Yellow Nose Mucus: Light, Watery, Thick Yellow Snot, Phlegm, Treatment

Yellow nose mucus discharge that is accompanied by a sore throat is a symptom of bronchitis. When the bronchus is infected, there air flow will be affected and your immune system will react by producing a discharge. This may appear like a watery slimy phlegm or nasal mucus that may be bright yellow. There are also other several causes that are discussed below.

Mucus is part and parcel of the nose. It originates from a special membrane found in the nose which is called the mucous membrane. The normal mucus is clear in color and it is produced in small amounts that orchestrate several important functions in the nose

Yellow Nose Mucus Discharge, Thick, Light, Watery

Yellow Nose Mucus Discharge, Thick, Light, Watery

The clear mucus hydrates and moisturizes the nose lining. It also prevents into external particles and pathogens like bacteria and virus from getting the respiratory tract through the nose. It is rich in antibodies and enzymes that fight these pathogens.

When the nose mucus changes color to yellow or any other colour, you certainly have an infection, a cold or an allergic reaction. You should worry even more if the non-clear shade of mucus is persistent for a long period of time.

Yellow Snot Nasal Discharge

The human body is designed to be able to fight off infections on its own. You only get medication when the infection overwhelms the immune system. White blood cells that are found in the blood are known as the soldiers of the human body. They are the main component of the immune system and they fight off pathogens.

The white blood cells usually die after fighting an infection. Whenever you get an infection in the nose the blood supply to the nose will increase in order to transport white blood cells to the affected area. They will fight off the infection then die. These dead cells are naturally washed out of the body through the nose mucus. It’s the dead white blood cells that tint the mucus in the nose giving it a yellow colour.

The yellow snot that comes out of your nose whenever you get an infection is a basic indication that your immune system is doing a good job. It may last for at least a week. You do not need to take any medication because the body is self-healing. You should only get worried if the yellow snot does not subside after several weeks. It is advisable to see your doctor then.

The good news is that when your flu or cold gets to a stage where it changes color to yellow it becomes less infectious. Yellow snot from nose means that the amount of virus and bacteria in it has reduced after being fought by the white blood cells. A clear runny nose is more infectious as compared to yellow snot.

Causes of Yellow Nose Mucus

Mucus exists in the nose naturally and serves a noble purpose. However, when you get flu, a cold or an allergic reaction the mucus ill turn yellow with time. This yellow mucus is not as sign of bacteria in the mucus. It simply means that the dead white blood cells discussed above have mingled with the mucus to give it the yellow colour.

Yellow mucus from nose with Sore Throat

“Yellow mucus accompanied by a sore throat is a symptom of bronchitis. This refers to an infection in the major air passage. This air passage is known as the respiratory system. Bronchitis forms when you have had a common cold or flu that has not disappeared after a week. It is a secondary infection that follows common cold”

This condition is associated with sore throat and dark yellow mucus from a runny nose as wells as coughing up yellow snot. Medics encourage us to cough up this yellow mucus since it helps in the healing process. The infection is mostly caused by bacteria.

Acute bronchitis can heal on its own though doctors might prescribe antibiotics when it gets chronic. You will develop a dry cough for a while before full recovery. People who smoke are more likely to get this infection. You need to avoid dairy products and smoke at all cost whenever you have a bacterial infection in your bronchus.

Bright yellow nasal discharge

Bright yellow nasal discharge is an indication that the soldiers of the body which are also known as white cells are fighting off the infection that is causing the discharge. These dead white cells mix with the mucus and give it the yellow hue.

The more the number of dead cells the more the hue of the mucus changes from bright yellow to dark yellow and to eventually green. Therefore, bright yellow mucus simply means that there are fewer white blood cells in the discharge as compared to the darker shades of colour like dark yellow and green.

Thick Rubbery Mucus from Nose

Thick rubbery snot from nose is a serious symptom of nasal indicates damage on the mucous membranes. A compromised mucous membrane results into eruption of tiny benign projections on the nasal passage known as nasal polyps. The mucous membrane gets damaged by prolonged inflammations and irritation of the delicate tissues that line the nose. These nasal polyps are likely to affect people who;

  1. Are asthmatic.
  2. Have a family history of allergies?
  3. Are born with cystic fibrosis
  4. Have the Churg –Stauss syndrome which makes blood vessels swell.

The thick rubbery sticky snot from nose makes you very uncomfortable since it numbs the nose and jeopardizes your sense of smell as well as taste. The good news is that these nasal polyps can be surgically removed or if they are mild then steroids can be used to clear them off.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Nasal polyps can affect anyone, but they’re more common in adults. Medications can often shrink or eliminate nasal polyps, but surgery is sometimes needed to remove them. Even after successful treatment, nasal polyps often return.”

Thick sticky snot from nose mucus in general can be caused by poor lifestyle choices. Dehydration, abuse of drugs, dry air and smoking are the most common causes of thick mucus. These factors are the leading causes of dry nose and this result in the formation of thick mucus.

