Can Asthma Make You Cough Up Phlegm?



Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which can cause symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. While coughing is a common symptom of asthma, many people with the condition also experience coughing up phlegm. In this article, we will explore the relationship between asthma and phlegm and answer the question “Can asthma make you cough up phlegm?”

What is Phlegm?

Phlegm is a thick, sticky substance that is produced by the respiratory system in response to infection or inflammation. It is made up of mucus, dead cells, and other debris that are trapped in the airways. Phlegm is usually coughed up from the lungs and throat and can be a sign of a respiratory infection, allergies, or asthma.

What Causes Phlegm in Asthma?

When a person with asthma experiences an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed and narrow, making it difficult to breathe. This inflammation can cause the production of excess mucus, which can lead to the coughing up of phlegm. Additionally, asthma can cause the airways to produce more mucus than usual, even when a person is not experiencing an asthma attack.

Is Coughing Up Phlegm a Sign of Severe Asthma?

Coughing up phlegm is not necessarily a sign of severe asthma. However, it can be a sign that a person’s asthma is not well-controlled. If a person with asthma is coughing up phlegm regularly, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.

How is Phlegm Treated in Asthma?

The treatment of phlegm in asthma depends on the severity of the symptoms. In some cases, medications such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and mucus production in the airways. In other cases, lifestyle changes such as avoiding triggers and quitting smoking may be recommended.

Can Phlegm in Asthma be Prevented?

While it may not be possible to completely prevent phlegm in asthma, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of experiencing this symptom. These include taking medications as prescribed by a healthcare provider, avoiding triggers that can worsen asthma symptoms, and practicing good respiratory hygiene such as washing hands frequently and avoiding close contact with individuals who have respiratory infections.


In conclusion, coughing up phlegm is a common symptom of asthma that can be caused by inflammation and mucus production in the airways. While it may not necessarily be a sign of severe asthma, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider if this symptom is experienced regularly. With proper treatment and management, individuals with asthma can live healthy and active lives with minimal symptoms.