Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeIs Clear Mucus A Cold Or Allergies

Is Clear Mucus A Cold Or Allergies

Symptoms That Can Occur With Throat Mucus

Flu & Allergy Treatments : Treatment for Mucus in the Throat

You may also experience other accompanying symptoms depending on the cause of the mucus in throat. Oftentimes, mucus in throat is a result of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The symptoms may include fever, chills, congestion, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, headache, and difficulty breathing.Symptoms of throat mucus alone are phlegm, throat congestion, shortness of breath, and coughing out mucus and phlegm.

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.

Are There Natural Ways To Address Mucus Or Phlegm

If you have chronic problems with phlegm, try the following:

Hydrate more.;Drink more water. Also, consider your medications or any dehydrating beverages you regularly drink, such as coffee, alcohol and some teas. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water to make your urine pale, Dr. Bryson says.

Use a humidifier. This can help your body moisturize your throat and nasal passages and may help you reduce mucus and phlegm production.

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.

These remedies also help if your problem with mucus and phlegm progresses to a post-nasal drip.

Also Check: Do Probiotics Help With Allergies

Coughing Up Clear Mucus: Why And What Can You Do

Your discomfort may be caused by:

1. Common Cold and Influenza

You may produce clear mucus if you have influenza or are suffering from the common cold. These viral infections will make excess mucus accumulate at the back of your throat. You will notice clear and thin phlegm during the first few days of your illness, but it becomes yellow when your immune system takes charge of things. The phlegm will turn clear again when your immune system is about to eliminate the infection.


You do not have to take antibiotics for viral infections. It is not uncommon for your healthcare provider to prescribe medication to help you manage severe cold or flu symptoms. Be sure to talk to your doctor immediately if you are coughing up clear mucus and have other symptoms such as chills, pain, and a fever.

2. Bronchitis

You develop bronchitis when the lining of your bronchial tubes become inflamed due to a cold or other respiratory infections. You may develop acute or chronic bronchitis. While acute bronchitis is more common, it is easily treatable. Chronic bronchitis can lead to several complications and is usually the result of smoking.

For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus , which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color-rarely, it may be streaked with blood.
  • fatigue
  • Chest discomfort


3. Allergy

Here are the steps you should take if you are coughing up clear mucus due to allergies:

Cold Vs Allergy Symptoms

Throat mucus can be caused by some factors such as ...

There are a few key differences to note when looking at allergies vs. cold symptomsthe most significant being what actually triggers them.

While the common cold is typically caused by a contagious viral infection, you can’t “catch” allergies from another person, explains Dr. Wright. Allergy symptoms and allergic reactions happen when the immune system overreacts to an environmental substance , she says.

But what if you haven’t been diagnosed with seasonal allergies? How can you tell the difference between cold vs. allergy symptoms when your nose is running like a faucet, you’re congested AF, and you can’t stop sneezing? Below, experts break down allergies vs. cold by symptoms.

If you have a fever, it’s a cold. Because allergies are a response to specific environmental substances, people with allergies rarely have a fever, says Soma Mandal, M.D., board-certified internist at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Rather, low-grade fevers tend to be a sign of viral infection , she explains. So if you’re feeling a little warmnot to mention experiencing general aches and chillsthese signs point to the common cold, says Dr. Mandal.

If you’re coughing up mucus, it could be a cold or allergiesit depends. Coughingand the lovely mucus that comes with itcan, unfortunately, be a sign of either a cold or allergies. The good news: There are some specifics you can pay attention to when distinguishing between allergies vs. cold symptoms like coughing.

You May Like: What Foods To Avoid If You Have A Latex Allergy

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.
  • 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 may use it two or three times each day.
  • If your congestion is severe, consider using a decongestant, like Afrin, 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:

  • Mix together a saltwater solution using distilled or sterilized water.
  • 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.

    Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes In Neck

    Common Questions About Allergies And Colds

    Symptoms can vary widely. Ask these questions to help determine if you should reach for a Claritin® product or curl up with a bowl of chicken noodle soup and rest:

    How quickly did your symptoms strike?

    AllergyX Allergy An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless. symptoms tend to hit all at once when you come into contact with an allergenX allergen A substance that your body perceives as foreign and harmful; initiates the allergic reaction.. Symptoms of a cold sometimes appear one at a time and develop over a few days.

    How long have you had symptoms?

    Colds typically run their course within seven to 10 days. Allergy symptoms can last weeks or months. If your cold symptoms last longer than 10 days, talk to your doctor.

    Have you been around sick people?

    If co-workers, friends, family or classmates have had colds recently, there is a good chance the virus has been transmitted to you. Cold viruses are easily transmitted through coughing, sneezing and touching.

