Mucus in throat: Causes & Treatment

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  • 2 months ago
Dr. Sushmita Gupta
ENT Specialist / Otorhinolaryngology

Mucus in throat: Causes & Treatment

In this video, Dr. Sushmita Gupta, Consultant ENT at Apollo Clinic and CHD City Hospital Chandigarh discusses a very common problem: mucus in the throat. Mucus forms a mucosal lining in the nose, throat, sinus, and lungs. It lubricates the respiratory tract with moisture. Mucus also protects the lining by filtering harmful particles. 

What is Mucus in throat?

The mucus forms through the nose, and the sinus continuously drops into our throat. We call this condition post-nasal drip. And one unconsciously swallows it. Sometimes it is formed in excessive concentration leading to pooling in the throat. So one may develop a phlegm problem. As a result one needs to repeatedly clear their throats. Sometimes one may feel that something is stuck inside the throat.

Causes of mucus in throat

It can occur due to allergies or infection in the nose and sinuses. The second reason is acid reflux. By acid reflux, doctors mean that the acid in the stomach may come upwards to the throat. It might irritate and cause such problems. The third reason is lung infection, like bronchitis, pneumonia, or COPD. These may occur as a side effect of a few medicines.

Is this normal?

Excess mucus production is a temporary process. It heals on its own. But in some cases, it may persist for longer. What can we do, or what medicines could help us? 

Treatment

If there is mucus in the throat repeatedly, one may take sips of water to clear mucus pooled in the throat. Also, one must prefer normal water. The second thing is the use of saline nasal irrigation. Over the counter, mucolytics syrups are available in the market that thin the mucus and help clear it by coughing it out. 

Home remedies

Gargling with salt water helps in clearing mucus. For humidifying, one can keep water in the bowl in one corner. Moisture will make the mucus thin, avoid its pooling in the nose. And hence, prevent its thickening. These humidifiers are available in the market for purchase. Apart from these, stay hydrated. One must take reasonable amounts of water in intervals and increase the concentration. Avoid sleeping flat, and try to level the head up. Avoid irritants like chemicals and fragrances that irritate your throat, and quit smoking. 

Symptoms that need doctor assistance

These are specific symptoms for which one must immediately consult the doctor. First, there is mucus formation repeatedly, or it is forming for a longer duration, like if it has been four weeks. The second is if the mucus concentration increases and is thickening. Third, there is a color change. Like if the color has changed to brownish or yellowish or greenish. If there is blood in the mucus followed by fever, pain in the chest, or difficult breath, you must consult the doctor and seek treatment.

 Don’t ignore them, as these may be warning signs of other underlying problems.

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