When phlegm builds up in the chest, it can be hard to get rid of by coughing, so it’s helpful to have something that helps to loosen the phlegm and relieve the feeling of tightness on your chest. A phlegm cough can also be referred to as a chesty cough.
Chesty coughs are caused by a build-up of phlegm or mucus in the lungs. The cough mechanism kicks in to try and get rid of it. A chesty cough can also be referred to as a phlegm cough.
Dry coughs are caused by an inflammation of the upper airways caused by dust, foreign bodies or a throat infection. There is no mucus or phlegm produced.
Some coughs are dry, while others are considered productive because they bring up phlegm. Phlegm is produced by the body and has protective, lubricating and disease preventing properties. When you get a cold your body produces excess phlegm that you can then struggle to get rid of.
To fight an infection the body produces extra phlegm – the phlegm becomes thicker and coloured because it contains debris from white cells in the body that are fighting infection. Catarrh and mucus are terms often used to describe this thicker phlegm.
Broadly speaking, coughs are either productive (producing excess phlegm or mucus) or unproductive (producing no phlegm or mucus).
Chesty coughs and phlegm coughs are productive, whereas dry coughs are unproductive.