Did You Know? 8 Facts About Mucus

Did You Know? 8 Facts About Mucus

Facts About Mucus

With cold and flu season in full swing, many are dealing with an influx of mucus. While the thought of phlegm or mucus may be gross, mucus does play an essential role in keeping you and your lungs healthy. Mucus is your body’s first line of defense against viruses and bacteria, so before you turn your nose up at this article, keep on reading to learn some interesting facts about mucus.

8 Interesting Facts About Mucus

  1. Mucus is comprised of salt, water, and proteins. But in your nasal passageways, mucus often picks up white blood cells and other debris along the way.

  2. Mucus acts as a film to protect your lungs and nasal passages, keeping them well moisturized. The last thing you want is for them to get dry!

  3. When you have a cold, mucus production goes into overdrive, so irritants can’t burrow themselves deeper into the lungs. Instead, they get caught up in the mucus so we can cough or blow it out.

  4. What we classified as “boogers” as kids, is just dried up mucus, mixed with other particles such as pollen, dirt, or dust.

  5. You don’t just have mucus-secreting tissue in your lungs, nose, mouth, and throat. You can also find them in your ears, eyes, reproductive organs, urinary organs, and GI tract.

  6. While mucus is often thin and runny, when you are sick, it is normal for your mucus to get thicker, even though it doesn’t always have to. Smoking and certain medications can also make your mucus thicker.

  7. The color of your mucus can tell you a lot. White or yellow mucus typically happens when you have a cold, while greenish mucus can signify the presence of infection-fighting white blood cells.

  8. While this is frowned upon, picking your nose is not just gross, it is also a good way to injure the delicate lining inside of your nostrils. A fingernail can easily scratch the inside of a nose, which can raise the risk of a respiratory infection.

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Other patients should not be seen, according to guidelines.
Patients with flu like symptoms or fever or known exposure to COVID-19
should go to urgent care or speak to their primary care physician.

Be well and don’t hesitate to reach out to us as needed.
The Staff and Doctors of The New York Otolaryngology Group