What Does It Mean When I Have Green or Yellow Mucus?


Mucus often changes from clear to white, yellow, or green during illness. Many people believe that the color of their mucus indicates how sick they are and whether their infection is bacterial or viral, but it is not.

Changes in the color of the mucus are a normal part of the natural course of the disease. When germs cause the disease, one of the first ways your body fights the infection is by creating extra mucus to try to get rid of the invading pathogen. This early mucus is usually clear.

A few days later, his body sent immune cells to join the fight. They can turn the mucus into white or yellow. If the bacteria also mix, the mucus may turn green.

But it’s important to remember that bacteria are constantly present in your body. Some make you sick and some don’t. Just because they’re in your mucus doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a problem — or that you need it antibiotic. to recover. For example, bacterial infection occurs only in 0.5-2% of cases rhinosinusite.

Although less common, your mucus may also turn pink, red, brown, orange, or black. Read on to learn what the color of your mucus means and when it’s important to seek help.

Learn about Medications / Teresa Chiechi

Transparent Mucus

Normal, healthy mucus is clear and is made up of water, salt, proteins, and antibodies. Your body day and night protects your nostrils by releasing approximately 1.5 liters per day.

You may have a runny nose especially with clear mucus:

Rarely, watery runny nose may be the result of a leak cerebrospinal fluid. the fluid that surrounds and softens the brain, usually due to injury or certain diseases. Seek emergency medical attention if you have watery discharge along with:

  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Rigid neck
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Headaches that get worse or get worse with the change of position

White Mucus

White mucus is often associated with a cold or other infection that causes nasal congestion. When overloaded, swelling in the nose makes it difficult for mucus to escape and begin to dry out. This makes it cloudy and thick.

It may also turn white due to the presence of immune cells that your body sends to fight the disease.

Yellow Slime

When your mucus turns yellow, it means your disease is progressing normally. White blood cells and other cells of the immune system have come to fight the germs that cause your disease. Some of them are now exhausted and rinsed with mucus.

The texture is probably also drier and thicker than before.


Thick green snot means your body is fighting hard. Depleted immune cells and vital waste are further eliminated.

Green mucus is not of immediate concern. But if you are still sick after about 12 days, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics. Especially if you have a fever or nausea, it’s time to see your doctor.

Pink or red mucus

When you have pink or red mucus, it means you have blood in your nose. This can be caused by:

  • Often sonorous
  • Poking in the nose
  • Getting hit in the nose
  • Dry nasal passages due to illness or weather
  • Pregnancy

Blood in the nose is more common if you live in a dry climate or at high altitude. The presence of asthma or allergies can also cause blood in the nose. Persistent runny nose can irritate the nasal passages and cause one of the small capillaries in the nose to break.

If you have had any type of injury to your nose or face, such as a car accident, you should see a doctor right away. Other reasons to seek medical care include:

  • Prolonged bleeding for more than 30 minutes
  • Heavy bleeding or more than a spoonful of blood
  • Shortness of breath with bleeding nose

Brown or orange mucus

Brown mucus may form as a result of mixing dried blood. Mucus can also turn brown or orange if you inhale something like mud, a red spice like paprika, or tobacco (tobacco).

This color is usually not the result of disease.

Black Slime

Black mucus is rare and means you should see a doctor right away. It is often a sign of a fungal infection that needs to be treated. These infections can cause severe symptoms and some forms require surgery.

Most healthy people are not susceptible to these infections. They are more common, though still somewhat rare, in people with weakened immune systems due to diseases or medications.

Other possible causes of black mucus are:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Use of illicit drugs

However, don’t assume you have black snot just because you’re a smoker. Not only can a fungal infection be dangerous, it can also be a sign that you have an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, so seek medical attention.

When Should You Worry?

If you have congestion with the following symptoms, it may be time for an exam:

  • Severe symptoms
  • Symptoms that last more than two weeks
  • He starts to feel better and then gets sick again, usually with a cough and temperatures above 102 degrees Fahrenheit. These are signs of a secondary infection (for example, a bacterial infection after a virus).
  • Yellow or green mucus for more than two weeks accompanied by pain and pressure in the sinuses and face. These symptoms may indicate a sinus infection.

Much sinus infections noses go away on their own without antibiotics, but some require treatment. your health care provider can determine which over-the-counter or prescription medicine best helps relieve your symptoms.


Changes in the color of the mucus, from clear to white, yellow to green, are part of the normal course of the disease. This is a sign that your immune system is struggling to recover.

Pink, red, orange, or brown mucus, on the other hand, is usually not a consequence of the disease. It can simply mean you have blood in your nose or dried blood. If you have black mucus, which is rare, it may indicate a fungal infection and you should consult a doctor.

A Few Words From Get Meds Info

Healthcare professionals often don’t make a diagnosis based solely on the color of the mucus, but it can help supplement the image. So, while it’s helpful to tell your healthcare provider if your mucus has changed color and consistency, don’t expect to get antibiotics automatically just because it’s green. Your health care provider will use all the information at your disposal to determine the best course of action.

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