Question: I have pain in the right side of my throat, ear and back since few days. What are the causes and is there any remedy for dusty phlegm as well as pain in ear and throat?
Answer: The symptoms that you have described suggest upper respiratory tract infection. It can be pharyngitis, an infection in throat or it can also be due to sinusitis. If the condition prolongs for over a period of time you may have to do some tests such as X-ray of chest and nasal sinuses. Blood tests may include complete blood count, ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate).
Coughing Up Brown Phlegm
Production of phlegm in small amount is natural physiological process. It is also called sputum and is secreted from the lining of upper and lower respiratory tract. A small quantity of phlegm serves as a physiological protective mechanism to keep the airway lining moist. However, excess amount of phlegm is suggestive of irritation and infection in respiratory tract; it can be from nose to anywhere in lungs.
Excess of phlegm will result in coughing, sneezing. It may also result in blocked nose. The phlegm is usually expelled with bouts of cough.Actually normal phlegm is made up of water and a type of protein and it is white or transparent in color. The consistency may depend on many factors such as the type of infection and its severity.
Causes Of Brown And Dusty Phlegm
The color of phlegm many times indicates the type of respiratory ailment. In simple cold the phlegm is thin and colorless. However there are several ailments where the phlegm becomes yellow and green. This indicates infection and presence of pus in phlegm.
Colored phlegm typically implies some kind of infection in your respiratory track. Your body is trying to fight that infection. Brown phlegm could be a result of lot of smoking or inhaling a lot of dust. People working in certain industries may also have dark brown and dusty phlegm, for example coal miners.
Dark brown and rusty sputum may also result from diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. If the phlegm is bright red in color it is an indication of fresh blood from respiratory tract. When the phlegm turns yellow it is often suggestive of staphylococcus bacterial infection in lungs and nasal mucus membrane.
When the phlegm is like currant jelly it indicates bronchogenic carcinoma and influenza. Phlegm due to cold may take few days to recede. However, diseases such as tuberculosis may require prompt treatment as it is contagious and life threatening when it remains untreated.
Home Remedies For Sore Throat, Cough And Phlegm
Here are some home remedies for phlegm, throat pain and ear pain:
- Avoid irritants: If you are a smoker, either completely quit smoking or cut down as much as you can. Your phlegm could show some blood eventually if your smoking does not stop.
- If you are suffering from sinusitis, take some nasal spray or decongestant to get rid of the phlegm.
- Inhaling steam helps the phlegm to become thin. It is then easily expelled out from the nose.
- Drink enough fluid as it will help to make the phlegm thin and facilitate its easy expulsion.
- Patient coughs before expelling phlegm. This is body’s natural mechanism that ensures prompt expulsion of phlegm. Therefore when there is productive cough person should avoid taking products that suppresses cough.
- Use an expectorant if you are suffering from chest cold. The best natural expectorant is lemon water mixed with honey. Drink the prepared juice when it is warm.
- Do warm water gargles. It is an effective method to reduce pain and irritation in throat. You can add salt to warm water. Salt has mild antibacterial properties.
- In most cases treating respiratory condition alleviates pain in ear if present.