Yellow phlegm usually appears when there is an infection in the respiratory system caused by bacteria, such as sinusitis or pneumonia, for example.
This happens because, when there are bacteria growing in the throat or lungs, the transparent mucus, which is normally found in the respiratory system, becomes thicker, to stick to microorganisms and eliminate them from the body through the cough.
When yellow phlegm appears, especially accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, it is important to consult a doctor so that he can identify the cause of the symptoms and start the appropriate treatment.
Some of the most common causes of yellow phlegm are:
Another cause of yellow phlegm is bacterial pharyngitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the pharynx. Due to the presence of bacteria, in addition to phlegm, other symptoms such as intense sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever and headache can arise. Know the main symptoms of pharyngitis and how to treat it.
What to do: in case of suspicion of pharyngitis, it is important to consult the general practitioner so that the symptoms are evaluated and the most appropriate treatment can be indicated, which normally it is made with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and analgesics, which reduce inflammation of the pharynx, relieve pain and reduce fever.
The presence of yellow phlegm may be associated with bacterial sinusitis, which occurs due to inflammation of the sinuses caused by bacteria.
In these cases, in addition to phlegm, it is normal for other symptoms to appear, such as frequent runny nose, fever, headache and difficulty breathing due to a blocked nose. Learn about the symptoms of bacterial sinusitis and the treatment.
What to do: Bacterial sinusitis treatment should be indicated by the otolaryngologist after an evaluation of symptoms, but antibiotics are usually indicated. In addition, it may be recommended to inhale water vapor to help unclog your nose, allowing you to breathe better.
Watch the video about other home remedies for sinusitis:
Yellow phlegm can develop in case of bronchitis caused by bacteria, as the bronchi become inflamed and produce a thicker phlegm to eliminate bacteria through coughing.
When there is bronchitis, in addition to yellow phlegm, other symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, fever and tiredness are normal. Understand everything about bronchitis, symptoms, causes and treatment.
What to do: When phlegm is associated with other signs of bronchitis, it is important to consult a pulmonologist to evaluate the symptoms and indicate the most appropriate treatment, which is usually made with bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and expectorants. Also, it's important to drink plenty of fluids to help the mucus come out more easily.
Bacterial pneumonia is not normally contagious and can be one of the causes of yellow phlegm as it is characterized by the presence of bacteria in the lungs.
In addition to yellow phlegm, pneumonia can also cause other symptoms such as fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing and coughing that eliminates bacteria from the lungs.
What to do: Pneumonia is treated with antibiotics and should be indicated by a pulmonologist since all symptoms must be evaluated. Check out the treatment for bacterial pneumonia.
5. Pulmonary bronchiectasis
Yellow phlegm can also be associated with pulmonary bronchiectasis, which is a disease in which the bronchi are more dilated, due to obstruction of the airways or due to the presence of bacteria, which causes the production of mucus thicker.
One of the main symptoms of bronchiectasis is phlegm, however, other symptoms such as coughing up blood, shortness of breath, general malaise and chest pain are common.
What to do: although there is no cure for pulmonary bronchiectasis, it is possible to undergo a treatment, recommended by a pulmonologist, which helps to reduce symptoms, relieving discomfort. Treatment can be done with antibiotics and bronchodilators, which make breathing easier. See what pulmonary bronchiectasis is and how to treat it.