How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question

Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18199
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
21597572
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. D. Love is online now

I have a bad viral infection which is presenting as a sore

Resolved Question:

I have a bad viral infection which is presenting as a sore throat, blocked nose and a chesty cough. I am one of those people who cannot cough up phlegm and subsequently this bubbling cough is making me choke. What do you suggest ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. For someone that has difficulty coughing up phlegm from the chest, there are a couple of options. It may help to use a medicine that thins the mucus, so that it is easier to clear by the normal cleaning mechanisms of the chest or by coughing. The medicine that is most readily available is guaifenesin. Many people find that breathing steam helps to sooth the airways and make it easier to clear phlegm. This can be done in a very hot shower or by holding your head over a bowl of steaming water with a towel draped over the head and bowl. It also may help to perform chest physical therapy and postural drainage. This is a common treatment that we use in people with chronic lung disease that affects the ability to clear phlegm, such as cystic fibrosis, but can be use in other people as well. Although this is easier to learn when someone at the bedside teaches you, there are some resources available over the internet, such as at http://www.phoenixchildrens.org/sites/default/files/health-information/the-emily-center/child-health-topics/handouts/CPT-55b.pdf. For my patients, I usually recommend guaifenesin and steam first, but if the problem is more severe or persistent, then chest physical therapy and postural drainage can be used. If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response - I am already using steam. The mucous does seem to be loose and appears to be situated in the trachea rather than the chest. It feels very bubbly which is not something I have had before.
Am I correct in thinking that even if I am unable to cough up the mucous my body will eventually clear it away by itself and if that is the case should I try to limit the coughing instead of vainly trying to get the mucous up?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Yes, there is a normal cleaning mechanisms to clear the mucus, involving microscopic projections from the cells lining the airways, called cilia. The cilia naturally sweep the layer of mucus up to the throat to be swallowed into the stomach. However, the cough that most people experience is involuntary. It is true that there is no need to intentionally cough more than you feel the urge to cough, but when you do have an urge to cough, there is no need to try to suppress the cough.
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18199
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Dr. D. Love and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for that - much appeciated

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
< Previous | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/DoctorRich/2012-9-12_72454_Doctorweb.64x64.jpg Dr. Natasha's Avatar

    Dr. Natasha

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7887
    American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Ivy League trained
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrK99/newpic2.64x64.jpg Dr. K.'s Avatar

    Dr. K.

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    255
    Board certified with experience in primary care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    76
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjtu60wne/2011-2-14_183449_passportphoto2.64x64.jpg docwithheart's Avatar

    docwithheart

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    0
    Board certified pediatrician, with special experience in general pediatrics, hospital pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drappapo/2013-8-16_22576_drdavid.64x64.jpg Dr. David's Avatar

    Dr. David

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    Treat children/young adults, former chief resident, multiple publications
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12373
    20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
 
 
 

Related Medical Questions