If you have ever coughed up mucus and blood, you know how alarming it can be. Coughing up blood is the spitting up of blood or bloody mucus from the lungs and throat, also called hemoptysis. How do you know when you should be alarmed and when you may fine with home remedies? The seriousness of the situation will depend on the amount of blood being coughed up and the length of time that the coughing occurs. In any case, it is best to never totally ignore it.
Most people may be inclined to take the wait and see approach, so they wait to see if the blood is present the next time they cough up some mucus. If the next time they cough up some mucus and there’s no blood in it they will choose to not seek help. This could be a mistake as sometimes symptoms do not occur right away as in many cases of lung cancer.
Coughing up blood is not the same as bleeding from the mouth, throat, or gastrointestinal tract. Blood that you cough up often is mixed with air and mucus giving it a bubbly appearance, and may be bright red or rust in color.
Bloody mucus can come from common forms of infection in the lungs and airways, such as acute bronchitis or pneumonia, but it can also come from a more serious condition including cancer of the lungs. It can also be from a minor cut in your mouth or a minor throat irritation, which is not the same as coughing up blood.
Because there is such a wide range of possible underlying conditions that may cause one to cough up blood and mucus, it is important to seek medical attention when it occurs.
The most common reasons for the symptoms of hemoptysis may include: smoking, bronchitis and pneumonia, throat irritation due to excessive coughing, tuberculosis, trauma to the chest, foreign particles in the lungs, or injury to the arteries or lungs.
You should plan to see a doctor if you are coughing up blood and mucus for longer than a week, appears to be getting worst, or comes and goes over a period of time. Watch for other symptoms as well including chest pain, weight loss, excessive sweating at night, you have a fever of 101 degrees or higher, and shortness of breath while doing your normal activities.