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I've been waking up congested. Two weeks ago, I started having a phlegmy cough. I am not sick. Is this because of allergies? What can help with these symptoms?

A phlegmy cough is typically any cough that produces a lot of mucus. It may feel like there is something stuck in the back of your throat or your chest. Some common causes include:

Some general treatments for phlegmy cough and thick mucus include:

If you have allergies, antihistamines and topical nasal steroids can be effective treatments. If you have asthma, use medicines as prescribed by your doctor. In some cases, antibiotics are needed for bacterial respiratory infections. If you smoke cigarettes, consider smoking cessation programs.

Allergy, Asthma, Nasal Allergy (Rhinitis), Symptoms
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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@Mary MM medicine can be so expensive sometimes (especially if your insurance won't cover it). There are different programs that may offer financial assistance for asthma medicines. You can find more information, here: Drug Assistance Programs. We also have a blog with helpful tips: What to Do If You Can't Afford Your Asthma Medicines.

There's also the United Way (dial 2-1-1) hotline that I like to share. You can speak with a navigator who can connect you to local resources. There may be programs in your area with emergency funds or assistance programs as well.

I hope this helps!


@Candy, I'm similar to you with the Flovent & voice at least from year round allergies.  PND 24 hrs. a day with mild sore throat.  Nothing changes either.  It's frustrating not sounding like yourself when you talk, but that's better than when it coats your vocal cords & words won't come out at all.  I've had both for about 3 yrs. now; the Dr. doesn't know anything to help.  She says all looks well, so just stay hydrated & gargle w/ saltwater 2-3 times a day.  As far as the Flovent, I've tried this whole yr. to get Humana Medicare to let me get it to no avail.  They let me get one for $95, then let me get one generic  for also $95.  Totally ridiculous.  @Moe told me I could get the generic without using my insurance at Walgreens for $118, which I can't afford.  If you can afford it, I'd go there.  Otherwise, you can do what I'm in process of doing.  I'm now going to get it from Canada.  My Dr. office told me about Simplefill, which is for people like me that either can't get their meds or can't afford the price they're being charged.  I signed up with them last wk. & will get a 2 mo. supply for $184.  And that is the brand Flovent not the generic.  This whole thing makes me feel like I'm doing something illegal having to do it this way, but this is the only choice I have for now.  I really hope one of these options work for you!


I also have this. It’s not my asthma as it’s well controlled with Flovent. At least now since I can’t get it anymore. I’ve had this since August of 2022 when I had covid and a very bad cold. Then two rounds of a bronchitis like thing but worse than that. It’s affected my voice as well. I’ve seen an ENT who prescribed antibiotics due to sinus issues which helped a little. And Neilmed nasal irritation. But I’m still back to nasal and throat issues. And I can’t get my normal voice back. It’s not fun.

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