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"What does the color of your mucous indicate?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat does the color of your mucous indicate?


I blew my nose and the mucous that came out was yellowish. What does this mean? Is it a sign that I have too much dirt and dust in my nose?


The color of your mucus can inform you and your doctors certain things about what may be going on in your lungs or sinuses. However, the color of your mucus must be put into context of your current state of health. For example, if your mucus were yellow, in high volume, and you felt crummy with a fever, this could indicate that you have some sort of infection that needs attention. On the other hand, if your mucus were yellow, but you felt fine without any alarming symptoms, then the mucus color may not mean anything. The color yellow is particularly difficult to interpret. Green mucus is also sometimes seen and is more indicative of an infection. If you feel bad and you blow your nose and large amounts of green mucus comes out, it may be indicative of a sinus infection. If you have fever, chills, difficulty breathing, and you cough up green mucus, then this could be indicative of pneumonia. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your story including the color, amount, and context in which your nose mucus turned yellow. This will allow your doctor to decide if you need treatment.

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