Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What does it mean if the color of my mucous is orange?"


I blew my nose today and the mucous that came out was kind of an orange color. What does that mean? Is something stuck in my nose like some kind of a fluid?


I would suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue. It sounds like you may be at risk of an infection, such as sinusitis; your doctor can examine your ears, nose, throat, and lungs closely and help you figure out what is going on. The most common causes of nasal congestion and drainage is a common viral infection of the nose and sinuses.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

The symptoms of a viral infection include congestion and clear nasal discharge. However, sometimes other, more stubborn, bacterial infections of the nose and sinuses can occur - often these infections take hold after you having been suffering already for several days for a common viral infection. Nasal discharge that is not clear is potentially concerning for one of these infections. Your doctor will take a close look in your nose, looking for evidence of sinusitis. If the evidence is clear, you may need to take oral antibiotics, to help clear up the infection. On the other hand, if you have no symptoms of nasal congestion or discharge at hall, then in may be that the 'orange' color you saw in the mucus was actually a small nose bleed. Your doctor should also be able to tell if there is any evidence of nasal bleeding when they examine you.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.