Coughing up yellow mucus


Coughing up yellow mucus can be indication of a benign condition or even a serious physical issue.  There are situation when you may also be coughing up green mucus  white mucus, brown mucus etc. Sometimes, the color of the mucus may help you understand the underlying physical issue; however, it is always a wise decision to get yourself diagnosed and seek treatment.

What does yellow mucus mean?

Yellow mucus may be a formidable indication of any underlying diseases or disorder. For example, thick yellow mucus may hint you about sinus infection whereas light yellow mucus may be resulted out of dry air. In some cases wherein your are coughing up yellow mucus as well as experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, discomfort in chest, tiredness etc, it may be an alarming indication of chronic bronchitis. In case yellow mucus coughs are recurring, then it may signify that you are suffering from some other underlying physical condition related to respiratory system which should be treated immediately.

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Sometimes light yellow mucus is produced which seems thick as well as sticky, this may mean that it is due to dry air as well as inability of nasal membrane to produce enough moisture. In such a case the condition can be alleviated through a hot steam humidifier which may provide additional moisture. It is better to keep these sinus membrane as well as nasal membrane moist as it may help in preventing further infection. Thick yellow nasal mucus can be a sign of cold as well as flu; hence one should drink increased amount of water.  Green mucus and yellow mucus may bear similar symptoms.

Causes of coughing up yellow mucus

When you experience coughing up yellow mucus it can be due to bronchitis as mentioned above. But you should also look for associated symptoms of the condition. You should monitor any emerging signs to ensure that the condition is not serious. If you notice any symptoms that may seem severe, ensure to consult a doctor. The condition can be bronchitis of chronic or acute nature, if it is also accompanied by signs such as listed below:

• Irritation or uneasiness experienced at chest

• Fatigue

• Respiratory issues or wheezing

• Tremors

• Fever

In case of occurrence of yellow mucus due to bronchitis the symptoms can be misleading. It should be known that the disorder is not always accompanied by yellow colored mucus. The condition can be nagging and may persist for weeks even after bronchitis is alleviated. Also, chronic bronchitis can directly affect an individual as it does not need to progress from acute stage of bronchitis. Smokers may start experiencing mucus especially when they wake up in the morning, if the condition persists for over three months it may indicate underlying bronchitis.

In general mucus may be caused due to:

• Sinus infection

• Flu

• Development of Nasal polyps

• Reaction due to allergy

• Dryness due to air

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• Bronchitis

• Cold

• In some cases Candida albicans

Moreover, pneumonia may also contribute to factors that lead to coughing up yellow mucus. The symptoms experienced in case of pneumonia along with mucus are same as in case of bronchitis. However, there may be some other additional symptoms such as blood in mucus or yellowish gray mucus, chest pain, clammy skin, muscle ache, head pain etc.

Another important factor resulting in coughing up green mucus is chronic allergy. Allergy may occur due to food, medicine or any other substance that may result in the condition. Such condition may also be devastating for the nasal sinus. It should be known that some medications may not completely cure the condition but in fact may alleviate the symptoms. Hence, by eating food you are allergic to, you may also stimulate the physical issue again.

Diagnosis of  Yellow Mucus

It is always better to seek medical attention as soon as you feel that you are not well or you experience any symptom. However here are some situations wherein you should meet your doctor immediately.

• In case the intensity of coughing is high and keeps you from sleeping

• Problem while breathing

• Skin abnormality

• Fever persists for more than 3 days or increases to at least 101°F.

• In case you already have heart or lung relate problem and you are coughing up yellow mucus

Treatment for yellow mucus

If you are coughing up excessive mucus in excess it is relieving to control the condition. This can be done by keeping the sinuses as well as the nasal passages healthy. Chugging up yellow mucus in excess may be irritation and uncomfortable, and may be due to any of the following reasons:

• Environmental pollutants

• Mucus producing food eaten in access

• Infections

• Rhinitis also referred to as hay fever

• Allergy

• Sinus which is left untreated for a long time

How to manage excessive yellow mucus:

• Drinking excessive amount of water

• Cleaning up nasal passage regularly

• Understand the color of the mucus which will help in determining any issues when you consult your doctor

• Ask your doctor whether OTC medication can provide relief and follow instruction properly

As suggested above do not take yellow, green, white mucus etc lightly, it can also be a serious underlying health abnormality. Though there are some effective home remedies it is essential to consult a certified health care expert. Home remedies for mucus may be good in case of temporary and mild affliction, but for serious and persistent mucus issues it is better to meet your doctor. Based on the cause your heal care provider will be able to treat the physical issue from its root. For example if the problem is due to allergic reaction, your doctor may find an efficient way to treat the reaction which in turn will alleviate mucus issue. Hence, it is essential to consult your doctor in case you are coughing up yellow mucus.


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  1. Coughing up Green Mucus, Phlegm-Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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