What Does The Colour Of My Phlegm Mean
The colour of your phlegm can change when youre ill.
If you feel unwell and youre worried because your phlegms a different colour or thickness than usual, speak to your doctor. They might look at or test a sample of your phlegm to find out more.
Everyones phlegm looks different and it isnt a completely accurate guide to whats going on in your body. But here’s a general guide to what different colours of phlegm mean:
A bit of white or clear phlegm every now and then is completely normal.
However, if youre producing lots ofwhite or clear phlegm, it could be a sign that your airways are inflamed and your asthma symptoms might be getting worse.
Its worth remembering that your airways include the nose and sinuses, as well as your throat. It may be that the mucus youre coughing up has moved from your nose or sinuses to the back of your throat or chest. If you get symptoms in your nose and sinuses such as mucus, sneezing or an itchy or blocked nose speak to your GP or pharmacist about how you can treat this. Treating your nose and sinuses can improve your asthma symptoms too.
Your preventer inhaler is the number one way to deal with this, as long as youre taking it as prescribed by your doctor or nurse.
If youve been taking your preventer but nothings improving, see your doctor or asthma nurse. They might need to change your medication or help you manage your triggers or allergies, like hay fever.
Yellow or green phlegm
Streaked red phlegm
How Can I Get Rid Of Mucus
People with chronic sinus problems who are constantly blowing their noses understandably want the goo gone. Over-the-counter antihistamines and are one way to do this. Decongestants cause the blood vessels in the lining of the nose to narrow, reducing blood flow to the area, so you’re less congested and you produce less mucus.
Decongestants are fine for when you can’t breathe due to a cold, but they’re not so good for thick mucus in general. “The reason is the decongestants dry you up and they make the mucus thick, and often the opposite effect happens because you feel like you have thick mucus,” Johns explains. So you take more decongestants and get into a vicious mucus-producing cycle. Decongestants also have side effects, which include dizziness, nervousness, and high blood pressure.
Antihistamines block or limit the action of histamines, those substances triggered by allergic reactions that cause the tissue in the nose to swell up and release more, thinner mucus . The main side effect of older antihistamines is drowsiness. They also can cause dry mouth, dizziness, and headache.
You can also thin out the mucus with guaifenesin, a type of medicine called an expectorant. Thinner mucus is easier to get out of the body. Possible side effects of guaifenesin are dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Can Allergies Cause Nose Bleeds
- Posted on: Jan 21 2021
- Ariana Salazar
Your writer, a sufferer of some light environmental allergies, will never forget sitting in history class one cold morning after weeks of dry winter weather and dust inhalation had taken their toll. All it took was one simple sneeze to send out a spray of bright red bloodnot to mention a few quickly forgiven expletivesand prompt a shambling run for the exit.
Nosebleeds can be inconvenient, embarrassing, or even panic-inducing, and they quite often seem to attend allergic reactions that affect the respiratory system. But can allergies cause nose bleeds? Absolutely. Lets learn more about why and how nose bleeds from allergies occur.
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Talk With A Doctor Or Clinician To Create A Personalized Treatment Plan
If you arent sure if its a cold or allergies, or if your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, its best to connect with a care provider to get an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
If your allergy symptoms are left untreated, you could become more prone to getting sinus infections or other upper respiratory infections, or may lead to poor asthma control.
Also, a common cold can turn severe. So, if your cold has had you laid up longer than a day or two, get in touch with your doctor.
You have a couple options:
Make an appointment for face-to-face care from a primary care doctor or clinician. Whether you choose a video visit or in-person appointment, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer questions and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan including connecting you with an allergist or an otolaryngologist if needed.
Start a virtual visit anytime, anyplace through Virtuwell. With Virtuwell, no appointment is necessary and treatment is available 24/7. Getting started is easy. Well ask you a few questions, and youll get your diagnosis and treatment plan from a board-certified nurse practitioner. Each visit is just $59 or less, depending on your insurance.
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How Can I Clear Phlegm In My Cough
Getting Basic Care Clear phlegm or mucus from your throat by coughing. If an excess of mucus has made its home in your throat, its okay to evict it by coughing it up. Gargle with warm water and salt. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of lukewarm or warm water. Drink plenty of liquids during the day.
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Why So Thick Why So Green
When the white blood cells in the mucosa encounter an irritant or infectious organism, they respond by producing enzymes to repel the invaders. These enzymes contain iron, and thats what gives the nasal discharge the green color. And if the mucus sits around , it becomes more concentrated and so may appear darker yellow or green. This is the natural order of things, whether the offending agent is a virus or a bacterium.
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What If The Snot Texture Changes
The actual texture of your snot has a lot to do with its moisture content. Nasal mucus that flows freely has more water content than snot that is hard. In some cases, drinking more water may help thin your mucus. Changes in texture can happen throughout the duration of an illness.
