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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I am constantly gagging and bringing up phlegm. What can this be?

    I am a 20 years old female. I have had this problem ongoing for a couple of years now. It has got to the stage where I am constantly gagging up yellow phlegm with brown spots. Its very thick. It comes up more so when my throat is dry. If I talk alot for example, I can feel it come up to the back of my throat. It is smelly and gives me bad breath. I have used prescribed nasal spray, sinex sprays, vitamin c and garlic tablets but nothing has cleared it. I have taken antibiotics everytime it develops into a chest infection and it is getting worse every week. When I exercise it will come up excessively after I have finished a work out. Can someone please help me?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 5


    Nikki Martin

    Speech Pathologist

    I have over 13 years experience in adult Speech Pathology and specialise in voice and swallowing problems/cancers of the face and throat. I work very … View Profile

    You could have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) which is also sometimes referred to as ‘Silent Reflux’. LPR causes stomach contents to come up (often silently ie. no symptoms/feelings) to the throat. It therefore irritates the throat (can cause gagging) and it thickens the mucous in the back of your throat (that is there to lubricate your vocal folds ie. completely normal). Go to an ENT and have a nasendoscopy. If you do have LPR, they may put you on medication. It's also good to see a Speech Pathologist to eliminate foods/fluids that trigger the LPR and you may also be having issues with your voice. Contact me if you would like any further information.

    Nikki Martin
    Speech Pathologist

  • 1


    Dr David McIntosh

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    David McIntosh is an Australian trained ENT surgeon with international experience. His areas of interest are paediatrics, nose and sinus disease, and providing access to … View Profile

    You may have reflux, and I support Nikki's suggestion if seeing an ENT as you may other things such as sinusitis, adenoiditis, tonsillitis that cause similar symptoms. 

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