The Colors of Mucus and What They Mean
Coughing is primarily a way to clean the airways, but can also be a side effect of some diseases. For the purpose of this article, the type of cough we are referring to is one to clear phlegm and mucus from the throat and airways.
This type of cough will be more of a wet or moist cough than a dry cough. It is sometimes even referred to as a clinging cough when there is stubborn mucus stuck in your throat and it is very difficult to dispell just by coughing. But the urge to cough stays since you can’t seem to get the mucus or phlegm out. These are some of the worst kinds of coughs because they nag on you throughout the entire day. Then there is a the loose cough, which is the type that you actually can cough up the phlegm and mucus. These coughs can be quite enjoyable to dispell a big hunk of nasty mucus that was bugging you.
What do they different colors of mucus mean?
Now that we know what kinds of coughs there are, what about the mucus? The mucus that you are attempting to cough up can come in a couple of different colors and the colors actually mean something a lot of the time. With a cold that causes increased mucus production the mucus will typically be, white, yellow or clear. This signifies a very normal viral infection in most cases. Now if the color of the mucus is green, there may be some sort of secondary bacterial infection. This is usually a result of a viral illness caused by the existing mucus being an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. For coughs with green mucus, it is often times a sign of bronchitis. Bronchitis symptoms first occur as the usual signs of a cold – swelling of the nasal mucosa – scratchy throat – hoarse voice – head, limb, and sore throat discomfort and fever. In the event of a bronchitis infection for two to three days, a painful cough will usually come along with it. There can be mucus that is anywhere from yellow to green that you are constantly coughing up. Furthermore, a burning will often times occur behind the breastbone.
What Can You Do?
There are many different ways to get rid of phlegm and mucus. One thing you can do is apply nasal drops. If you decide to apply nasal drops you should not do so for more than 3 days. You can also try taking a very cold bath if you have a fever that is accompanying your symptoms. Make sure that the water temperature does not exceed 37 degrees. For most colds and mild bronchitis infections, over the counter drugs will bring relief, but it is only temporary. If you have a cough with green mucus, you definitely want to consider seeing a doctor about it. Only a doctor can decide for sure what you are actually suffering from and prescribe powerful medications that will help you to feel better the fastest.
What home remedies can be used to relieve symptoms?
Anyone can use these handy tips to bring relief from the phlegm and mucus in the throat. The first thing that you can do is to ensure that the air is damp. You can do this through the use of a humidifier or you can even sit in your bathroom with the shower running on hot and the door shut. It is also important to drink lots of liquids and eat as healthy as possible. It is very important that you also get enough sleep for the body to be fully rested to fight off any infection that you have. If you decide to soak in a bath, essential oils can be quite healing to use, for example, rosemary, clove, peppermint or eucalyptus should make it easier to cough up mucus and phlegm lodged in the throat.
Another option to treat yourself is a chmomile bath. Stick a handful of chamomile flowers into a pot of boiling water. Place a large towel over your head and inhale the steam for about ten minutes. At night when you go to bed, try rubbing some vapor rub on your chest before lying down. Breathing this in should help to loosen the phlegm while you sleep. Another very useful home remedy is to drink warm milk with a spoonful of honey. However, if you have a cough that produces green mucus, do not try to use home remedies yourself, especially if you have several other bad symptoms such as fever, headache or soreness.
The key to treating yourself when you have a cold or cough that produces phlegm is that you pay attention to the color of the mucus as well as any other symptoms you may be experiencing. If the color is a yellowish, white or clear then you can probably try some of these phlegm home remedies. But if it is a thick green color, then you will want to consider seeing your doctor.