What Your Snot Color is Trying to Tell You

snot color mucous color

By Ariana Marisol

We all have unexpected sneezing fits now and then. While most people avoid examining mucus, it can be really helpful in revealing a lot about our health.

An average person produces and swallows around 1.7 litres (1.5 quarts) of mucus a day. Nasal mucous a.k.a. snot, is made by the nose and continually travels through the sinuses, slipping down the back of the throat and into the stomach. Editor’s note: imagine how important it is to drink water!

Its purpose is to keep the nasal passages wet and add moisture to the dry air we breath in.

Snot is made out of water, proteins, antibodies, and dissolved salts. If you are healthy, it should be clear.

A new infographic, created by the Cleveland Clinic reveals when our nasal mucous can signal health problems!

Clear mucus means you are healthy. Nasal tissues produce snot 24/7, and most of it flows down the back of your throat to be dissolved in the stomach.

White mucus means you are congested. Swollen, inflamed tissues in your nose are slowing the flow of mucus and this causes it to lose moisture and become thick and cloudy. It can also be a sign of a nasal infection or cold.

Yellow mucus means your cold or infection is progressing. Infection-fighting cells might be rushing to the site of the microbial infection. White blood cells are among them. Once exhausted, they are carried out off on the mucus. This gives it a yellowish tinge.

Green mucus means your immune system is really fighting sickness. Mucus is thick with dead white cells. If you’ve been sick for over 12 days, you could have sinusitis, a bacterial infection.

Pink or red mucus means there is blood. Nasal tissue in the nose has somehow become broken. This could be because it is dry, irritated or suffered some kind of impact.

Brown mucus means there could be blood. But more than likely it is probably something inhaled, like dirt or paprika.

Black mucus can mean you have a serious fungal infection. These infections usually occur in people with compromised immune systems.

  Editor’s note: Hey moms! can you tell us in the comments below if there are other reasons for brown mucous? It’s like there would be more reason for it than just dust – thanks!

Image credit: Natural Blaze, pixabay

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Ariana Marisol is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com, where this article first appeared. She is an avid nature enthusiast, gardener, photographer, writer, hiker, dreamer, and lover of all things sustainable, wild, and free. Ariana strives to bring people closer to their true source, Mother Nature. She graduated The Evergreen State College with an undergraduate degree focusing on Sustainable Design and Environmental Science. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Photo Credit:
William Brawley/flickr

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