What Causes Mucus Overproduction
Your body can go into overdrive creating mucus when you:
- Have a cold.
- Have allergies.
- Are exposed to smoke or pollution.
Environmental allergies can cause excess mucus or phlegm, as can food allergies, but the latter is harder to diagnose based on this symptom alone, Dr. Bryson explains.
If youre healthy, your mucus tends to be thin and you may not even notice it. But if youre sick, your mucus can become thick and crusty.
And you may not notice phlegm until you cough it up, which can be a symptom of pneumonia or bronchitis.
You may be concerned about the color of your mucus and phlegm, too, whether its yellow or green. But the color doesnt necessarily mean you have an infection.
How To Relieve Your Allergy Symptoms
If youre convinced your cough is a result of allergies, start by making a few changes to decrease your exposure to potentially irritating substances: Keep your windows closed, shower as soon as you come inside after being outdoors, brush your pets after walks, or invest in an air purifier for your home.
OTC medications are also a great starting point, Dr. Bassett says. Oral antihistamines, like Claritin and Allegra, help block the histamines that set off symptoms in the first place. Nasal steroid sprays, like Flonase, can help clear a stuffy nose if youre dealing with that, too.
But the right treatment depends largely on the cause for a cough, Dr. Bassett says. If you dont see any improvement after taking these steps, reach out to an allergist, who can give you a proper diagnosis, help you identify your triggers, and potentially recommend prescription allergy meds or allergy shots.
What Can You Tell By The Color And Consistency Of Phlegm
When the lungs become infected, either from bronchitis or pneumonia , they often create more mucus.
Infection may cause mucus to change from a clear or light yellow thinner liquid to a darker thicker one. Mucus can become darker yellow or green. The dead white blood cells and other changes from the bodys response to infection cause this color change. The change in color may mean that your body is fighting off an infection. But not always.
There is some evidence that green or yellow phlegm is more often caused by a bacterial infection . Its just not a guarantee, so your doctor will look at other symptoms to decide which type of infection you havea bacterial one or a viral one.
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Know The Difference Between Symptoms Of Allergies Cold Flu And Coronavirus Disease 2019
You wake up with a headache and cough. Your social media feed is filled with news about the coronavirus disease 2019 . And its allergy season.
So whats making you feel bad? Just because you are under the weather doesnt mean you have COVID-19it could be allergies, a cold or the flu instead.
Read on to determine if its time to call your healthcare provider or just pull out your neti pot and allergy medications.
Does Green Snot Always Mean You Have An Infection
Not always, says Dr. Sindwani. Snot could change color if you have an abundance of bacteria growing in your nose. Snot can be impacted by bacteria, he says. And that bacteria can be hanging out in your nose. Its not until the bacteria actually gets into the lining or tissues of your nose that we actually call it an infection.
Determining if you have an infection comes down to how you feel and how long you feel that way. If youre feeling perfectly fine, generally speaking, thats not really a significant infection in most cases, says Dr. Sindwani. And we may choose not even to treat you with any antibiotics, even though that might go on for some time.
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Mucus In Throat After Eating
There are many reasons a person may experience mucus in throat after eating, including food allergies, post-nasal drip, medication side effects, chronic rhinitis, laryngopharyngeal reflux, being a heavy smoker, and viral or bacterial infections.
In order to reduce mucus in throat after a meal, increase your fluid intake to help loosen up mucus, inhale steam after your meal, avoid foods youre allergic to, gargle lukewarm water with salt, drink herbal tea after the meal, and stop smoking or begin to cut back.Related: How to get rid of cough?
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What Kind Of Congestion Is It
- A runny or stuffy nose with thin, clear fluid, accompanied by sneezing are common symptoms of a cold.
- A clear runny or stuffy nose and sneezing can also be seen in environmental allergies, which often also cause an itchy nose and itchy, watery, red or swollen eyes.
- Thick, green nasal discharge and a cough are typically signs of a cold or other infection such as sinusitis.
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What If The Phlegm Texture Changes
The consistency of your phlegm can change due to many reasons. The scale ranges from mucoid and mucopurulent to purulent . Your phlegm may get thicker and darker as an infection progresses. It may also be thicker in the morning or if you are dehydrated.
