Throat Mucus Causes & Relief
We have all had it, even as babies, but what is it and how can we get it out of our system.
What’s Throat Mucus?
Also called phlegm, throat mucus is often described as an uncomfortable feeling you get when mucus is clogging your throat or dripping down into it from your nose. About one to two liters a day of mucus are produced by your nose and throat glands.
It’s made up of cells that line your sinus passages and have a few important functions. The mucus cleanses and moistens your nasal passages, traps any foreign particles and stops them from going into your respiratory system, fights your infections, and makes the air more humid. A lot of times we don’t even know that we are swallowing mucus.
Symptoms of Having Throat Mucus
- Congestion in the throat
- Trouble breathing
- Coughing up Phlegm and Mucus
What Causes Someone to Have Throat Mucus?
When someone has a lot of mucus in their throat, it’s very often because they have the flu or a cold, post nasal drip, sinusitis, or an allergy to something. Disorders of the throat like strep throat, tonsillitis, catarrh, and laryngitis will often come with mucus as well. Viral infections like measles, croup, mononucleosis, chicken pox, or whooping cough sometimes cause mucus in the throat too.
If the person’s throat has been irritated by polluted air, chemical fumes, or cigarettes smoke, mucus often settles on the person’s nasal and throat lining. Throat mucus often will cause bad breath as well, because it contains a lot of protein and also makes anaerobic bacteria. If you are looking for something that you can make at home to eliminate throat mucus, there are a few that you can try.
Here are some explanations of what will cause throat mucus:
- Flu or Cold – When someone has a the flu or a cold, the body produces mucus that is thin and clear in the person’s noise and in their throat. When the person’s body starts reacting to the flu or cold, this mucus is going to thicken and become either green or yellow.
- Pregnancy – A lot of woman find that they are having coughing, nasal congestion, and sneezing when they are pregnant. These are very common symptoms and often happen as much as morning sickness and backaches. The reason for this is that estrogen often increases the production of mucus and causes it to become either very thin or very thick.
- Seasonal Allergies – A lot of people have problems with seasonal allergies each year. These differ from the common cold in the fact that allergy symptoms of coughing, itchy eyes, mucus in the throat, and sneezing come all at once. There are a lot of allergen types that cause symptoms such as these, such as pollen from trees and flowers, and these symptoms are going to be around until the source of the allergens disappears.
- Post Nasal Drip – This occurs when a lot of mucus accumulates in a person’s throat and nose and it turns to phlegm, which causes the person to cough. This often builds up while the person is sleeping and that is why people are congested when they wake up.
Mucus in the Throat of Babies and Children
For the first ninety days or so of life, infants breathe just through their nose. Sometimes babies will become congested because their nasal passages are small and flexible, and this congestion will interfere with their ability to nurse or sleep. Just like with adults, the cells in the nasal passages make mucus. but since a baby’s throat and nose can’t handle a lot of mucus, they will sneeze more often in order to clear the mucus from their throat. Many parents find that it’s a good idea to ask the doctor about ways that they can help the baby get rid of the mucus.
Children are more prone to getting the flu and colds, and it’s common for a great amount of throat mucus to remain in their throat for up to six weeks after an infection. A cough that produces phlegm is going to sound wet in the child’s throat and chest. Children come down with an average of six to twelve respiratory infections per year, and this leads to throat phlegm and a lot of coughing. Even though respiratory infections are what cause most of the throat mucus that’s found in children, they can be affected by seasonal allergies as well. These allergies often range from late in December to the end of summer, like they do with adults.
Foods That Cause or Relieve Throat Mucus
One of the unfortunate facts is that there are foods that can cause mucus in the throat, and for people who have a lot of throat mucus to begin with, they don’t want to add more mucus. Milk as well as milk products such as butter, cottage cheese, and yogurt can produce a lot of throat mucus. These kinds of items carry casein, which are protein molecules, and this increases mucus secretions as well as being hard to digest. Other things that can cause more mucus are sugar, non-herbal teas, caffeine, and salt, along with soy. Those who are vegetarians and eat a lot of soy products are going to discover that they have problems with mucus.
Even though there are a lot of food groups and foods that will often cause mucus, the good news is that there are also a lot of foods that are going to help give you some relief. Ginger and honey taken by the spoonful is a good remedy. A lot of people find that spicy foods such as wasabi, chili peppers, and cayenne pepper are also good for releasing mucus. It’s also very important to drink a lot of fluid, and the best choice is water. Paired with zinc, and vitamins C and E, water is a great way to get rid of mucus.
Help for Dealing With Throat Mucus
When there’s mucus at the back of a person’s throat and it becomes thick, most people deal with it by coughing. This is going to help loosen or break up the phlegm, and this gives way to that uncomfortable feeling. Having to deal with mucus is a nuisance, but it’s good to know that there are simple ways that it can be remedied.
Make sure that you are drinking a lot of things such as tea that has honey in it, water, or juice, and gargle on a daily basis using a mixture of warm water and salt in order to help the mucus thin out. Something else that you can do to rid yourself of a lot of mucus is to boil some water in a tub and add eucalyptus oil to it, then inhale those vapors. This is going to help with draining mucus from a person’s chest and throat.
There are different medications that are available over the counter, things like ibuprofen, nasal sprays, paracetamol, and antiseptic gargles can give sufferers pain relief as well. For throat infections which are more severe the person might need a prescription medication.
Tips for Preventing and Soothing Throat Mucus
There are some ways that you can either prevent or sooth mucus in the throat, and these include:
- Inhaling the steam from hot showers or boiling water to loosen throat mucus and congestion in the sinuses
- Drinking a minimum of eight water glasses a day to loosen the phlegm and thin your mucus – this also helps you to stay healthy
- Blowing your nose on a regular basis to help prevent the mucus from draining to your throat.
- Gargle on a regular basis with salt and warm water
- Putting eucalyptus oil on your vaporizer for loosening phlegm and relieving congestion.
- Avoid consuming foods like meat, fried foods, or dairy products which are going to increase the amount of mucus produced
- Drink some hot liquids like chicken broth or herbal tea in order to help moisten your airways as well as break up your mucus.
- Put a teaspoonful of turmeric in a half glass of milk – this contains properties that help to fight the infection.
- Use either a vaporizer that is cool mist or a humidifier where you sleep during the night in order to help in the thinning of your mucus – this is going to moisten your air and it’s going to help a lot during the winter time.
- Limit your exposure to things such as paint fumes, cigarette smoke, chemicals, and household cleaners.
- If you smoke, stop smoking since this irritates your throat and makes respiratory conditions worse.
- Eat foods that are spicy, such as horseradish or chili peppers to make mucus looser
Holistic and natural treatments are also helpful in flushing mucus from your nasal passages and throat area. Remedies that are homeopathic are effective and safe alternatives for people no matter what age they are, and they also encourage your body to heal quickly.
Ingredients that are carefully selected like Kali sulph, Kali bich, and Kali mur help with controlling mucus production, sooth chests that are clogged up, and gives relief from coughing episodes.