The mucus in the nose is not always clear: it can be yellow, green or it may have a reddish, orange or brown color.
The mucus is a secretion of the mucous membranes that can leave the following organs:
- Genital area
The main goal is to protect the body against harmful micro-organisms.
Formation of mucus in the nose
Mucus is a substance produced by:
- Goblet cells,
- Seromucous glands.
The mucus is composed of glycoproteins, water, minerals and lipids .
In mucus are also found:
- Antibodies that help recognize viruses and bacteria,
- Enzymes to eliminate invaders,
- Proteins that make the mucus sticky and fibrous,
- Other cells.
The mucus usually drains into the back of the throat.
The person is not aware of the presence of this substance because the amount is small.
An inflamed nose produces a greater amount of mucus that becomes:
- Pale yellow.
The mucus may begin to flow from the front of the nose and back.
Function of the mucus in the nose
The mucus captures the dust and other materials contained in the air and blocks them.
The eyelashes of the respiratory epithelium push the mucus into the pharynx, from where it is swallowed.
In the nose, the production continues and therefore there is always new and clean mucus .
The eyelashes are also present in the windpipe and thus push the mucus into the pharynx (so in the opposite direction to the eyelashes of the nose) to be swallowed.
Knowledge of mucus color is very important because it can be used as a diagnostic tool. Gives important clues about an illness.
Clear or transparent mucus: clear and aqueous (liquid) mucus is considered normal and healthy.
It shows that the sinuses are healthy and function properly.
Sometimes when a person has runny nose due to an allergy or irritation, it produces large amounts of clear and dripping mucus.
Thick white mucus: White or cloudy mucus indicates congestion or the presence of blocked mucus. When the clear mucus remains trapped in the breasts, it becomes dense and dry. When the mucus dries, it becomes white or opaque.
Sometimes this indicates some gastrointestinal problems, such as those that occur after drinking milk.
Other causes are:
- Viral bronchitis
- Bacterial infection
- Allergic reaction
- Climate changes
- Disease Gastroesophageal reflux .
Green mucus: Green mucus represents a type of a bacterial infection that may contain pus.
To combat infection, the body sends the white blood cells.
These blood cells contain a green enzyme .
If there are many white blood cells, the result may be green mucus.
Green mucus may indicate:
- An allergic reaction ,
- A lung infection,
- The retronasal drip,
- Sinusitis .
Mucus pink / red : Red mucus means it is mixed with blood due to a lesion of the mucosa inside the nose.
The nasal mucosa is rich in superficial and fragile capillaries .
Pink mucus may be a consequence of blood traces or stains (a minimal amount) in the mucus, but it also indicates disorders at the nasal level, for example:
- Varicose veins in the nasal septum,
- Rhinitis ,
- Injury of the capillaries when blowing the nose.
Mucus brown : Brown mucus may indicate dry blood coming out of the nose and paranasal sinuses, but in most cases it is caused by breathing in an environment full of:
- Smoke ,
- Atmospheric pollution.
Certain medications and chronic bronchitis can cause the production of brown mucus.
Black Mucus : Black mucus is considered serious and is often due to yeast infections and paranasal sinus mold.
Black filaments in the mucus may be the consequence of:
- Air pollution for people working in mines or breathing coal, graphite and beryllium,
- Tobacco and tobacco products.
Often a change in the color of the mucus indicates the presence of some underlying disorder and pathogenic microorganisms (such as bacteria , viruses or fungi). For example, when the person suffers from colds , one of the first signs is a clear and watery abundant loss (runny nose).
At this stage, the infection is viral .
But after a few days, an untreated constipation can cause a yellow or greenish nasal discharge (bacterial infection).
Often the yellow mucus is the sign of a bacterial invasion and also indicates that the immune system is fighting against the bacteria.
Often yellow mucus (purulent) is also dense.
This usually causes:
- A nasal obstruction,
- Difficulty breathing.
Causes of yellow mucus
When a bacterial infection occurs, the mucus becomes yellow and there are many diseases that can cause this situation:
Viral Infections : When a virus invades the body, the immune system is too busy to eliminate the virus and becomes vulnerable to other infections.
The untreated cold or flu is often the most frequent cause of bacterial sinusitis , often also causing the cough.
In this case, the mucus can:
- Being dark (for example, blue or black),
- To have bad smell,
- Being thick and sticky
The patient notices this in the morning.
A dental abscess that drains the pus into a nasal sinus may cause malodorous mucus to form.
Allergies : According to Robert H. Shmerling, MD ( Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications ), seasonal allergies can cause all types of nasal secretions:
- Thick or thin,
- Yellow, green or clear.
Food : Some foods can cause changes in the color of the mucus (natural or artificial dyes that are found in food).
Sore throat : A sore throat caused by a cold (flu virus) or swollen tonsils (seen most often in children) may predispose a person to a bacterial infection and yellow mucus.
