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What are the Most Common Causes of Phlegm in the Lungs?

By K. Gierok
Updated Jan 29, 2024
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Phlegm in the lungs often results in a productive cough, and it is typically linked to a number of conditions. One of its most common causes is pneumonia, but it can also be caused by allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and AIDS-related pulmonary infections. Those who have been previously diagnosed with AIDS and who are currently experiencing a cough that produces phlegm should consult with their health care team in order to avoid serious complications.

One of the most common causes of phlegm in the lungs is pneumonia. Pneumonia is commonly defined as lung inflammation, and it is often caused through exposure to various viruses or types of bacteria. In some cases, however, pneumonia can also develop due to a yeast infection. As pneumonia symptoms become more and more severe, the amount of phlegm that builds up in the lungs rises dramatically. Despite popular belief, pneumonia does not only occur in the fall or winter, but can actually develop at any time. In addition to high amounts of lung phlegm, other common symptoms associated with this illness include a chronic cough and generalized weakness.

Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is another condition that is commonly linked to the development of high amounts of phlegm in the lungs. This condition occurs in patients who develop an allergic reaction to the fungus known as aspergillus, which can easily move through the air. Patients who have been diagnosed with this condition may also cough up small, brown flakes in addition to phlegm. The development of an allergic reaction to aspergillus can be hard to avoid, as it is commonly found in dead leaves, trees, compost, and other types of plants. In addition, it is also found in heating ducts, air conditioners, and even carpets.

In some cases, phlegm in the lungs may be caused by various pulmonary infections, which are typically related to AIDS. Those who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS and who develop a pulmonary infection may initially experience a dry cough, but as the condition develops, high amounts of phlegm begin to build in the lungs. Some of the most common types of AIDS-related pulmonary infections include tuberculosis, lung tumors, pneumocystitis pneumonia, and mycobaterium avium complex. Individuals who have been diagnosed with AIDS and who experience an increase in lung phlegm should seek medical attention immediately to prevent further complications of the condition.

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