The solution to these problems is basic self-care and taking enough water for the body in a day. Some of these factors that trigger thick mucus do not need medical care unless polyps are involved as mentioned above. Otherwise dinking plenty of water, breathing humid air and eating healthy food should resolve such a problem.

Yellow runny nose mucus discharge

Yellow runny nose is a common symptom for sinus infection which is also known as sinusitis. Sinuses are hollow air passages that surround the nose. Irritation in the sinus leads to over production of mucus and this is what causes a runny nose.

Sinuses can be irritated by bacteria, virus or allergens. The yellow hue in the mucus is caused by dead white blood cells that have been fighting the infection causing bacteria. Infections makes the sinuses swell and become painful leading to migraines.

Other related symptoms of inflamed sinuses other than yellow runny nose include;

  1. Blocked nose
  2. Tooth ache
  3. Post nasal drip
  4. Pain and pressure on the face when you bend forward

The best way to treat a runny nose is to drink lots of fluids, rest well, perform nasal irrigation and inhale steam. Do not used antibiotics to treat a runny nose unless your doctor advises otherwise. The only medication you need to take is pain relievers for the migraines.

Blood in Yellow Mucus from Nose

Blood in yellow mucus from nose does not mean that you have an infection. It simply means that the blood tissues lining the delicate nasal membrane or sinuses have ruptured and blood is staining the yellow nose mucus. The rupturing of the blood tissues is majorly caused by breathing in dry air. It doesn’t matter whether the air is cold or hot as long as it is not humid then it will irritate the nose and rupture the blood vessels.

People who experience winter or extreme hot and dry desert weather are prone to getting bloody mucus. Blood in yellow nose mucus is also triggered by the extremely dry boogers that form from yellow snots in the nose. When you pick out the dry boogers from your nose you are likely to rupture the blood tissues.

It is advisable to install a humidifier in your house or bedroom if you live in any of the climatic conditions named above. It doesn’t help to have a dry room heater in winter. The air also needs to humidified or else you will be keeping yourself warm but damaging your nose without knowing.

Having a cold or flu can be very irritating and one may feel the need to blow their nose as often as they can in order to get rid of the yellow snot that forms in the nose. When you blow your nose too frequently, the blood vessels will rupture and you will see bloody yellow mucus on your handkerchief.

You should only consult an ENT specialist if the blood increases in volume and becomes persistent. Otherwise washing your nose with warm water and applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on it should do the healing magic

Light Yellow Watery Nasal Discharge

Light yellow nasal discharge is an indication of a very critical leak of fluids from the brain. There is a fluid known as cerebral spinal fluid, CSF, that protects the brain and spine form injury. It is a clear watery fluid but may change colour to yellow when there is an increase in the cerebral spinal fluid protein or there has been bleeding in the past few days.

This fluid flows into the sinuses whenever there is interference in the brain lining and the bone meant to separate the brain form sinuses. Once these fluid drains into the sinuses you will experience watery nasal discharge from the nose. The leakage of this cerebral spinal fluid can be caused by several factors;

  1. Accidental traumas on the head of a patient
  2. Trauma on the skull during neurosurgery
  3. Tumours in the brain
  4. Elevated intracranial pressure

The watery nasal discharge leaks from one side of the nose especially when the patient bends forward. You should not ignore such a discharge from the nose. A doctor who specializes in this kind of condition is known as a rhinologist. Ensure you consult a rhinologist as soon as you can. If left untreated this condition may lead to other fatal health conditions like meningitis or brain abscess and eventually death.

Thick Yellow Slippery Snot, Mucus

Thick Yellow Slippery Snot, Mucus

Yellow Green Mucus from Nose

As discussed above, the immune system used the white blood cell, “soldiers “, to fight an infection in the nose or any other part of the body. If the infection is mild, then only a few white blood cells will be involved in the battle and as a result yellow nose mucus will be produced. But if the magnitude of the infection is great then more white blood cells will be needed to fight of the nasal infection. The more the white blood cells used the more the number of dead soldiers that will mix with the mucus.

An increase in the number of dead white cells changes the mucus from yellow to a greenish colour. The more the concentration of dead white cells the more your mucus will appear yellow green. At this point you will feel sick. Symptoms such as lethargy, nausea and fever may overwhelm you. But the good news is they are indication that your body is fighting. If your immune system is overwhelmed or is low, then you will get sick and at this point you need to now seek eternal reinforcement in form of medication.

When the yellow green discharge and the related symptoms of a cold or flu persist for more than a week then consulting your doctor will be the only option you are left with. Your body can only do so much. Nutritionists advise us on how to boost the immune system so that our body can be able to withstand infection. It is not healthy to be dependent on medication for every infection or disease that attacks your body.

Yellow Brown Mucus from Nose

Yellow brown nose mucus from nose is an indication of earlier bleeding in the nose that has dried up. Causes of blood in yellow nose mucus have been discussed above in depth. When this fresh blood gets exposed to air it deoxidizes, dries up and turns brown just like metal rust. The brown blood mixes with the already exciting yellow snot to from yellow brown mucus.