Respiratory Tract Infections : Bronchitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory infections can also cause the production of yellow mucus that indicates a bacterial infection.
Nasal polyps : Often a non-cancerous (benign) mass of a nasal polyp blocks the nose and breasts, creating fertile ground for bacteria. Yellow mucus is present as a sign of that infection.
Even when a person is healthy, the body is a machine that produces about 1-1.5 liters of mucus every day, which is most noticeable in the morning; so when we wake up we blow our noses.
Most of this mucus goes down the throat without the person noticing it.
However, sometimes mucus is noticed not because the production of it increases, but because its texture changes.
Generally the production of mucus by the body increases due to:
- Contact with something irritating.
During pregnancy there may be a disorder called rhinitis gravidarum due to the increase of the hormones in the blood (estrogen and progesterone) that provoke swelling of the nasal mucosa.
How to reduce mucus in the nose
Generally, the person should be able to reduce nasal secretions at home.
Dilute the mucus
The mucus should be thin, not sticky or coarse.
Thick, sticky mucus can:
- Causing respiratory problems,
- Increase the risk of complications such as ear infections ( otitis media or external ).
One way to thin the mucus is to breathe vapor .
- Take a small pot and pour half a liter of water into it,
- Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda ,
- Boil the water,
- Put the pot on the table,
- Put a towel over your head,
- Breathe or steam for 10 minutes.
It is also possible to use saline nasal spray or a humidifier to increase air humidity.
Do not use a nasal decongestant spray for more than three consecutive days (if not prescribed by your doctor).
The antihistamines are drugs that prevent symptoms of allergies.
These medicines can cause significant drowsiness .
Antihistamines may interact with other medications.
Before taking antihistamine medicines it is necessary to talk to the doctor, especially when the person already takes:
- Muscle relaxants,
- Sleeping pills,
Mucolytics – only in the initial phase (first 24 hours) to facilitate passage from dry cough to cough with catarrh .
Among the most commonly used are acetylcysteine (Fluimucil ®, Flucistein ®).
In the hospital, mucolytics are not used because they can cause secretions to accumulate in the lower respiratory tract.
Ginger is used to flavor many recipes.
But it is also an excellent natural anti-inflammatory to treat many diseases.
It has antibiotic properties that help to eliminate the infections.
Ginger tea is an herbal remedy for stuffy nose: it is recommended to inhale the steam.
Coping with colds and flu
If a cold or flu causes a runny nose, there are not many therapies available.
You must rest.
If flu symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication.
This can reduce the time needed for healing.
This is an immediate remedy. Take a hot shower and continue to inhale the hot steam until you feel better.
This not only releases the nose, but:
- It also calms the nerves,
- Relax the person.
This remedy is effective especially before going to sleep.
If you have a fever , you should avoid this medicine.
It is difficult to blow the nose of a newborn baby, and in this case, if there is an important nasal congestion, it is possible to aspirate with a vacuum cleaner.
When the person is at work or is away from home and has a stuffy nose, he can sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a tissue.
Whenever she feels that her nose is clogged, she can smell the tissue to get immediate relief from congestion.
You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the pillowcase. The odor helps to rid the blocked nose during sleep.
It is also possible to use lavender or tea tree oil , but the eucalyptus oil is better.
In homeopathy are considered all the symptoms of the disease before the prescription of a medicine.
When the individual has a loss of dense yellow mucus, the homeopath can advise Pulsatilla.
It is necessary:
- Heat the Pulsatilla lotion ,
- Fill a needleless syringe,
- Dump a few drops of the lotion on the nose.
Pulsatilla nasal sprays are also available in the pharmacy or herbalist.
It is possible to repeat the application of Pulsatilla 4-5 times a day.
Unfortunately, we can not prevent all nasal secretions.
However, it is possible to prevent diseases that cause excessive nasal secretion.
According to natural medicine , infections develop when the body is full of toxins.
These substances are formed during the digestion of foods that are not suitable for humans.
The harmful micro-organisms grow in the organs:
- In the decomposition phase.
Bacteria and fungi do not proliferate in healthy tissues because they can not find food.
To prevent the growth of these micro-organisms, a natural diet should be followed without:
- Products processed,
- Fried foods,
- Stimulating and sugary drinks (coke, tea, coffee),
- Cereals, especially those with gluten ,
- Milk and dairy products.
After excluding these foods, the person can follow a vegan diet or high in animal and vegetable proteins (such as the blood type diet ).
To be effectively protected against the flu, your doctor recommends taking the flu shot every year.
If allergies are the cause of the secretion, the allergens that cause the symptoms should be avoided.
Keeping a log of activities can be helpful in identifying allergens.
Avoid smoking . This can help keep nasal passages without irritation and inflammation.