Struggling with excessive mucus? 7 causes why it happens and ways to deal with it

Mucus in throat is common when you are suffering from cold. But are you getting constant phlegm? If so, read 7 causes of mucus and how to deal with it.

Respiratory issues such as phlegm and mucus are common during the monsoon and winter seasons due to the cold and dry weather. However, if you’re experiencing excess mucus production, it can be quite irritating and uncomfortable. Overproduction of mucus can lead to excessive coughing, and irritation and may even interfere with breathing. While cold and cough are major causes, other factors can also contribute to this condition. These include allergies, sinus infections, smoking, air pollution, certain medications, and dietary factors. Knowing the underlying causes of mucus is crucial for effectively managing and treating excessive mucus production.

Causes of mucus in the throat

The problem of coughing increases due to many reasons, including infection, smoking, dehydration, and allergy, Due to this, mucus starts forming in the throat and proves to be the cause of coughs. Here are 7 causes of mucus:

1. Respiratory infections

Respiratory infections, such as the common cold, influenza, bronchitis, and pneumonia, are among the most prevalent causes of excess mucus. When the body detects the presence of pathogens like viruses or bacteria in the respiratory tract, it responds by increasing mucus production to trap and expel these invaders.

2. Allergies

Allergic reactions to airborne particles like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or mold can trigger an inflammatory response in the nasal passages and sinuses. This inflammation stimulates the mucous membranes to produce more mucus as part of the body’s attempt to flush out the allergens. Hence, people with allergies may experience nasal congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip, all of which contribute to increased mucus production.

3. Postnasal drip

Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus accumulates in the back of the throat and nasal passages, often due to conditions like allergies, sinusitis, or rhinitis. This excess mucus can irritate the throat, leading to coughing, throat clearing, and a lump in the throat.

4. Smoking

Smoking, including cigarettes, cigars, or vaping, can irritate the respiratory tract and impair its natural defense mechanism. The chemicals in tobacco smoke irritate the mucous membranes, causing them to produce more mucus as a protective response. Chronic smoking can increase the susceptibility to respiratory infections.

5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a digestive disorder characterised by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, leading to symptoms such as heartburn and chest pain. In some cases, this reflux can reach the upper respiratory tract, irritating the mucous membranes and triggering excessive mucus production. Chronic GERD-related inflammation may contribute to conditions like laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), where mucus production in the throat is heightened.

6. Dehydration

Adequate hydration is essential for maintaining the proper viscosity of mucus. When the body is dehydrated, mucus can become thicker and stickier, making it more difficult to expel pathogens and irritants. Additionally, dehydration can impair the function of mucous membranes, reducing their ability to produce an adequate amount of mucus. Staying hydrated by drinking sufficient water throughout the day can help maintain healthy mucus production and consistency.

7. Dry weather

The nose humidifies and warms the air inhaled with moisture evaporating from the nasal passage lining. When exposed to dry and cold weather, the lining of the nose becomes irritated and inflamed and produces more mucus.

7 tips to deal with mucus in the throat

  • Drinking plenty of water helps thin out mucus, making it easier to expel.
  • Use a humidifier for moist air that can soothe irritated tissues in the throat and help loosen mucus.
  • Gargling with salt water can help reduce inflammation and break up mucus.
  • Steer clear of smoke, pollutants, and other irritants that can exacerbate mucus production.
  • Over the counter remedies such as nasal decongestants or expectorants may help clear mucus from the throat.
  • Regularly washing your hands and avoiding close contact with sick individuals can prevent the spread of infections that cause excess mucus.
  • Sleeping with your head slightly elevated can prevent mucus from pooling in the throat overnight, reducing discomfort.

If the problem of mucus doesn’t improve, consult your doctor immediately!

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