Clear phlegm thats associated with allergies is generally not as thick or sticky as the green sputum you see with bacterial bronchitis or the black phlegm from a fungal infection.
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.
How To Get Rid Of Excess Mucus And Phlegm
If you have chronic problems with mucus and phlegm, try the following. These remedies also help if your problem with mucus and phlegm progresses to a post-nasal drip.
Drink more water. Also, consider your medications or any dehydrating beverages you regularly drink like coffee, alcohol and some teas.
A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water to make your urine pale, Dr. Bryson advises.
Use a humidifier
This can help your body moisturize your throat and nasal passages and may help you reduce mucus and phlegm production.
Opt for a cool-mist humidifier and make sure you clean it regularly per its directions.
Check filters on heating and cooling systems
Make sure the filters are clean and functioning well to keep dust and other potential irritants out of the air.
Use a nasal saline spray
This helps rinse and hydrate tissues in your nose and sinuses. Use a sterile spray that has sodium chloride.
Gargle with salt water
Using salt water can ease your irritated throat by clearing away mucus.
Whether its a eucalyptus balm or essential oil in a diffuser, the scent of eucalyptus can help loosen mucus in your chest.
Use over-the-counter medication
If youre concerned about allergies, remember that the testing is easy and straightforward, says Dr. Bryson. You can also try over-the-counter allergy medications, which may solve your issue.
Cold Or Allergy Relief Starts With An Accurate Diagnosis
This post is available in: Spanish
Spring is the time of year many people tend to develop symptoms of seasonal allergies itchy, watery eyes runny nose sneezing sore throat, and congestion. But how do you know if your symptoms are being caused by allergies or by, say, a cold virus? And when should you seek care for your allergies?
Exposure to pollen can trigger allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, when your bodys immune system mistakenly identifies the microscopic grains of pollen as a threat and responds by releasing chemicals that can cause cold-like symptoms.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention , symptoms of allergic rhinitis can occur during certain seasons or year-round, depending on the allergen, and affect as many as 60 million U.S. adults a year.
People with respiratory illnesses like asthma may be more sensitive to pollen, the CDC notes, and exposure to pollen has also been linked to asthma attacks and increases in hospital admissions for respiratory illness.
Is it a cold or an allergy?
Pollen exposure can also trigger symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis an inflammation of the lining of the eye, or conjunctiva, which, according to Dr. Acquino, is what produces the red, watery, itchy eyes common with allergies. The CDC estimates that allergic conjunctivitis is found in up to 30 percent of the general population and as many as 70 percent of patients with allergic rhinitis.
How To Get Rid Of Snot Drainage Or Congestion
Think your snot may be the result of allergies? There are several things you can do to clear your congestion:
- Try avoiding irritants like ragweed, grasses, and trees on high-pollen days. If you cant completely avoid the outdoors, avoid being outside between 5 and 10 a.m.
- Keep your windows closed and use air-conditioning and/or an air purifier.
- Dont hang your laundry outside to dry. Mold and pollen can cling to your clothing, towels, and sheets.
- Take precautions while doing yard work. A dust mask can protect you from irritants while youre mowing, raking, or gardening. Get one here.
- Speak with your doctor about allergy medicines. You may take either prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants.
For congestion from colds and other conditions:
- Gently blow your nose as often as needed. Sniffing and swallowing the nasal mucus is another option in the short term.
- Drink lots of water at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day to help thin your mucus for easier blowing.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air you breathe. Shop for humidifiers now.
- Spray a saline solution in your nasal passages. This is a saltwater solution that doesnt contain medication, so you can use it as many times as you feel the need to.
- If your congestion is severe, consider using a decongestant or an over-the-counter nasal steroid like Flonase for up to three days.
- Use a bulb-syringe to remove excess snot in babies and small children. Buy one here.
To use a neti pot:
Is Excess Phlegm A Sign Of A Serious Condition
If the amount of mucus your body makes is uncomfortable, you might worry its a sign of a more serious problem.
According to Dr. Bryson, mucus isnt typically a symptom to worry about if its your only symptom.
