Clear nasal discharge vs. yellow discharge

Written by douglas christian larsen
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Clear nasal discharge vs. yellow discharge
(young woman wiping nose image by forca from

The colour of nasal discharge fluctuates from clear to yellow and sometimes green, and is an indicator of what is happening in the body. Mucus is the body's first-line defence against viral invaders as well as the janitor.

Clear Discharge

As reported on the SinusWars website, clear or colourless mucus is an indication of a healthy state; however, when the body suddenly begins to generate a lot of mucus, this could be the sign of an early viral infection.

Yellow Discharge

When mucus begins to thicken and turn yellow, it is a good sign. Yellow discharge indicates that the body is winning the war against the illness and is usually a sign of healing.

Green Discharge

Green discharge indicates a sinus infection, and facial pressure or tenderness is an accompanying symptom. If the condition persists for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted, and antibiotics may be required.

Nose Blowing

According to the Indiana Public Media Moment of Science website, blowing the nose hard into a tissue can cause more problems than good. A better practice is to blow gently through one nostril while plugging the opposite nostril.

The Nasal Flush

The Mayo Clinic recommends nasal irrigation by cleaning the nasal passages by flushing with warm, purified water with sea salt and baking soda, removing stagnate mucus. This method is simple, safe and appropriate for children.

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