Phlegm in the Throat Without Coughing: 4 Common Causes

Many people occasionally experience the sensation of having phlegm in the throat without coughing. While not typically a severe symptom, this uncomfortable feeling can cause anxiety and disrupt daily life. This article will help you understand the causes of phlegm in the throat, treatment options, and effective prevention measures.

Symptoms of Phlegm in the Throat Without Cough

Sensation in the Throat: Phlegm can cause a sensation of obstruction, itchiness, or slight soreness in the throat. Although you may not cough frequently, your body may still have the reflex to expel the phlegm.

Color of Phlegm: Phlegm may appear white, clear, yellow, or green. Changes in color can indicate various health issues:

  • White, clear phlegm: Often associated with allergies or the common cold.
  • Yellow, green phlegm: May indicate infection.

Accompanying Symptoms: Other symptoms related to having phlegm in the throat without coughing include:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing

khong-ho-nhung-co-dom-o-co-hong-1 Phlegm-in-the-Throat-Without-Coughing“Phlegm in the Throat Without Coughing” – Difficulty swallowing

  • Postnasal drip (mucus from the nose dripping down the throat)
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose


“Phlegm in the Throat Without Coughing” – stuffy nose, runny nose

  • Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

Causes of Phlegm in the Throat Without Cough

Several factors can lead to this condition:

  • Upper Respiratory Infections:
    • Pharyngitis: Inflammation of the throat lining caused by viruses or bacteria.
    • Tonsillitis: Inflammation of the tonsils located in the throat.


“No cough but phlegm in throat” due to tonsillitis

    • Common Cold: Viral infection causing symptoms like runny nose, increased phlegm production.
  • Allergies: Immune reactions to substances such as pollen, dust, pet dander, which can stimulate phlegm production.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Acid from the stomach refluxes into the esophagus and throat, causing irritation and increased phlegm production.
  • Environmental Pollution, Smoke: Pollutants and tobacco smoke can irritate the respiratory mucosa.


“No cough but phlegm in throat” due to dust pollution

  • Postnasal Drip: Mucus from the nose can flow down the back of the throat.

Treatment for Phlegm in the Throat Without Cough

Treatment depends on identifying the precise cause. After an examination, a doctor may recommend suitable treatments:

  • Medications:
    • Antibiotics: Used if the phlegm is due to bacterial infection.
    • Anti-inflammatory, Pain Relievers: To reduce throat inflammation and pain.
    • Antihistamines: For allergy-related cases.
    • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs): For treating GERD.
  • Home Remedies:
    • Gargling with warm salt water: Helps clean the throat and reduce inflammation.
    • Steam inhalation with essential oils (eucalyptus, tea tree): Helps loosen phlegm and clear airways.
    • Adequate rest, hydration.
    • Using a humidifier: Moisturizes the air, reducing throat irritation.

Prevention of Phlegm in the Throat

  • Avoid allergens: Stay away from pollen, dust, animal dander, etc.
  • Maintain a clean environment: Reduce dust and pollution at home.
  • Nasal hygiene: Wear a mask, rinse your nose with saline solution.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Boost immunity through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  • Early treatment of GERD: If diagnosed with this condition.

When to See a Doctor

In most cases, phlegm in the throat without coughing will improve in a few days. However, you should see a doctor if:

  • Phlegm does not decrease after 1-2 weeks of home treatment.
  • Phlegm contains blood.
  • High fever, difficulty breathing.
  • Symptoms worsen.

Common Questions about Phlegm in the Throat Without Cough

Is having phlegm in the throat without coughing dangerous?

  • Answer: Usually, this condition is not a sign of a serious issue. However, if phlegm persists, has unusual color (dark yellow, green, or contains blood), or is accompanied by high fever and difficulty breathing, you should consult a doctor.

What does yellow/green phlegm indicate?

  • Answer: Yellow or green phlegm typically indicates the presence of immune cells fighting an infection, such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, or other respiratory conditions. Consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

How can I expel phlegm from my throat?

  • Answer: Safe methods to loosen and expel phlegm include:
    • Gargling with warm salt water multiple times a day.
    • Steam inhalation with hot water or essential oils.
    • Drinking warm fluids, herbal teas.
    • Using a humidifier.

Can GERD cause phlegm in the throat without coughing?

  • Answer: Yes, GERD can be a cause. Stomach acid reflux irritates the throat, increasing phlegm production to protect the mucosa. Symptoms of GERD also include heartburn, acid regurgitation, and chest pain.

Is phlegm in the throat a sign of cancer?

  • Answer: While prolonged phlegm, especially if bloody, can be a symptom in some cancer cases (e.g., throat or lung cancer), these are relatively rare. Consult a doctor for comprehensive evaluation instead of self-diagnosing.

Scientific Evidence on Phlegm in the Throat Without Cough


  • Upper Respiratory Infections: Studies by the American Institute of Medicine show pharyngitis is a common cause of throat phlegm.
  • Tonsillitis: Research in the American Journal of Pediatrics indicates bacterial or viral tonsillitis often results in throat phlegm.
  • Common Cold: Mayo Clinic notes viral colds can cause symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, cough, and increased phlegm.
  • Allergies: According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, respiratory allergies from pollen, dust, and pet dander can trigger phlegm production.
  • GERD: The American Journal of Internal Medicine links GERD with symptoms like heartburn and increased throat phlegm.


  • Antibiotics: U.S. guidelines recommend antibiotics only for bacterial throat infections.
  • NSAIDs: Mayo Clinic suggests NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen for reducing pain and inflammation in conditions like pharyngitis or tonsillitis.
  • Antihistamines: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends antihistamines like loratadine or cetirizine for reducing allergy symptoms and phlegm.
  • PPIs: The American Journal of Internal Medicine endorses PPIs like omeprazole or lansoprazole for reducing stomach acid and alleviating GERD symptoms.


  • Hand Hygiene: CDC emphasizes frequent handwashing to prevent the spread of viruses causing colds and flu.
  • Avoid Sick Contacts: Mayo Clinic advises minimizing contact with individuals who have colds, flu, or other infections.
  • Clean Environment: Keeping living spaces clean and well-ventilated reduces allergens and pollutants.
  • Boost Immunity: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep enhance overall immunity.


While phlegm in the throat without coughing is not a serious health issue, recognizing and properly addressing it can prevent discomfort and potential complications.


Kiểm Duyệt Nội Dung

Ban Biên Tập | Website

More than 10 years of marketing communications experience in the medical and health field.

Successfully deployed marketing communication activities, content development and social networking channels for hospital partners, clinics, doctors and medical professionals across the country.

More than 6 years of experience in organizing and producing leading prestigious medical programs in Vietnam, in collaboration with Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV). Typical programs include Nhật Ký Blouse Trắng, Bác Sĩ Nói Gì, Alo Bác Sĩ Nghe, Nhật Ký Hạnh Phúc, Vui Khỏe Cùng Con, Bác Sỹ Mẹ, v.v.

Comprehensive cooperation with hundreds of hospitals and clinics, thousands of doctors and medical experts to join hands in building a medical content and service platform on the Doctor Network application.

Share this post

Most Viewed Posts
Recent Posts

Related News