In some cases, yellow brown mucus results from inhaling dust while walking on a dusty road or cleaning your home. Inhaling brown powdered spices while cooking may also stain your yellow nose mucus giving it a brownish shade. If this is the case, then all you need to do is blow off the yellow brown mucus and rinse your nose with warm water. You do not need to see a doctor because of yellow brown mucus coming out of your nose.

Yellow Black Mucus from Nose

Yellow black mucus only occurs when you inhale black smoke or black powder when you already have existing yellow snot due to an infection your body is fighting. You may accidentally come into contact with black smoke from the following sources;

  1. The exhaust fumes of a diesel fuelled vehicle
  2. Fumes from a meth lab
  3. Black smoke from a burning building
  4. Inhaling charcoal powder while handling charcoal

Yellow black nose mucus that is persistent is an imitation of a fungal infection in the nose. Fungal infection is a secondary infection that occurs on nasal inflammations. You need to consult a specialist for treatment of the fungus. In severe cases the fungal spores may require surgical removal.

When to see a doctor

Common cold and flu can be fought off by your natural immune system. The whit e blood cells are sufficient to deal with the infection. You only need to boost the immune system by drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy and avoiding use of drugs. The common cold should go away after a maximum of one week.

You only need to visit your doctor when the yellow nose mucus persists for a long time. Thick sticky rubbery mucus that won’t go away is a symptom of nasal polyps. Nasal polyps can only be removed surgically hence the need to see a specialist.

Having a sore through and coughing up yellow mucus or phlegm is an indication of acute bronchitis. You better seek treatment before the infection advances to a chronic status.

Blood in mucus that is regular should also be a cause for an alarm. Common bleeding in the nose may be a sign of nasal cancer. According to NHS, “Nasal and sinus cancer affects the nasal cavity (the space behind your nose) and the sinuses (small, air-filled cavities inside your nose, cheekbones and forehead).It’s a rare type of cancer that most often affects men aged 50 to 60.”

This cancer is characterized by symptoms such as;

  1. Frequent nose bleeding or blood stained mucus
  2. A permanent blockage on one side of the nose
  3. Poor sense of smell and taste
  4. Abnormal tumour on the nose
  5. Numb nose
  6. Swollen lymph glands on the neck
  7. Poor vison and teary eyes

You should also visit your doctor if the yellow nose mucus is accompanied by high fever, headache, and loss of vison, stiff neck, swollen ice and difficulty in breathing. Some of these are serious symptoms of allergic reaction. Follow your instincts and do not let friends and relatives talk you out of getting medical check-up when you are experiencing these extreme complications.

Watery nasal discharge from one side of the nose is an indication of a leak of fluid that cushions the brain and spine which is known as cerebral spinal fluid. Taking antihistamines, antibiotics or using nasal drainages may not stop this leak. This is a sign that the discharge coming out of your nose is more than flu. If this conditioned is contained early it will prevent you from getting diseases like meningitis.


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Yellow Nose Mucus Discharge Treatment

Treatment of yellow nose mucus or general nasal congestion does not require the use of medication unless you get an infection that is followed by nasal tissue inflammation and thick mucus that last for a long term.

Drinking plenty of warm water, warm chicken soup and breathing in steam is enough to relive your nose and clear the yellow nose mucus in a week.

Oral decongestants that can be bought form a pharmacy can also help in reducing the amount of mucus that comes out of your nose and clear your lungs for easy breathing. Be careful to use them only when you get overwhelmed because they come with side effects like drying up the mucous membrane or thickening the yellow nose mucus further. They may also cause high blood pressure since they work under the principle of restricting blood flow. This is followed by light headed ness and anxiety.

There are special medications that are meant to make thick yellow snot thinner so that it can flow out of the body easily. They clear mucus from the air path in the respiratory system. These types of medication are categorized under a class of medicine known as Mucokinetics. Examples of these drugs are Ammonium chloride, Sodium citrate, potassium iodide, Vasaka and Guaifenesin.

Yellow nose mucus that is caused by allergies is treated using antihistamine. Just like the name suggests, antihistamine counters histamine that is responsible for allergic reactions. They will reduce the amount of mucus and dry up your nose. However, they come with side effects such as light headedness, headache and feeling generally tired. It is advisable to take a nap after taking antihistamine or have plenty of rest without getting involved in activities that require your attention and energy.

Last but not least a method known as nasal irrigation can be used to wash out the yellow nose mucus. Distilled salted water is pumped into the nose using a device called net pot and then flushed out. It washes out the mucus, dead cells and bacteria that are in the nose. High standards of hygiene should be observed when using nasal irrigation method. The only side effect for this method is that it might erode the mucous membrane.

In conclusion always use the simple methods named above, like hydration and steaming to treat your yellow nose mucus and general nasal congestion. They do not have any side effects. The medications named above should be your last resort.



  1. Discharge from the nose that has a bad smell, comes from only one side, or is a color other than white or yellow Cough that lasts longer than 10 days, or produces yellow-green or gray mucus Symptoms that last more than 3 weeks

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