Why Does My Mucus Change Color?
If you’ve ever stopped to look at the contents of the tissue after you’ve blown your nose, you might have discovered that your mucus isn’t constantly completely clear. It might be yellow, green, or have a reddish or brownish tinge to it.
What do those colors mean?
You may have heard that yellow or green mucus is a clear sign that you have an infection, but despite that common misperception, the yellow or green color isn’t due to bacteria.
When you have a cold, your body immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils hurrying to the area. These cells include a greenish-colored enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color.
However “you can have completely clear mucus and have a dreadful ear and sinus infection,” Kao says. If you do have an infection, you’ll likely likewise have other symptoms, such as blockage, fever, and pressure in your face, overlying the sinuses, Johns says.
Multi-hued mucus also relates to concentration of the mucus. Thick, gooey mucus is frequently greenish, Kao states.
Causes of Bloody Mucus in Nose for Weeks
Mucus can also include tinges of reddish or brownish blood, particularly if your nose gets dried out or irritated from too much rubbing, blowing, or choosing. The majority of the blood comes from the area right inside the nostril, which is where the majority of the blood vessels in the nose are located. A small amount of blood in your mucus isn’t anything to stress over, however if you’re seeing big volumes of it, call your doctor.
How Can I Get Rid of Mucus?
People with chronic sinus problems who are continuously blowing their noses understandably desire the goo gone. Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants are one method to do this. Decongestants cause the blood vessels in the lining of the nose to narrow, lowering blood flow to the area, so you’re less congested and you produce less mucus.
Decongestants are fine for when you cannot breathe due to a cold, but they’re not so great for thick mucus in basic. “The reason is the decongestants dry you up and they make the mucus thick, and often the opposite result occurs since 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, anxiety, and hypertension.
Antihistamines obstruct or restrict the action of histamines, those substances set off by allergies that cause the tissue in the nose to swell up and release more, thinner mucus (a runny nose). The primary 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 obtain from the body. Possible side effects of guaifenesin are dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Natural Remedies for Mucus in Nose
If you want to go a more natural path, an alternative for getting rid of mucus is with nasal irrigation. The neti pot, a little teapot-shaped device, is one type of nasal watering. Others include the bulb syringe or capture bottle.
Every nasal watering method works by the same standard principle: You shoot a saline (salty water) option up one nostril to relax all the mucus that’s gathered in your nasal cavity, which then drains pipes out the other nostril. It’s comparable to cleaning gunked-up food off a supper plate in the dishwashing machine, Kao states.
According to the CDC, if you are irrigating, flushing, or washing your sinuses, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. It’s likewise important to wash the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry.
Nasal watering is a good thing, but as the old saying goes, it is possible to have too much of an excellent thing. Washing out your sinuses washes out the bad, nasty bacteria and other critters that can cause infection. Nevertheless, one study showed that when individuals do it too often, nasal irrigation might in fact increase the risk of infection since it likewise removes some of the protective substances that help prevent you from getting sick. So use your neti pot or other nasal irrigation device when you require it, however take a break from it when you feel much better.