Thick Rubbery Mucus From Nose: Should You Be Worried?
Published Oct 19, 2020
Here’s a fun fact: your body produces more than one liter of mucus a day, all of which you swallow. Gross? A little bit, but mucus plays an integral role in keeping your body healthy. Mucus is produced by the mucous membranes that line your nose and sinuses. Most of the time, the mucus goes unnoticed, that is, until it becomes thick and rubbery.
The fluids and secretions from our body are a telltale sign of our condition. Mucus that’s clear and runny indicates that everything is working smoothly in your sinuses. However, the thick and rubbery mucus could be a sign of infection or external irritants in your system.
Once the latter appears, it may also be discolored, taking on a green or yellow tinge. In this article, we’ll be discussing the causes and treatments of thick rubbery mucus and when you should get yourself checked.
What causes thick rubbery mucus?
The body’s natural process includes producing mucus, which traps external irritants in it, preventing them from reaching the lungs. That mucus passes through the throat and reaches the stomach, where the irritants are disposed of. Virtually nobody notices this, not until something goes wrong.
When something in your environment throws off this process, your body goes into overdrive, producing excess mucus. Regular, runny mucus is the product of the moisture in the mucous membranes. Overproduction of mucus dries out your mucous membranes, which causes the mucus to become thick and rubbery. This is extremely noticeable in the back of the throat, making your sinuses feel clogged.
Here are the common factors for thick and rubbery mucus.
A dry environment refers most especially to air quality. Dry air, such as the one in winter, dries out your sinuses. Lacking in moisture, your mucous membranes then produce this thick and rubbery mucus.
If you have recurring sinusitis, you’ll know that a slight trigger like a common cold can bring a viral infection. Your body’s response to viral and bacterial infections is to overproduce mucus in hopes of flushing out the cause of the infection.
Certain lung diseases also cause mucus to thicken and block airways. These lung diseases include bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and pneumonia, among others. Most, if not all, lung diseases are closely associated with thickened mucus. In bronchitis, a common experience among patients is coughing up thickened mucus, which can typically appear discolored.
Allergies are caused by allergens, which are external irritants. Your body overproduces mucus to flush them out, much like it would during a viral and bacterial infection.
If your body isn’t sufficiently hydrated, it will also show in the quality of your mucus. The mucous membrane needs adequate moisture to produce clear and runny mucus. Diuretics (coffee and alcohol), strenuous exercise, excessive sweating, and certain medications lead to dehydration.
Previous studies have shown that cigarette smoking leads to overproduction of mucus cells in the large and small airways.
If the thick and rubbery mucus starts becoming a problem, making breathing difficult and causing discomfort, here are some possible ways to treat it.
Over-the-counter and prescription medication
- Over-the-counter medicines: You can try using decongestants that open up your airways and soothe inflammation. There are many oral decongestants, which come in the form of tablets, syrups, and flavored powders. Expectorants, such as guaifenesin (Mucinex and Robitussin), thin out mucus, so it clears your throat and chest. If the excess mucus is because of allergies, you may take an antihistamine.
- Prescription medicines: Mucus thinners, such as mucolytics, are inhaled medication capable of thinning out mucus in the airways so that they can be coughed out. The two primary types of mucolytics are hypertonic saline and dornase alfa (Pulmozyme)
Here are some less drastic approaches you can take and apply daily to reduce and prevent thick and rubbery mucus.
- Humidifiers: Dry air is your enemy, so the logical solution is to use humidifiers to ensure your mucous membranes are sufficiently moisturized.
- Stay Hydrated: With dehydration being a leading factor towards thick and rubbery mucus, you’ll want to stay adequately hydrated. Drinking 8-10 cups of water is a good start, and you should reduce your intake of diuretics.
- Respiratory health-boosting ingredients: We recommend drinking and eating foods containing lemon, ginger, and garlic. Spicy foods containing capsaicin may also help relieve sinuses and keep mucus flowing.
- Gargle salt water: Gargling a warm water solution with salt helps relieve mucus at the back of the throat and helps kill germs that could cause infection.
Quit smoking: If you’re a chronic smoker, you’ll want to stop it. Smoking puts you at significant risk of poor lung health, potentially even leading to lung cancer. Besides the long-term effects, it could also have several short-term side effects, such as excess mucus.
Curious About Bionaze?
Bionaze is a proprietary blend of probiotics proven to help help improve digestion, support your immune system, and promote ear, nose, and throat health. The active ingredients BLIS K12 and BL-04 are well studied in the scientific community. Give Bionaze a try and find out why it’s one of the best probiotics you can buy. Get 10% off when you use code BIONAZE10 to buy Bionaze in our store.