Why does white mucus often appear after coughing? – VnExpress

White mucus could be a sign of an upper respiratory infection, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mucus secreted by glands, made up of water, salt, and many tissues lining the cells. They have a lubricating function, protecting the nasal cavity by binding small particles such as germs and dust. So, the act of coughing or sneezing out mucus can make it easier for the body to “push” harmful substances out of the body. According to many studies, mucus that protects against bacteria is usually white, transparent, which may not be unusual. However, thick white mucus can be a warning sign of an illness.

Upper respiratory tract infection

Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) include diseases caused by infections that affect the nose, pharynx, larynx, sinuses, and large airways. Some common upper respiratory infections include the common cold, flu, and Covid-19.

The cause of upper respiratory tract infections is the entry of viruses and bacteria into the human body. When they enter the body, they activate the immune system, leading to increased mucus production as the body tries to get rid of harmful substances. Viral infections often have no cure, they tend to go away on their own. If symptoms appear more, the patient can take over-the-counter pain relievers, …


Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs that causes narrowing and inflammation of the airways. The condition also causes an increase in mucus production in the airways, which can reduce airflow during breathing. Symptoms of asthma include: dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing.

Most asthma triggers are caused by allergens, cigarette smoke, or environmental air pollution. According to medical experts, asthma can be treated with bronchodilators, inhaled steroids. At the same time, patients also need to combine a smoking cessation lifestyle, avoiding secondhand smoke. In daily life, it is necessary to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to regularly clean carpets and floors.

Coughing up white mucus can indicate a number of medical conditions. Image: Freepik


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the main airways of the lungs. It is what causes the throat to become swollen and produce mucus. Some people call bronchitis a “chest cold”. Potential symptoms of bronchitis include: dry cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat,…

Home remedies for bronchitis are drinking hot ginger tea and making lifestyle adjustments like quitting smoking and avoiding allergy-causing pollutants.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the name given to a condition that blocks airflow and leads to breathing problems. Symptoms of COPD include excess mucus production, shortness of breath, wheezing, or frequent coughing.

According to scientists, people who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are susceptible to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Treatment for the disease may include supportive medications such as bronchodilators to help keep the airways open or steroid inhalers. In daily activities, patients need to quit smoking, participate in sports with pulmonary rehabilitation properties.

In addition to the above conditions, some of the following causes can also cause the body to produce white mucus such as health conditions, lifestyle changes, using a humidifier or taking inhaled respiratory medications. Therefore, an occasional cough with white mucus may not be a sign that the body is sick.

Medical experts recommend that we should go to the hospital immediately if we notice white mucus with signs of severe coughing, lips or nails turn blue, persistent wheezing or persistent coughs more than 8 weeks…

Huyen My (Follow Medical News Today, Verywell Health)


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