Phlegm is a type of mucus produced in the lungs and lower respiratory tract. It is most noticeable when a person is acutely sick or has a longstanding health condition. Mucus forms a protective lining in certain parts of the body, even when a person is well. Mucus keeps these areas from drying out and helps to defend against invaders, including viruses and bacteria. Though a healthy body requires some mucus, too much can be uncomfortable. Excess may be caused by:.
I thought this myth had been debunked long ago. Seasonal allergies are a good example.Apr 26, · There are many factors that can change the consistency of mucus, like allergies or milk consumption for some people. symptoms depending on the cause of the mucus in throat. and colored. Jan 17, · If your nasal discharge is any color other than clear, it could be a sign of an infection. Check out our handy table comparing conditions to colors to Author: Ashley Marcin. Mucus is something everyone has, and some people wish they had a lot less of the stringy, gooey stuff. Sure, it can be gross to blow globs of snot into tissue after tissue when you have a cold or.
And we do have a lot of mucus: the lining of the nose and sinuses makes a liter or more per day! Under normal circumstances, we barely colred its existence. When the white blood cells in the mucosa encounter an irritant or infectious organism, they respond by producing enzymes to repel the invaders.
This is the natural order of things, whether the offending agent is a virus which is the most common cause of sinus infection or a bacterium. Good question!
Mucus and Phlegm: Yellow, Green, and Bloody Snot Explained
If most sinus infections are viral, and viral infections will not improve with antibiotics, it makes little sense to treat every episode of thick, green mucus with antibiotics. Yet some patients request it and many doctors continue to prescribe them. There are times when antibiotics should be considered.
For example, antibiotics might be worth considering when.
Why Am I Making So Much Mucus?
Mucus acts as a protective blanket over these surfaces, preventing the tissue underneath from drying out. Mucus also acts as a sort of flypaper, trapping unwanted substances like bacteria and dust before they can get into the body -- particularly the sensitive airways.
It's got viscosity to it that will trap things. But mucus is more than just sticky goo. It also contains antibodies that help the body recognize invaders like bacteria and viruses, enzymes that kill the invaders it traps, protein to make the mucus gooey and stringy and very inhospitable, and a variety of cells, among other things.
Everything You Ever Wondered About Mucus and Phlegm - Cold and Flu Center - Everyday Health
Even when you're healthy, allergies body is a mucus machine, churning out about 1 colored 1. Most of that mucus trickles down your throat and you don't even notice it. Mucux, there are times when you do notice your mucus -- usually not because you're producing more of it, but because its consistency has changed.
It gets thicker," Johns says. It generally takes a bad cold, allergyor allergiss with something irritating -- like a plate of nuclear-hot Buffalo wings -- to throw your body's mucus production into overdrive. For instance, during an allergic response ccolored cause offending trigger, such as pollen or ragweed, mast cells in your body squeeze out a substance called histaminewhich triggers sneezingitchingand nasal stuffiness.
The tissue of the mucus membranes starts od fluid, and your nose begins to run. Drinking milk may also make some people produce more mucus.
Kao says that's due to gustatory rhinitis, a reflex reaction that's triggered by eating. Gustatory rhinitis is also why your nose runs when you eat hot peppers.
Milk proteins cause the same type of response in some people. Colored although mucus may feel like you have more phlegm, you're not going cause worsen a cold by drinking a glass of milk, Johns says.
If you've ever stopped to allergies at the contents of the tissue after you've blown your nose, you may have noticed that your mucus isn't always perfectly clear.
It may be yellow, green, or have a reddish or brownish tinge acuse it.
20 effective ways to get rid of phlegm and mucus
What do those colors mean? You might 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 hue isn't due to bacteria. When you have a cold, your immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils rushing to the area. These cells contain a greenish-colored enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color.
But "you can have perfectly clear mucus and have a terrible ear and sinus infection ," Kao says. If you do have an infection, you'll likely also have other symptoms, such as congestion, fever, and pressure in your face, overlying the sinusesJohns says.
Multi-hued mucus also relates to concentration of the mucus. Thick, gooey mucus is often greenish, Kao says. Mucus can also contain tinges of reddish or brownish bloodespecially if your allwrgies gets dried out or irritated from too much rubbing, blowing, or picking.
Most of the blood comes from the area right inside the nostril, which is where most of the blood vessels in the nose are located.
Don’t judge your mucus by its color - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing
A small amount of blood in your mucus isn't anything to worry about, but if you're seeing large volumes of it, call your doctor. People with chronic sinus problems who are constantly blowing their noses understandably want the goo gone. Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants 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.
So you take more decongestants and get into a vicious mucus-producing cycle.