Coughing Up Blood (Hemoptysis): What's Causes It?
Coughing up blood, also known as Hemoptysis, is blood coming out of the lungs when you cough. So why does it happen? Let's see together.
Coughing up blood, called hemoptysis, is when you cough up blood from the lungs.
Hemoptysis can be caused by infections, cancer, and problems with the blood vessels in the lung. If you do not have bronchitis and you have a sudden onset of coughing and bleeding from your mouth, you should see a doctor immediately.
In some cases, doctors can't find a cause, but the hemoptysis usually goes away within 6 months.
Hemoptysis is divided into types based on how much blood you cough up in 24 hours. But in some cases it can be difficult to tell.
Massive Hemoptysis (Life Threatening)
Different experts have different guidelines on what this type encompasses. They range from 100 milliliters (mL) of blood to over 600 mL, or about a pint.
Non-Massive Hemoptysis (Non-life-threatening)
This is also known as moderate or submassive hemoptysis. You may cough up 20 to 200 mL (about a glass) of blood.
Mild Hemoptysis (Insufficient)
You cough less than 20 mL, less than a tablespoon.
Causes of Hemoptysis
Many things can cause you to cough up blood. The most common causes are;
- Lung cancer
- Damaged air ducts due to cystic fibrosis
Other causes of hemoptysis;
- Heart failure
- Drug use
- Foreign bodies in the air ducts
- Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions
- Lung abscess
- Noncancerous lung tumors
- Parasitic infection
- Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations
- pulmonary embolism
- Some injurious accidents
- Use of blood thinners
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hemoptysis
Acute bronchitis typically gets better on its own without treatment. If you have bronchitis and you see a small amount of blood in the mucus for less than a week, it's okay to watch and wait. However, if you have these symptoms or complaints, you should definitely see your doctor;
- Severe and worsening blood lasting more than a week
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Sweating at night
- High fever
- Shortness of breath
Treatment for hemoptysis depends on how much blood you spit and what's causing it.