Mucus Facts, Mucus Types

What Does Green Mucus Mean?

January 22, 2015

Green Mucus is one of those things that we really don’t care for and we don’t really want to talk about. It turns out that without that gooey, slimy stuff, we may not be able to survive. Everyone has mucus in varying amounts with some people having just enough, and others wishing they had less of the stuff.

Mucus is extremely important for our bodies, because it helps keep things lubricated. We have certain tissues that line our mouths, nose, sinuses, and throat that are responsible for producing mucus. We don’t usually pay attention to our mucus until we notice changes in the color or the consistency. Our bodies can produce up to two pints of mucus per day and most of it just slips back down our throats without us even noticing.

Green mucus typically indicates the presence of either a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Our bodies are signaling to us that our immune system is fighting off an infection, often resulting in an upper respiratory tract infection. The common cold is one of the most common upper respiratory tract infections that people get.

The common cold is also one of the most common causes of green mucus. The common cold is usually due to a virus, and you may experience a runny nose, sneezing, and maybe a sore throat. The green mucus can come from the nose and the throat. Because antibiotics do not fight viruses, the typical treatment for a cold is lots of liquids and rest.

Sometimes, a person is unable to get over the common cold and will develop sinusitis, tonsillitis, or rhinitis, all of which also produce green mucus.

We often experience sinus congestion and pressure with our cold, because green mucus tends to be thicker than clear or yellow mucus. This sometimes makes us feel like our head is going to explode.

People suffering from allergies will also produce green mucus as the allergies tend to have an irritating effect on the throat. As the throat becomes irritated, it is more prone to throat infections or strep throat. Bacteria often accompany the throat infections which lead to an invasion of white blood cells containing a green enzyme that tints the mucus green.

Any viral, bacterial or fungal infection can lead to green nasal mucus, so look for additional symptoms to help you determine a diagnosis.

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