Mucus is also called as phlegm that gets accumulated in the throat. Mucus is thick water like substance taking various colors with respect to the cause of the disease and has to be expelled out of throat. Mucus is produced in the windpipe or trachea. Phlegm means inflammation in Greek. The presence of mucus irritates the windpipe and causes great discomfort and the person feels relieved only after he coughs up mucus.
The color of the mucus is white or colorless. There are several reasons for the formation of mucus. Similarly the color of the mucus can be yellow, brown, black or bloody red and even pink. Often, your doctor will ask for color of the mucus to determine for making right diagnoses.
Coughing up clear mucus is nothing to worry and it can be due to irritation in the respiratory tract.
Depending on the symptoms your doctor may order for blood test, sputum test, ECG, CT scan and even chest X-ray. He needs to complete these tests to rule out any chance of having TB.
Yellow mucus can be due to viral or bacterial infection and is indicative of inflammation of respiratory tract. Often it is accompanied by sore throat and fever during bronchitis.
Yellow mucus can be indication of chronic bronchitis caused due to excess of smoking and working in pollution prone environment. Tuberculosis can cause yellow mucus with blood traces.
Lastly, lung cancer can also cause yellow mucus. But this is not the only symptom since it is accompanied by weight loss, loss of appetite and hence you need to consult your physician in case of above symptoms.
It can be due to intense asthma or allergic reaction that has affected the respiratory tract causing inflammation. The yellow mucus indicates the presence of leucocytes in excess.
In addition, it can be caused due to pneumonia, cold, cystic fibrosis, gammaglobulinemia and allergies. In rare cases, yellow mucus can be caused due to abdominal bloating or fullness of stomach.
Home Remedies :
If you observe yellow mucus without any other serious symptom, you can consider doing these simple home treatments.
Inhale hot vapor in which few drops of eucalyptus or menthol are added. It will readily act on the nostrils to clear the passage. Taking lots of hot beverages like green tea, mint tea can help to ease out congestion. You can also try drinking hot vegetable soups repeatedly. Avoid eating spicy foods and fried items. You can use capsicum which acts as expectorant to ease out the congestion and thinning out mucus. Gargle lukewarm salt water 5-6 times a day to spit out mucus easily and to clear your throat.
Medical Treatment :
In case of severe cold with other symptoms for 2 or 3 days you need to consult your doctor. He would give prescription medications for thinning the mucus and for clearing the air passage gradually.