The millennial question in the era of pollution is all about to get rid of mucus in nose. It’s about Excess Mucus – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Home Remedies
Mucus is gross and discomforts if it comes out in excess, headaches, tiredness, sore throat, and whatnot. All you might want is to get rid of it and get back to breathing normally again.
Still, this thick, sticky stuff inside your nose is something that the body needs. Your body uses mucus to keep itself moist inside and as a protective shield against invading germs. So something that we consider as waste and blow out from the nose turns out to be highly essential stuff for health. However, excess mucus production is a cause of concern and also interferes with our daily lives.
Mucus in Nose Causes
Did you know that mucus is always produced by the body? It is a continuous process. The linings inside of your nose, sinuses, lungs, stomach, etc. produce mucus throughout the day. You happen to notice it only when you get an infection, and the nasal mucus production shoots up to fight it.
A healthy body produces 1.5 liters of mucus a day for its functioning. But where does all this mucus go? Simple, you swallow it back, and it ends up in your stomach, harmlessly.
Major causes of the excess mucus in the nose
Mucus is always there in the nose. But you notice it only when there is an excess production causing a runny nose or nasal discharge. What causes the overproduction of mucus in the nose?
Anything that irritates the nasal lining can cause nasal discharge.
- Upper Respiratory tract infections – Influenza or infections of the upper respiratory tract can cause the body to produce excess mucus to fight the invading virus. Much of the snot is discharged through the nose. These infections are usually harmless, and given time, and the body will recover by itself. Sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and sore throat are common symptoms.
- Sinusitis – An infection can also cause acute sinusitis or inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. The mucus can build up inside the sinuses due to the narrowing of the nasal passages. You might develop breathing difficulties. The color of the mucus is usually yellow or green, and it could be thicker than normal.
- Allergies– If you are exposed to an allergen like dust, smoke, pollen, or certain foods. Your immune system confuses these allergens as harmful bacteria and produces antibodies to fight them. It can cause inflammation of the sinuses, airways, and skin. Sneezing and running nose are common symptoms of allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
- Cold weather – When cold air enters the inside of your nose, it causes the vessels in the nasal passages and sinuses to expand. This results in congestion and a runny nose.
- Deviated nasal septum – The nasal septum (thin bone separating the right and left nostrils) might have deviated for some people making one nasal passage larger and the other smaller. Severe deviations can block one side of the nose, reducing the airflow and causing breathing difficulties. This can cause congestion, recurrent sinus infections, and postnatal drip.
- Nasal polyps – These soft, harmless growths in the nasal passage or sinuses can block the nasal passage if they are large enough. This can cause frequent infections, chronic sinusitis, and runny nose.
- Nonallergic rhinitis – This is a condition where chronic sneezing and runny nose are present with no obvious cause like infection or allergy and are more common after 20.
Apart from this, a runny nose can also be caused by pregnancy, dry air, tobacco smoke, and drug addiction.
Mucus in Nose Symptoms
Mucus can be defined as the slippery secretion, rich in mucins, water, and proteins, produced by the mucous membranes to moisten and protect. It also contains the debris in the nasal passageways. It is made of 95 % water and filled with antibodies.
Mucous gets its gel-like consistency from the mucins. It is secreted mainly inside of your nose and sinus. But mucus is also produced by other lining tissues in organs such as the esophagus, lungs, urogenital organs, and cavities. Here we call it phlegm.
It serves an important function of moisturizing these critical organs and preventing them from drying out. It also acts as a protective agent by trapping the dust and bacteria and killing the bacteria with its antibodies.
Common symptoms of excess mucus in nose
Excess mucus in the nose causes a number of discomforts, and turning to home remedies for removing it is the first step you should take.
- Post Nasal drip – The excess mucus might run down to your throat through the back of the nose. This is called postnatal drip. You might frequently clear your throat, have a foul breath, and spit or swallow the excess mucus. It can also cause a scratchy throat and a cough that worsens at night. Phlegm can also build up in the lungs.
- Breathing difficulty – The excess mucus can block the air passageways and cause breathing difficulty. Phlegm in the chest might also cause wheezing in a few.
- Headache and facial pain– The air gets trapped in the sinuses because of the excess mucous and puts pressure leading to headaches and facial pain.
- Ear pain or infection – The mucous might drain to the Eustachian tubes causing ear pain or ear infections.
Additionally, you might have a decreased sense of smell, sneezing, and nosebleeds.
How to Identify Mucus in Nose is Good or Bad ?
Color of the mucous talks a lot.
- Clear and transparent – healthy mucous, healthy body.
- Yellow or green color – there is a viral infection, particularly infection in the sinuses.
- Brown – blood is mixed in the mucous. Maybe your nostrils are irritated.
How to get rid of Mucus in Nose – Treatment of Mucus
Effective treatments for the excess mucus in the nose
The treatment depends on the cause of excess mucus. If it is a viral infection, it will clear on its own in a few days. You can drink lots of fluids to help the body heal fast. In the case of stubborn infections, a course of antibiotics and other treatments might be required.
Try the following treatments to get rid of nasal mucus.
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- Decongestants –These medicines narrow the blood vessels in the nasal passages and hence reduce the amount of mucus produced. It also becomes easy to remove the snot. But be careful not to overuse them because of the side effects such as dizziness and high blood pressure. Decongestants might also dry the mucous membrane leading to thick mucus and congestion. Hence this treatment line should be used cautiously.
- Antihistamines – Allergies can produce histamine in the body. By using antihistamines, you can reduce the activity of histamine and its associated symptoms like a runny nose. Overuse of this treatment can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and headache.
- Expectorants – This works by thinning the mucus. It becomes easy to remove thin mucus. You can even try natural expectorants like honey and peppermint. These natural fixes are highly effective in getting rid of that excess snot.
Clear the excess mucus in nose with these home remedies
You can try these effective home remedies for removing the excess mucus.
- Gargle salt water – Salt water gargle can get rid of the mucus at the back of the throat. Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle as often as required. This can even kill harmful germs.
- Saline nasal spray – You can get rid of the mucus in the nasal passages with the help of a saline spray or rinse. Ensure that you use only sterile spray with sodium chloride. The water you use also has to be sterile. This is a proven treatment that can be easily tried at home to remove the snot.
- Nasal irrigation – You can also try nasal irrigation for removing the mucus. You need just a neti pot or bulb syringe for this. You can use salt water and perform the rinse. It will wash away the mucus and debris and also moisten the membranes.
- Try eucalyptus oil – Eucalyptus is an age-old remedy to reduce mucus. You can apply it on your chest or add a few drops to a diffuser to inhale. It will loosen the mucus and make it easy it get rid of it by coughing.
- Relax with a hot bath – A hot bath can loosen the mucus in the nasal passages and makes it easy to remove.
- Drink plenty of fluids – Drinking fluids can keep your body hydrated. The result is a thin mucus that is easier to remove.
- Moisturize the air – Dry air will increase the nasal mucus production by irritating the nose and throat. Moisturizing will reduce the dryness of the air and also thins the snot.
- Eat the right food – Include more fruits in your diet. The fiber in the fruit can reduce respiratory problems. Also, try to include items like lemon, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, pomegranate, and other foods that promote respiratory health. Supplement soft licorice root, ginseng, and oral zinc might also be helpful.
A healthy body requires mucus. You have to be concerned only if the mucus is produced in excess and brings physical issues. If these preventive steps and remedies are not resolving your problem, then it is advised to consult a doctor for examining the underlying cause. Your doctor can do an accurate assessment and prescribe the right remedy.