Watery discharge from the nose may be a warning sign of a cerebrospinal fluid leak. A leak happens when theres a tear in the membranes surrounding your brain, likely from injury or certain medical conditions, like .
Other symptoms of a CSF leak include:
- sensitivity to light or sound
- positional headaches for example, you may feel more pain while sitting up versus lying down
If you suspect you may have a CSF leak, seek medical attention.
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What Does A Sinus Infection Look Like
A sinus infection develops when the lining of the sinus cavities becomes irritated and inflamed, preventing proper mucus drainage and airflow. When mucus builds up in the nasal or sinus passages it becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, which can lead to an infection.
Sinusitis symptoms like nasal blockage and facial pain can be frustrating, especially when they continue for long periods of time or return frequently. Common symptoms of sinus infection include:
- Dental pain
- Pus in the nasal cavity
It is possible to start out with a cold, and later end up with a sinus infection because of the lack of drainage caused by cold symptoms. Root causes of a sinus infection include:
- Cold or virus
When a sinus infection appears quickly, produces green or yellow colored mucus, and lasts for up to two weeks, it is usually acute sinusitis. When symptoms last for many weeks or return frequently, this is usually a sign of chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis will often resolve itself by treating the symptoms of swelling and congestion, without a visit to a doctor. If symptoms carry on and you think you may have chronic sinusitis, seeing an experienced ENT doctor is the best way to determine the root cause of your sinus issues and get the right treatment.
Weakened Immune System While Pregnant
During pregnancy the immune system is very much lowered, so dont be much surprised if you catch various coughs.
See you doctor if you have:
- A very persistent cough or youre bringing up a fluid especially when you cough
- You might also feel very much sick
- You are also experiencing a temperature that keeps rising even after taking paracetamol
- You are experiencing a high temperature, coughing up the green mucus in nose, and generally feel much unwell.
All these symptoms might be an indication that a person has a chest infection. The doctor is able to prescribe various antibiotics. If the chest infection is left much untreated, it may affect the unborn baby.
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Differentiating A Cold From Allergies
A cold is a viral infection that affects your nose and throat, or the upper respiratory system. In order to catch a cold, you must be in contact with someone else who has oneoften times your kids, spouse, or someone else in your home. Common symptoms of a cold that dont usually apply to allergies include:
- Body aches and chills
- Sore throat
Allergies, meanwhile, are often associated with the spring and summer, as this is when you are exposed to pollen, grass, and other common allergens . Common symptoms of allergies that dont apply to a cold include:
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Watery eyes
- Post nasal drip, or excess mucus that forms in the back of the nose and throat
As previously mentioned, you can experience a runny or congested nose with both a cold and allergies as well as a cough due to post nasal drip. Furthermore, a cold can lead you to develop pink eye, an infection or inflammation on the outer membrane of the eye and inner eyelid, which can be confused with the itchy and watery eyes you experience with allergies. In these cases, try to evaluate your other symptoms to help determine whether you have a cold or allergies. Make sure to speak to your doctor if youre still having trouble differentiating the two.
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How Would I Know Why I Am Coughing Up Blood
Coughing up blood may be caused by various conditions that may range from mild to serious. To know the exact cause of coughing up blood, you need to consult a doctor. Your doctor may ask details about coughing up blood such as since when you are having it, how much blood you cough up, and whether you have other complaints such as breathlessness, fever, and chest pain. They may also ask about your history of taking any medications or smoking.
To diagnose the cause of coughing up blood, your doctor may ask the following tests to be done:
- Computed tomography scan of the chest
- Sputum examinations such as microscopy or culture to look for infections
- Lung scan
- Lung biopsy
- Blood counts
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When Can Mucus In The Stools Be Dangerous
In most cases, mucus in the stool is not a dangerous situation and is easily treatable. However, if the excess mucus appears associated with other symptoms such as:
- Bloody or pussy stools
- Exaggerated abdominal swelling
- Constant diarrhea
It is recommended to consult gastroenterologist. Since it can be early symptoms of more serious illnesses like ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease and even cancer.
What Does Frothy Phlegm Mean
Moving beyond colors now: Is your phlegm frothy? Another word for this texture is mucoid. White and frothy phlegm may be another sign of COPD. This may also change to yellow or green if you end up getting a chest infection.
Is it both pink and frothy? This combination may mean you are experiencing congestive heart failure in a late stage. If you have this condition along with extreme shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain, call your local emergency services immediately.
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When To Visit Your Doctor About Phlegm
If you are not feeling unwell, and the phlegm is clear, yellow or green then it is safe to wait to see if this clears by itself before seeking medical advice. However, if you see bloodstained sputum, or any shade of red, black or brown phlegm then contact your health professional. If coughing phlegm up is associated with or weight loss, seek urgent medical advice.
