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Scratchy Throat with Blood in Phlegm

Scratchy Throat with Blood in Phlegm

Having a scratchy or sore throat is quite common these days, but it should never be taken lightly. You need to become all the more concerned if you have scratchy throat with blood in phlegm. This HealthHearty article helps you understand what could be the possible causes for the same.
Shalu Bhatti
All of us have had a scratchy throat at some point or the other, in fact, some of us get it every year. The constant 'scratchy' feeling of something being stuck inside the throat can be really annoying, and the worst part is that you can't just take that out of your mind. It is constantly there―when you talk, when you sleep, and even when you wake up in the morning.

It isn't long when you end up waking one fine day only to realize that you also have phlegm built up at the back of your throat, in fact, at times the presence of the phlegm can also be felt and 'heard' by others when you talk! This could probably be due to common infections such as cold and flu. However, if you have been spotting blood when you cough out the phlegm, then you really need to be alarmed. Though this presence of blood in the phlegm can be due to something as minor as allergies, it can also be an indication of some underlying disease that may need immediate medical attention.

What Causes Scratchy Throat with Blood in Phlegm

There could be various reasons as to why you are experiencing this condition. Though cold and flu is likely to be the cause of soreness/scratchiness in your throat, you must avoid 'self diagnosis and treatment' when you are spitting out blood. Mentioned below is a list of possible causes that could be the culprit behind these symptoms.


This is probably the most common cause and is considered to be quite mild in nature. You could have an allergy from pollens, dust, or wood cinders that can irritate and block your airways and lead to scratchiness and bloody sputum. Though there is nothing much to worry about, you never know when an allergy can flare up and cause more than its usual share of trouble. Allergies and infections such as tonsillitis, mononucleosis, and strep throat can get potentially dangerous if not catered to in a timely manner. Your doctor would most likely advice you to use nasal drops and antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

These symptoms may be indicative of acute bronchitis if the soreness started with dry cough and the mucus appeared a few days later. Acute bronchitis is the first thing that your doctor would examine you for, once the allergy part has been ruled out. Usually, fever is not present in this case, or it is very mild.


Pneumonia is more likely to be the reason if the cough and bloody sputum is accompanied with a feeling of heaviness and pain in your chest. Mostly, pneumonia patients also have fever which is often higher than 101°F. Untreated bronchitis may lead to pneumonia.

Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs)

Respiratory tract infections are usually caused by viruses, but bacteria can also instigate these. Other than the ones mentioned earlier in this article, conditions such as tuberculosis, sinusitis, and laryngitis may be the reason behind sore throat and mucus formation. The symptoms of RTIs can also include swollen lymph nodes in the neck and difficulty in swallowing food. However, note that the symptoms are likely to vary based on the kind of RTI.


Yes, the presence of blood in phlegm can be a sign of cancer. It is most likely a symptom of lung cancer, but can also be an indication of cancerous tumors in the throat or tongue. If you have been experiencing additional symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing, wheezing, and noisy breathing, then you need to get alarmed and get yourself checked to rule out this possibility.


Scratchy throat, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding ..., all these are considered as the initial signs of the deadly Ebola virus. You needn't panic if all you have is a soreness in throat, but considering the widespread of this disease, it is best to get yourself checked immediately, especially if you have been traveling overseas.

What to Do

If you have experienced this problem just today, you can try some remedies for scratchy throat for a day or two and see if you feel better. We would suggest you to consult your doctor as soon as you notice the blood. Why take chances through delaying? It is extremely important to visit a doctor if you have been dealing with this problem for more than five days in a row. Various tests including chest X-ray, allergy tests, throat swabs, and blood tests would help chalk out the possible causes. The correct treatment can be done only through accurate diagnosis.

The reasons for experiencing sore throat along with blood in phlegm could be many. The aforementioned are just few of the most common causes attributed to these symptoms. With so many new and unknown viruses emerging from nowhere, it would be a wise call to get a thorough checkup done to minimize the seriousness of what seems to be a "normal cold and flu," especially if it's been bothering you for quite some time. Take care.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Kindly consult a trusted physician for accurate diagnosis.