Know the difference in mucus colour

Did you know that the colour of your mucus can be an indication of your health? With the winter season, an overproduction of mucus is common. It can, however, cause bothersome symptoms like a runny or congested nose, coughing, sore throat and headaches are bound to surface.

“Your lifestyle and environment also play a role in the production of mucus,” says Nicole Jennings, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics. “These include allergens, like pollen, hot, spicy food, dairy products, certain medications, smoking or pollution. Even a dry, indoor environment can be a contributing factor.”

Although mucus and phlegm are both sticky substances produced by the body, they are not the same. Mucus is a thinner secretion that originates from your nose or sinuses, while phlegm is thicker and is produced by the throat and lungs.

Jennings says mucus plays an essential part in our immune system as it acts as a lubricant, which moisturises the tissues in our body and allows us to do things like swallow, blink and clear our bowels.

“It also traps unwanted bacteria, viruses and allergens from entering our bodies and flushes them out. Mucus also fights against infection by facilitating the movement of antibodies or white blood cells to sites of infection and it regulates the body’s microbiome. Although, excessive mucus production can be a bother. Fortunately, there is medication available to assist with thinning the mucus such as Mucofizz 200.

But what do you do when mucus changes from white to yellow or green?

 “When mucus is thin and clear, it’s healthy, but when it changes colour it’s time to see a health care professional,” says Jennings. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Colour of mucus

  • Yellow mucus is a sign of illness.
  • Green mucus is an indication of infection. The mucus appears green because it contains neutrophils, white blood cells that release a greenish enzyme when fighting infections.
  • Blood-tinged or brown mucus is common with upper respiratory infections. The inside of your nose may become irritated and tiny veins may burst from all the blowing. Having a small amount of blood in your mucus is normal, but excessive bleeding is not!

 When to see your doctor

If you show any of the following symptoms, be sure to consult you doctor.

  • You’ve had excess mucus for more than four weeks.
  • Your mucus is getting thicker and increasing in volume.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You’re short of breath.
  • You’re coughing up blood.
  • You’re wheezing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 × 5 =