In general, see your doctor if you are not improving, having thick, dark or bloodstained phlegm, have a persistently raised temperature over 38 degrees C, have breathing problems or feel generally unwell.
Sniffle Detective: 5 Ways To Tell Colds From Allergies
Seasonal allergies and colds share some common symptoms, so it may be hard to tell the two apart.
Both conditions typically involve sneezing, a runny nose and congestion. There are some differences, though. Additionally, colds usually include coughing and a sore throat, but these symptoms can also occur in people with hay fever who have post-nasal drip. Itchy eyes are common for seasonal allergies, but rare for colds.
Colds and seasonal allergies seem very similar in many ways, said Dr. Rima Rachid, director of allergen immunotherapy at Boston Childrens Hospital. Its the duration and chronicity of symptoms that might help tell the difference, she explained.
Its not unusual for parents and even doctors to confuse cold and seasonal allergy symptoms, Rachid told Live Science.
Young children frequently get colds, and their parents may not always think of seasonal allergies as the reason for kids constantly drippy noses. Seasonal allergies may first show up in a child at around ages 4 to 6, but they can also begin at any age after that, Rachid said.
And genetics play a role: People with one parent who has any type of allergy have a 1 in 3 chance of developing an allergy, Rachid said. When both parents have allergies, their children have a 7 in 10 chance of developing allergies, too.
Here are five signs to look for to determine whether symptoms are due to seasonal allergies or a cold.
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What You Can Do At Home
To control or loosen mucus at home, you can try the following remedies:
Drink lots of fluids. Drink plenty of water and other fluids, but not things that can dehydrate you, such as coffee and alcohol.
Humidify. Try a cool mist humidifier or hop into a steamy shower to keep your airways moisturized.
Dont smoke or vape anything. Whether from tobacco or , smoke is an irritant and can cause your body to make more mucus.
Try a teaspoon of honey. Though honey doesnt get rid of mucus, it can calm your cough temporarily.
Check air filters. Other irritants in the air can make mucus production worse, so make sure your heating and cooling system filters are clean and up to date.
Take an expectorant. Some cough medicines contain guaifenesin, which loosens mucus so you can cough it up.
So When Is It Really Called Bacterial Sinusitis
The clinical diagnosis of acute bacterial sinusitis is based solely on history. In order to make a diagnosis of acute bacterial sinusitis, there should be nasal discharge and a cough for 10-14 days without improvement or severe respiratory symptoms with pus-like nasal discharge and a fever of > 102F for 3-4 days.
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Foods That Relieve Or Cause Throat Mucus
Nutrition can play a role in throat mucus, too. Some foods can actually contribute to throat mucus and other foods can help relieve it. Although every person is different and may have their own unique triggers, here are some of the common foods to avoid with mucus in the throat, and foods to enjoy as they can help reduce mucus.
Foods that cause excessive mucus production:
- Dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese
- High-fat red meat and processed meat
- Gluten products especially in people with a gluten allergy
- Caffeine particularly the variety found in soda
- Fruits and vegetables, like bananas, cabbage, and potatoes
Foods that relieve mucus:
- Fruits and vegetables like garlic, celery, onions, parsley, winter squash, berries, oranges, greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and peppers
- Chicken soup
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You Likely Have A Cold If
These are some of the most common signs that you have a head cold:
- Mucus Color and Texture: When you blow your nose, if you notice that the mucus is thickening or changing color, then the congestion is probably caused by a cold. The immune response within your body can cause the mucus to turn yellow or green, and it thickens up.
- Other Symptoms: The runny nose and congestion are present along with other symptoms, such as a fever, cough, body aches, headache, and SORE THROAT from drainage.
- Changing Symptoms: It is common for the symptoms of a cold to change every few days. For example, it often starts as a sore throat, which eventually leads to a fever and stuffy nose a few days into the illness.
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What Does Brown Phlegm Mean
Brown phlegm is commonly caused by:
Bacterial pneumonia:This form of can produce phlegm that is green-brown or rust-colored.
Bacterial bronchitis: This condition can produce rusty brown sputum as it progresses. Chronic bronchitis may also be a possibility. You may be more at risk for developing chronic bronchitis if you or are often exposed to fumes and other irritants.
Cystic fibrosis: This chronic lung disease may cause rust-colored sputum.
Pneumoconiosis: Inhaling different dusts, like coal, , and can cause this incurable lung disease. It can cause brown sputum.
Lung abscess: This is a cavity filled with pus inside your lungs. Its usually surrounded by infected and inflamed tissue. Along with cough, night sweats, and loss of appetite, you will experience a cough that brings up brown or blood-streaked sputum. This phlegm also smells foul.