why is my mucus white and thick
ItБs not uncommonбwhen you develop a hacking cough from deep down in your lungsбto cough up a gel-like substance known as phlegm, or sputum. While you may think nothing of it, simply associating it with your sickness, the color of the mucus can tell you some things about the pathogens invading your body. The body is a mucus-making machine, producing about, even when youБre healthy. БIn health, phlegm/mucus is mostly clear and minimal,Б, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center,бtold
Medical Daily in an email. БIf you are coughing up significant amounts of phlegm you could have an infection or allergies. Б Read More:б Coughing Up Blood: 5 Possible Causes, And What To Do While coughing up only a little clear phlegm is considered normal, б of phlegm may indicate a developing infection. This occurs as a result of the respiratory tract becoming inflamed, which also leads to coughing. In turn, this coughing speeds up the rate for which the б affects a person. So, now that weБve gotten clear phlegm out of the way, what do other colors of phlegm mean for our health? Coughing up white or gray phlegm is often an indication of an upper respiratory tract infection or sinus congestion. Dr. Steveб Okhravi, an emergency physician and founder of and, says this type of phlegm drains from the sinuses. БNormally, your sinus doesn't drip, but when there's inflammation, either viral or bacterial, it can cause a drip from your sinus into your throat,Б he told Medical Daily in an email. You might have heard consuming dairy products can cause white mucus to develop. This isnБt true. However, dairy can make it thicker, and therefore more troublesome for the body to drain. This causes the mucus to stagnate and dry out, leading to a white discharge.
Meanwhile, coughing up gray phlegm may be a sign that the body is trying to get rid of resins or tars that accumulated from excessive smoking or inhalation of large amounts of air pollutants like smog or dust. Read: A thick and dark yellow phlegm may be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, sinus infection, or lower respiratory tract infection. Typically, this occurs when the immune system sends white blood cells, known as, to the area of infection. These cells contain a green protein, which, when present in large quantities, turn the mucus into a greenish hue. A 2011 published in the European Respiratory Journal, however, found that green or yellow phlegm does not always signify an infection. After some tests, researchers found only 59 of every 100 samples of green phlegm contained bacteria while only 46 out of every 100 samples of yellow phlegm contained bacteria. БContrary to popular belief, having greenish mucus does not necessarily mean you have a bacterial infection,Б Exline said. Read More:б Chronic Throat Clearing Damages Your Vocal Cords People who smoke tend to produce more brown phlegm, which often comes out combined with saliva in a grainy texture. Excessive smoking can cause phlegm to turn brown because of all the resin, tar, and other particulate matter in cigarettes, which the body tries to cough back up, according to Exline. When cigarettes arenБt the culprit, people may cough up brown phlegm because of the foods theyБre eating, including chocolate, coffee, and red wine. Pink-colored phlegm is anything but pretty. Coughing up pink phlegm is an indicator of pulmonary edema, also known as fluid in the lungs. It can also be a sign of bleeding when seen in small amounts, which show up as a stain or streak.
This type of phlegm can also have a frothy texture, which usually occurs in people with pre-existing heart problems, according to the UKБs. Blood found in phlegm is known as haemoptysis, while streaks of blood in phlegm is a benign sign of bronchitis. Coughing up a significant amount of blood could also be a sign of tuberculosis, pneumonia, cancer, or,. If thereБs excessive bleeding, more blood than phlegm, or it doesnБt stop, you should seek medical attention immediately because it could mean youБre dealing with a more serious health problem. See Also: The Bestб Medications For Every Common Cold Symptom Why Spicy Food Causes A Runny Nose can be downright disgusting. When provided in large abundance as is often with a cold or allergies, it can be thick, uncomfortable and annoying. But, nasal mucus does play an important role within the body. points out that itвs a protective substance that coats the membranes of the airways. And, itвs incredibly useful for keeping things that are bad out of the nose (and preventing it from going elsewhere) such as dirt and bacteria. In fact, nasal mucus is a friendly bodily product. Sometimes, can change from clear in color to other shades. White mucus in nose areas is the most common, but green to yellow can appear as well. Most of the time, when the color changes to white, itвs indicative of a common cold. White mucus discharge can actually have no cause and be perfectly normal in some people. points out that regular nose mucus can be white in color and can appear bubbly. Of course, it can also be a very common symptom of a cold, (normally caused by a virus) although areas is also characteristic of colds. Typically, when illness is present, the quantity of white mucus discharge increases and the texture can change into more of a thicker and stickier consistency.
Irritation of the nose can also cause a rapid increase in mucus output, as well as a thickening and color changing phenomenon. simply refers to inflammation of the sinuses, and is incredibly common. It can be caused by environmental stimulants such as chemical fumes from household cleaners, or cigarette. Allergies can also produce their own form of rhinitis, whereby allergic nuisances create swelling. This can create an obstruction sort of problem that can lead to more white mucus in nose areas, as the resulting swelling makes it more difficult for the mucus to travel where it normally does (via swallowing). Interestingly enough, this same obstruction issue can be present during a throat infection or sore throat as well. Of course, since the pathway out for nasal mucus straight down, a swollen throat can lead it to hung up mucus, according to Dr. Oz. When this mucus is accompanied by coughing up, might be to blame. Regardless of the source of throat irritation, white mucus then can remain in the nasal area, without being able to use its normal escape route, thus leading to excess amounts of it in the sinus region. Thankfully, treating white mucus in nose areas is often much less simpler than pinpointing the exact cause. And, because there can be other symptoms associated with a buildup of white mucus in the nose; remedies are often multi faceted approaches to all over relief. However, it starts with reducing the amount of nasal mucus that is hanging around. One of the most popular remedies is to simply use a decongestant. These effective, over the counter remedies can be very handy for reducing the amount of perceived mucus in the nose, but they do tend to be heavy on the side effects. Many produce stimulant like reactions and can even bring about a case of the jitters.
Conversely, some produce excessive drowsiness, and may not be appropriate for use during all times of the day. Alternative remedies are often just as effective if not more so than traditional medicinal relief. For instance, a Neti Pot can be incredibly amazing at reducing the amount of nasal mucus residing in the sinuses. When used properly, it can provide better and faster relief than some decongestants. Along the same vein, humidifiers and vaporizers, according to, can also be useful tools to combat congestion caused from thick white mucus in nose areas. And, interestingly enough, fluid intake can help play a role in the ultimate consistency of the white mucus. When hydration levels are low, it can contribute to a sticker and thicker mucus consistency. Conversely, maintaining adequate fluid intake when white mucus is near can actually help to thin it out, making it easier to be rid from. A salt water saline spray can also be very effective at reducing white mucus in nose areas, although its effects are rarely long lasting. Avoid the use of over the counter remedies for same, they can be incredibly addictive. But, salt water provides gentle relief without creating a nasal spray dependency. Of course, when excessive, bothersome or accompanied by other troubling symptoms aside from those common with a cold, it is wise to see a health care professional. There are innumerous causes of white mucus in nose areas, and while most are common and hardly serious, chronic recurrences and increasing severity can signal other health concerns. However, for day to day management of snow colored nasal mucus, consider natural remedies and an avoidance of triggers if not virus related for gentle and effective relief.
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