How to Get Rid of Excessive Phlegm in the Throat?

Q: Hello, I’m a 17 years old male. I feel that a sticky phlegm sticks to my throat. I always clear and spit it. I can’t also breathe because sometime nose feels blocked- sometimes the left, sometimes the right nostril. If I speak too much, my voice changes. I also have a lump on the right side of my neck. It is smooth to feel and it doesn’t cause any pain. Please help me. I want to know how to cure this kind of illness. Thank you.
-By: Greg


This problem looks like having an allergic basis.

Mucus is a normal secretion produced by the body. In fact, it is very essential and is produced everywhere in the body, that is- in the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive tract etc.

Whenever a foreign body, say a virus or some allergen enters our nose, the body reacts back by producing leukocytes (antibodies). The mucoid secretion, which we see is a mixture of this allergen plus the antibody produced, contained in a thick sticky substance.

As the allergic or infective process gets alright, the mucoid snot also gradually go away. This is a normal process.

However, in some individual, excess of mucus is produced. Also, drainage may not be adequate. This leads to blocked sinuses and sticky throats.

Steps to Clear Away Thick Mucus

You need to clear this sticky phlegm. Following steps and a little change in diet may help you do so-

  • Salt water gargling, at least thrice a day would help clearing the phlegm. You need to do them regularly for 15 days to get results.
  • Drink a lot of water. A thick sticky mucous may imply that you are not sufficiently hydrated. Taking water would help in thinning of this flem.
  • To open up your nostrils and sinuses, take steam inhalation. You may use vicks vaporub along with it. Do this before bedtime and when you get up. If required, repeat it in the daytime too. Try to breathe through the nose, if possible.
  • Make a habit of gently blowing off your nose in the morning.
  • Some food stuff aid in mucous formation. You may avoid them for some time. They are- fried stuff, refined foods, dairy food and heavy meals.
  • Fresh fruits would be beneficial for you. Add prune or apple juice.

Some people try neti pots to drain their mucous. These are available in the market.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “How To Clear Excess Thick Sticky Mucus From the Throat?

  1. peggy

    I have continued thick saliva for 2 years and it keeps getting worse. My mouth and tongue are dry. I ha e had. O other symptoms until recently. I’m bagging on this thick saliva and now starting to have indigestion. I also have runny nose especially in the am. I have seen every kind of doctor and just no results at all. Just a lot of medical bills. My debris suggested some lozenges and gum which I do all day and it makes it more comfortable. Also this week felt about heavy in chest. I can’t deal with this anymore.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Do you have any problem with your sinuses?

      Allergic problems of the upper respiratory tract are often linked with thick saliva. You may first try treatment for your running nose. Some anti- allergics may be taken. This may solve your problem.

      Read here about other reasons of having a thick saliva.

      Take Care,
      Buddy M.D.

  2. Rajesh

    Sir, towards the end of 2010, I seemed to have a throat infection, which was diagnosed as a viral infection and I took medicine. The pain went down, but I kept coughing and the doctor said it was secondary bacterial infection. Well, I met more than a couple of doctors, but the cough (dry) continued. Finally one doctor asked me to take Kaypen for 10 days and I was fine. However I had the same symptoms in the next 10/11 months and it would go only after taking Kaypen again. In 2012 end, it occured again and by this time Kaypen was not available in market and an alternative, Pentids was needed for me to get rid of this sickness.

    Now, I had some similar symptoms, however it went down even (cefchamps for 5 days) without having to go for the penicillin. I still can feel some phlegm, no color, just look like saliva, in my throat and on the sinus. But I don’t have any cough.

    I am afraid, is the bacteria still inside me, dormant may be. This coming back to me every year, is worrying me. I am 40, male, very healthy, exercise regularly, BMI around 22-22.5. Would much appreciate your thoughts.
    Thank you

  3. Alfred

    Greetings. I’m Alfred turning 17, I feel that a phlegm is stuck in my throat, sometimes I clear or swollow it, I can’t also breath from my nose sometimes because its blocked. I always trying to blow my nose there is a mucous but it is not sticky it’s just like a cream. I have also two lumps in my neck, (1 is in the right-back portion, and the other is beside of my impulse. When I also speak too much my voice changes. Can someone pls help me, I want to know what is the problem and how it can be solved. Thank you.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Sounds like you have a chronically inflamed (irritated) nasal and throat mucosa. The cause may be allergic or infective.

      The lumps you mentioned in your throat are likely to be swollen lymph nodes. These glands swell up as a reaction to allergies and infections in the ENT region.

      Try taking care of your throat by salt water gargling. Avoid smoking, and drink a lot of water. Read more about caring for your throat.

      You may use a nasal spray (OMNARIS or any other brand), twice a day for 10 to 15 days. This will reduce the secretions produced and give relieve.

      If things don’t get better, antibiotics may be prescribed.

  4. Lee Goldman

    I get this dry tickle on left side of my throat that causes me to cough and sometimes I sneeze. I feel like I have to clear my throa,t so I drink something to get rid of the thick mucous and break it up. Could this be related to my sinus or
    an allergy?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Yes, your symptoms are very likely to be linked with allergic sinusitis. The mucoid secretions produced inside the sinuses, in response to some allergic trigger, have a tendency to drip behind into the throat. These secretions are thick and mucoid in nature.

      The secretions irritate the throat and may cause cough. Are you taking any treatment for sinusitis?

      Treating the underlying cause would heal this throat problem. However, you may read above about measures to manage the thick mucous.

  5. ed vail

    I cannot digest fat and I get chills after eating or even in a warm house. I have been to all the doctors seeking help. None know what is really wrong. A lot of ideas but nothing that helps. I have heard of different diets, but I have lost a lot of weight and cannot get it back. It is really worrying me.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Chills may be due to either of the two reasons.

      The first reason could be that you are taking big sized meals. After the meal, your body requires blood to go to the stomach and intestines to aid digestion. So there is less of blood in the periphery, that is skin. So, you may have a temporary chill feel. Try taking frequent but small sized meals.

      Second, you may be having some infection in your blood that’s giving you the chill. For that, you need to go to the ER and get yourself evaluated. Blood work would be needed.

      Do you have any pain in your stomach or in the middle of your chest? Let us know for a better insight into your problem.

  6. lan

    Hi, I been having front forehead headache, worst in aircon environments. Block nose, my ears mostly the right feels like I am under water. Now I have a lot of discomfort in my throat, feels like phlegm slowly pressing on my windpipe. This causes much concern. I cough sometimes a small amount of sticky white phlegm comes out and when I talk to much my throat ache. I steam my face, take Flixonase, antihistamines. I have seen ent consultant. Finding I should see allergies speacalist. Got rid of my cat change diet vut out dairy.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Sounds like a chronic allergic problems. Look for reasons around you against which you may be allergic. Try removing them from your residing place.

      You may continue with your medications to manage the situation. Also, read above about other home methods to manage the situation.

  7. Virat

    Hello sir,
    My tongue is regularly white coated and I get sour saliva in my mouth. Also, phlegm sticks in my throat. Above all, the major problem is bad breath. My breath get worsen in the morning. Doctor here could not fix the problem as he said there is no problem in my digestion system and my throat is also not infected. Also, I have no problem in breathing in and out. Please suggest how to get rid of this kind of halitosis problem?


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