Worrisome signs are mucus accompanied by fevers, chills and night sweats, especially if you also experience weight loss, nasal obstruction or intermittent nose bleeds for more than two weeks, he says.
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What’s The Purpose Of Phlegm
If youre like most people, your opinion of phlegm is stuck somewhere near gross. But phlegm is essential to good health. The fluid, sticky substance helps protect against illness by trapping and expelling foreign invaders it also keeps your nasal tissues nice and moist. Normal phlegm is clear. Although its mostly water, it also contains proteins, antibodies and dissolved salts. When youre congested, your phlegm is more likely to be white. Thats because inflamed nasal tissues are slowing its flow, causing it to thicken and become cloudy. Yellow phlegm may indicate that you have a cold or other infection, and its progressing. Your body uses phlegm to expel white blood cells once theyre spent phlegms yellow tinge comes from having a higher concentration of these infection-fighting cells.
Your Asthma Phlegm Can Green Cause Allergies Keep Your Rescue Inhaler
Thatâs been the struggle for Allergiee Santosâs mom, Relief de la Cuadra. Colon is phlegm can green cause allergies important part of the digestive tract. In a severe episode of asthmatic bronchitis, the airways can become so narrowed and clogged that breathing is very difficult. When you feel better, begin breathing slowly through your nose.
Use the warm mixture to massage the chest as well as upper back. Medications that were tried and if they helped. These drugs act on muscarinic receptors to inhibit the effects of acetylcholine, thus causing smooth muscle relaxation.
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The Skinny On Snot: What Your Child’s Mucus Says About Their Health
Its kind of gross to talk about, but you can learn a lot from snot. While mucus may be a bit of an annoyance, it plays an important role in your childs body. Mucus lines organs with a protective layer, keeping dust and dirt out to help fight off infections. But not all mucus are the same. Different colors can mean fungal infection or other serious health issues. And mucus from allergies is different from that of the common cold. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner explains what the different colors of mucus coming out of your childs nose really mean, and when you should visit the doctor.
Colorless snot is normal. If your child is producing more than usual, they may have allergies or a mild cold. Stringy mucus is allergy mucus. Liquid-y mucus is viral mucus. If your child has whitish mucus, it also could be the start of a cold. If your child has white mucus for more than two weeks, is a teenager, develops sinus pain, fever, or other symptoms, they could be getting an infection.
When your child has yellow snot, it’s because the white blood cells are fighting off the infections. The good news is their body is doing what it should. The bad news: your child’s probably getting sick and it may clear on its own, but if not, your child needs to visit the doctor.
If your child has black snot, that’s a warning. Your child may have a serious fungal infection or other health issue and you need to take your child to the doctor right away.
What You Can Do At Home
To control or loosen mucus at home, you can try the following remedies:
Humidify. Try a cool mist humidifier or hop into a steamy shower to keep your airways moisturized.
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.
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Allergies Do Not Cause Fevers
People often wonder if allergies can cause a fever. The answer is no. Allergies cannot cause a fever, though you could have an allergy flare at the same time youre experiencing a fever from another infection.
With a cold, your temperature can run warmer, but typically it will be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Does Clear Snot Mean
Clear snot is considered normal or healthy. Your body produces around 1.5 liters of this discharge each day, though you likely swallow most of it.
This type of mucus is made up of water with proteins, antibodies, and salts. Once it reaches the stomach, it dissolves. Your body continues making it around the clock to help line and protect your nose and sinuses.
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever may also cause clear, runny nasal discharge. Although you may feel quite ill, allergies arent caused by a virus. The symptoms are your bodys response to irritants like pollen, cat or dog fur, and dust mites.
Other symptoms may include:
- itchy nose, throat, or roof of mouth
- discolored skin under the eyes
Some people develop a runny nose during pregnancy called nonallergic rhinitis. Researchers explain that this condition is caused by hormonal changes and can develop at any point during gestation. Its more common between weeks
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Black: External Irritants Like Smoke Or Pollution
Black drainage is pretty uncommon, but it can happen. “I’ve had patients who had dark drainage after spending a lot of time outside when there were a lot of fires,” recalls Dr. Barnes. “Also, if you live in or travel to a city with a lot of pollution, you might also experience discolored, brown drainage.”
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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