Yellow, Green, Brown, and More: What Does the Color of My Snot Mean

What Does the Color of My Snot Mean?

Yellow mucus is a common symptom of colds and flu. It’s also called runny nose or rhinorrhea. You may have seen it before when you had a cold or flu. A person with yellow mucus might cough up blood when they sneeze or even vomit. This is because there are no airways in your nose, so any liquid that comes out will go through them instead. When you sneeze, the mucus goes into your lungs first. Then, if you don’t breathe quickly enough, some of it gets pushed back out again. If this happens frequently, then you’ll get pneumonia.

The color of your mucus is usually yellowish brown or greenish-brown. Some people with yellow mucus have a reddish tint to their nose.

Other times, it looks like black moldy stuff.

When you’re sick, your body produces mucus to keep the infection at bay. But sometimes, your immune system attacks the mucus and makes it toxic.

That’s why you feel bad after coughing or sneezing. Your body doesn’t want to fight off another attack right away. So it releases toxins into your bloodstream that cause symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and other problems.

Green mucus is usually caused by smoking. It turns from brown to green due to cigarette smoke and tar.

Yellow snot is the body’s defense mechanism of keeping diseases out of your lungs and respiratory system. It’s absolutely normal for your nose to produce mucus. When you have the flu or a cold, the body creates even more of it.

Snot is made up of mucus, water, and salt. The mucus is mainly made out of bacteria, dead skin cells, and viruses that are too small to be seen without a microscope.

Allergies and irritants such as cigarette smoke and pollution can cause mucus production to speed up. Snot also has antibodies in it which fight off bacteria and viruses so they can’t harm your body.

Related: Yellow Eyes: What Does It Mean If You See Yellow Around the Edges of Your Pupils?

Bright Yellow Mucus that is Thick and Clumpy

When the mucus is yellow and thick, it usually has a bad odor. Yellow mucus that is clumpy is rare.

It is caused by a fungal infection or inhaling poisonous gas. It’s a strong immune response, but not to something typically found in the body. This type of mucus can also be caused by allergies or taking drugs.

People with Yellow Mucus don’t always Die

The thing to remember is that mucus isn’t always harmful. It’s actually a good thing because it helps prevent serious health problems.

If you do have yellow snot and are wondering if you should go see a doctor, make sure you know the cause of the mucus. If you have allergies or are sick with the common cold, then there’s no need.

If you suspect something more serious, then you should make an appointment with your doctor.

If your medical problems worsen, yellow snot can be a sign of something worse going on in your body. To find out what it is, you need to see a professional.

Other Possible Causes of Yellow Snot

A sinus infection is a great way for bacteria to travel through your body. Most notably, these are the ones that cause thick yellow mucus.

Viruses and bacteria can cause the body to react in different ways. Viruses typically cause a minor illness that isn’t life-threatening. Bacterial infections can be much worse and need to be treated immediately with antibiotics.

If you have yellow snot, then you could have:

An allergic reaction to certain foods or drugs. A sinus infection.

A respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Measles, mumps, or German measles. A fungal infection. Tuberculosis. There is also a possibility that it’s a side effect of certain drugs.

A fungal infection can be caused by a yeast overgrowth in the lungs or sinuses. The most common reason for it to happen is a weak immune system.

People with diabetes or cancer are at high risk of getting this infection. You’re likely to have other symptoms along with the yellow mucus, such as a fever, headache, and fatigue.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterial infection. It mainly attacks the lungs, but can spread to other organs as well.

It is most commonly spread through the air and makes it easier for people to become sick or weaker with other illnesses.

If you have yellow mucus and think you might have a disease that needs medical attention, contact a doctor right away!

How to Get Rid of Yellow Mucus

The main cause of yellow snot is allergies. If you’re not going to the doctor for treatment, there are a few things you can do at home to make yourself feel better.

Stay away from any triggers that might cause an allergic reaction and drink plenty of fluids.

You can also take antihistamines if you know what’s causing the reaction. For example, if you’re allergic to cats then stay away from cat dander.

Antihistamines come in pills and liquids that you can take or spray up your nose. Decongestants are another option for getting rid of a runny nose.

Applying a hot washcloth to your face can also help relieve congestion. Breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water can have a similar effect.

The absolute best way to get rid of yellow mucus is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Make an appointment with your primary care physician to find out what’s causing your allergic reactions and how you can avoid them.

If it turns out you’re allergic to something in your environment, ask for suggestions on how to solve the problem.

Taking Care of Yourself

If you have yellow snot, you probably aren’t feeling great. However, there are a few steps you can take to make yourself feel better as you wait for the mucus to clear up.

Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water to combat dehydration. Avoid smoking because it can dry out your throat.

Avoid drinking alcohol because it can dehydrate you and possibly make symptoms worse. Eat nutritious foods and snack on salty foods to replenish your electrolytes.

If you follow these steps and your symptoms are still severe, then you may need to see a doctor. You can try to wait it out if you don’t have a lot of health problems or the symptoms aren’t that bad.

However, if you have other issues going on along with the yellow snot then you might need immediate medical attention.

You can’t do much about the color of your snot, but you can do something about how you feel. Just try some of the steps listed above and see how you feel after a few days.

If you’re not feeling better or you feel worse, then make an appointment to see your doctor. In the meantime, hang in there!

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