If you are coughing up brown mucus, you should definitely see a doctor since it might be dangerous.
Coughing up phlegm is a sign of inflammation of the upper respiratory tract due to a cold, allergies, irritants or a more serious sinus, bronchi or lung infections. Our body produces a large amount of phlegm necessary to coat and neutralize any bacteria, virus or irritant that invaded our system. Bouts of persistent cough serve a purpose of evacuating excessive mucus along with foreign invaders.
Coughing up various colors of mucus is a very important symptom your doctor might use to confirm your diagnoses or to provide him with an insight what might be causing your illness. Coughing up green phlegm, for example, could be a sign of a serous bacterial lung or bronchi infection that should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
Before you head to your doctor, pay close attention to coughing up brown mucus. Note whether you cough it up first thing in the morning or your brown phlegm comes out at any time of the day. Observe any other symptoms you might be experiencing like chest pain, fever, shortness of breath or else. It’s important to not take any cough medication if you are coughing up brown mucus not to mask your symptoms that are important for your doctor to find the actual cause of your phlegm problems.
Coughing up brown mucus could mean multiple things depending on the variation in the texture and color of your mucus. If you smoke, your brown mucus is tinted by considerable amount of tobacco particles you inhale every time you take a puff. If your brown mucus is rusty in color, it could contain traces of old blood that can be caused by small capillaries located in bronchi and lungs bursting due to strong bouts of cough.
Black mucus could also be triggered by a vast number of factors like air pollution, work environment, smoking and a possible fungal bronchi or lung inflammation.
Only your doctor is able to give you the actual causes of you coughing up brown mucus after running a series of tests and a thorough examination.