help your body get stronger.
  • Learn to control your illness. Take your medicines prescribed for asthma exactly as recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not arbitrarily reduce the amount of basic anti-inflammatory treatment without consulting your doctor, even if your asthma symptoms are no longer bothering you. Avoid uncontrolled use of short-acting B2 agonists (choking inhalers) without medical advice. At the first sign of loss of control, see your doctor to correct your treatment.
  • Remember that asthma is not a sentence and everything is in your hands!

How to independently assess whether you are in control of your asthma?

In accordance with current guidelines, the goal of asthma therapy is to achieve and maintain long-term control over the disease.With the right treatment, many asthmatics can not only improve their condition, but completely free themselves from the symptoms and manifestations of asthma. Of course, this is possible if regular basic therapy is carried out. Achieving and maintaining asthma control for a long time is real; Moreover, almost every asthmatic person can improve their control over their disease.

The Asthma Control Test (ACT) can be used to assess whether you have achieved control of your asthma.The test is designed to regularly assess the condition and will help you understand if there is a need to seek specialist advice and change therapy.

Everyone can check how asthma is controlled: just answer five simple test questions and calculate the final score. A maximum result (25 points) means that you have achieved your goal and your asthma is under control. Report this result to your doctor, and he will most likely recommend continuing the prescribed treatment in order to maintain the achieved result and regularly take an asthma control test (AST).If the test result is low (less than 20 points), this indicates a lack of control over the disease.