Basically, parts of the body such as the nose, sinuses, digestive tract, mouth and lungs have mucus on their surface. This mucus acts as a mouth covering or protector on the surface of the tissue, which prevents the underlying tissue from drying out, acts as an antidote (defense system) and performs its normal function. In normal conditions the mucus or mucus is produced in normal amounts and does not exceed the limit until it comes out of the nose and with a certain color, namely clear and white.
So why is the sign when mucus is produced in excess?
This mucosal fluid in the nose or mucus will be produced excessively if there is a reaction in the nasal mucosa lining which makes it more active than usual, the reaction can be an infection such as influenza or as a result of exposure to certain substances (allergens) that can cause reactions allergy. In addition, there is a specific purpose when mucus is overproduced, namely that excessive mucus production is the body’s defense mechanism to expel the virus that is carried when an infection occurs and to expel allergens in allergic reactions.
Then Why Does Snot Change Color? Does Each Color Have A Specific Indication?
Although normally the mucosal fluid produced by the nose is clear and white, it is not always that the mucus that is secreted by the nose has this color. For example, when influenza occurs, the color of the mucus will be clear but over time, this color will turn yellow to greenish, sometimes even this mucus is mixed with blood so that the color turns red to brownish red.
To add to your insight, here are the various snot colors and their meanings:
1. Colorless snot (clear or white)
Basically this is the normal color of the mucosal or mucous discharge produced by the nose. The mucus with this color only shows an increase in mucus production, this is usually the result of an allergic reaction or early stage viral infection such as when you have influenza and the common cold.
2. Yellow and Greenish Snot
Have you ever heard or even seen runny nose with a thick yellow or green color which is then indicated as a sign of infection. But don’t get it wrong, even though it is caused by an infection this does not mean that the mucus is yellow or green as a result of a bacterial infection that attacks the nose and surrounding areas.
When influenza and common cold occur, the body’s immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils to the affected area, in this case the nasal mucosa that is infected. These cells contain enzymes and are yellow-green in color, and if present in large numbers they can turn the mucus this color.
It’s just that you need to be aware that yellow or green mucus can also be an indication as a sign of a possible dangerous ear and sinus infection (sinusitis). If this happens, it will also be accompanied by other symptoms. If sinusitis occurs, the symptoms will be accompanied by fever, congestion and pain that occurs in the area around the face, nose and forehead and mucus that has a strong odor similar to a bad smell. Whereas in ear infections, other symptoms that will be felt include pain in the ear that feels unusual and high fever. Both of these infections are secondary infections caused by bacteria that are carried with influenza. Because the consequences will be dangerous, so when these symptoms are felt, you should immediately see a doctor to get more definite and adequate medical care.
3. Blackish snot
Nasal mucosal discharge that comes out with a black color usually occurs due to frequent inhalation of pollutants in the air. Because one of the nasal mucus performances is to filter out dirt or other particles from getting into the lungs. If the nose inhales ash, dirt, dust, smoke or similar substances carried by air into the nose, this mucus will trap small particles in the substance so that it does not float into the lungs. Usually black or gray snot will often be found if you live in big cities, especially industrial cities as a result of too high air pollution.
4. Snot Is Orange, Red or Red Mixed With Brownish Color
One of the most frightening colors of snot is when the mucus comes out red, which means that the mucus has mixed with blood. There are many causes that can cause this to occur such as the entry of a foreign object into the nose which then damages the soft tissue in the nose, if this happens usually the mucus will also be accompanied by a foul odor that is so strong, this condition is especially suspected in children who often often put any object in the mouth and nose. To prevent this from happening, it is better if you continue to accompany your baby so you don’t let your guard down. In addition, this can also be caused by malignancy or cancer of the sinuses, although this is rare.
5. Bluish-colored snot
Mucus or mucus can turn a bluish color this happens as a result of an attack by a certain bacteria called Pseudomonas pyocyanea. These bacteria are obligate aerobic gram-negative bacteria that have polar flagella, this type of bacteria can be found in nature such as water, soil and even animals. If these bacteria grow on suitable media, they will produce a non-fluorescent pigment that is bluish in color. It is very rare for cases like this to be found in humans, the possibility is that only 1 in 10.00 people experience this. If the mucus has a thick and thick blue color, you should get medical attention immediately for proper treatment. Blue mucus can also occur as a result of accidentally inhaling blue powder or particles that are floating in the air or inhaled. Generally if this happens, the mucus will return to normal within a short time of one to two days.
Those are the various colors of snot that can indicate certain conditions. The most important thing you have to do is go to the doctor if you complain of mucus occurs. So when should you see a doctor? When the runny nose is annoying, when the runny nose appears with signs of sinus and ear infection, when the mucus comes out with blood, when the mucus smells bad or any time when you feel that something is wrong with the snot and the health you feel