    Where do your symptoms appear?

    What time of year is it?


    Differentiating A Cold From Allergies

    What is Your Snot Saying?

    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
    • Fever
    • 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.

    Don’t Miss: Can Food Allergies Cause Facial Flushing

    The Common Cold Symptoms

    The common cold is the most common upper respiratory tract infection. More than 200 different viruses can cause colds. Symptoms usually develop 1 3 days after being exposed to the virus.

    • It nearly always starts rapidly with throat irritation and stuffiness in the nose.
    • Within hours, full-blown cold symptoms usually develop, which can include sneezing, mild sore throat, fever, minor headaches, muscle aches, and coughing.
    • Fever is low-grade or absent. In small children, however, fever may be as high as 103 °F for 1 or 2 days. The fever should go down after that time, and be back to normal by the 5th day.
    • Nasal discharge is usually clear and runny the first 1 3 days. It then thickens and becomes yellow to greenish.
    • The sore throat is usually mild and lasts only about a day. A runny nose usually lasts 2 7 days, although coughing and nasal discharge can persist for more than 2 weeks.

    You Might Also Like:

    Why Snot Changes Color

    If youve ever had a runny nose or sneezed without a tissue, youve probably become close and personal with your snot. You may have noticed that it changes color or texture from time to time. Nasal discharge can be clear, green, black, and many other colors in between.

    Your mucus is there to protect your nose and sinuses from things like dust, bacteria, and other environmental dangers. Why might mucus change color? It usually has something to do with whats going on inside or outside your body. You may be healthy or have a cold, allergies, or another underlying condition.

    Heres your guide to the different conditions that can affect the color of your snot, tips to find relief, and when to see your doctor.

    Don’t Miss: Can Dark Circles Under Eyes Be Caused By Allergies

    What Does Yellow Snot Mean

    Yellow mucus is a sign that whatever virus or infection you have is taking hold. The good news? Your body is fighting back. The yellow color comes from the cells white blood cells, for example rushing to kill the offending germs. Once the cells have done their work, theyre discarded in your snot and tinge it a yellowish-brown.

    Your illness may last anywhere from 10 to 14 days, but keep an eye on your nasal discharge.

    How Long Dosymptoms Last

    Is it allergies or a cold? â root & stem
    As long asyoure exposedto allergens

    If you start to feel sick, try not to panic or think the worst.

    • Coronavirus shares some of the same symptoms caused by the flu and colds, including fever and cough.
    • Remember, its still cold and flu season and seasonal allergies are widespread.
    • For most people who are normally healthy, coronavirus does not cause serious health problems.

    How to seek care for coronavirus:

    If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of smell and/or taste, stay home and isolate yourself from others. To find the best care, take our free COVID-19 risk assessment, or call our 24/7 Health Line at .

    If your symptoms are life-threatening, call 911 immediately.

    About Atrium Health

    Don’t Miss: How To Treat Ragweed Allergy

    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.

    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.

    Read Also: How Quickly Does A Shellfish Allergy Start

    What Are The Treatments For Allergic Rhinitis

    The first and best option is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your nasal allergies . When prevention is not enough, consider using over-the-counter or prescription medicines:

    • Antihistamines are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
    • are taken by mouth or as a nasal spray or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages which relieves nasal stuffiness. These nose drops and sprays should;be;taken short-term.
    • Nasal corticosteroids are used in nasal spray form. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
    • Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers other than histamine that are involved in allergic reactions.
    • Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.

    Nasal allergy symptoms may disappear completely when the allergen is removed or after the allergy is treated. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about what is best for you.

    It’s Probably Allergies If:

    Causes of Constant Phlegm and Mucus in Your Throat (Clearing Congestion)

    Your mucus is clear or watery. And it will stay clear, instead of becoming thick or discolored like it can with a cold, says Michael Benninger, MD, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

    Your eyes are itchy or watery. It’s rare to have itchy eyes when you have a cold.

    Your symptoms stay the same. “Allergies may feel extra intense for the first day or 2, but you’ll have the same symptoms day after day,” Benninger says.

    You’ve had the sniffles for more than a week. A cold usually clears up in 7 to 10 days, but allergies can last several weeks or longer.

    Your symptoms show up only in certain situations. Find yourself sneezing every spring or fall? Those are common times for allergies. Another allergy tip-off: Being in a specific place makes you feel miserable — for example, in a house with a cat.

    You May Like: What’s The Best Antihistamine For Allergies

    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:

    • Allergies
    • Cold or virus
    • Immunodeficiencies

    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.


    Most Popular