Mucus is soft moist substance produced in the throat which is responsible for performing various important functions like cleansing the nasal cavity and filtering the foreign substance from entering your respiratory tract. Mucus (also called phlegm) is secreted in the body during the process of filtering the pollutants and for sending only pure form of air. Mucus also does the function of fighting the infection and humidifying the air before it enters the nose. The problem arises only when the bacteria or virus gets trapped in this secretion that causes irritation and bad smell. The best remedy is to thin out the secreted mucus and expelling it from the throat.
Types of Mucus :
Basically two types of mucus are found in your body. Thin mucus gets accumulated when you have RTI (respiratory tract infection and the possible causes are exposure to allergens, exposure to cold climate and any infection in the nose. Thin mucus is mostly colorless or whitish grey in color. This type of mucus is free from any type of bacterial infection.
Thick mucus is formed due to severe forms of cold, sinusitis and other nasal infection. This is normally yellow or dark brown or black in color with foul odor. The color and smell indicates the presence of bacteria in the mucus. The affected person will have problems of breathing and talking due to thick mucus accumulation. It takes time for treating thick mucus and mostly antibiotics should be used for clearing and thinning the mucus.
Infection can be caused when a person gets exposed to allergic particles or exposed to cold climate for long time. Normally mucus is secreted in the throat in about 1-2 liters per day. It can also be caused due to nasal drip, flu, and cold and throat congestion. Tonsillitis, laryngitis and strep throat can also cause mucus accumulation in the throat. Viral infections like measles, chicken pox and whooping cough can also trigger mucus formation.
Smoking can also affect the throat lining thereby collecting thick mucus on the throat.
Mucus in throat is formed when a person suffers from respiratory tract infection and it gets severe when he gets sinusitis. Repeated cough, expelling phlegm often, sneezing and difficulty in breathing is felt when the mucus becomes thick. Getting proper sleep during night becomes very difficult due to congestion in the chest and nasal cavity. Some may have headache, body pain and irritation due to sinus problem. The throat gets irritated and becomes flesh colored and it is difficult to eat routine foods.
The symptom gets prominent during mornings with severe headache and backache.
Antibiotics are given for clearing thick mucus formed due to bacterial infection. The infection can be cleared completely only if you take course of antibiotic medicines prescribed by your doctor. In case you are suffering from allergy infection then you need to take drugs that control severe allergy like Benadryl or cetrizine or alerid.
Common cold and flu can produce thin mucus which would gradually get infected by virus or bacteria thereby turning it into thick mucus causing throat irritation.
Medicines are given for thinning the mucus so that it becomes easy to control the symptoms of difficulty in breathing. Remember to take medicines when you have thick mucus failing which it may affect the lungs causing serious consequences. Your doctor can easily differentiate the mucus by its color and smell indicating the presence of bacteria or virus.
Make sure you are wearing protective clothing on ears and head when working in cold environment. Stay away from allergy causing particles like dust, smoke and even pet allergies. Drink plenty of water or fluids to keep hydrated. You can also use humidifier at home to prevent getting mucus.
Reduce the intake of milk and milk products and soy foods since it can cause increased secretion of mucus. You can always include spicy foods like pepper and cinnamon in your diet and drink plenty of water and fluids which would help in thinning out the mucus. Steam inhaling is the best remedy for loosening the mucus accumulated in the throat.