Worried When It Comes To Mucous? Not Sure When you Should Call The Doctor?

Child blowing mucous from her noseGreen usually means go and when it comes to mucous, some think that green means go to your local family medicine clinic. Many parents think that green mucous signals that your child has a sinus infection and needs medicine immediately. The good news is that that is merely an old wives’ tale and simply isn’t the case.

Does Green Mucous Mean Go?

Colds or viral respiratory infections can lead to a slew of mucous color changes, including green, yellow, orange, and brown. Family medicine doctors want parents to know that a color change does not immediately signal a serious infection. In fact, the color of the mucous can change several times in the first few days of an illness.

If you or your child has had mucous color changes accompanied by a cold, read this information before you rush off to your family doctor.

5 Things To Review

• Mucous tends to be the worst in the morning or after a large sneeze. While the sick person has been sleeping, the mucous has been sitting stagnant all night. This is similar to a lake or pond that doesn’t have flowing water. It will turn green. While this may be due in part to some bacteria, it is not a reason to worry right away.

• While green mucous in the morning isn’t much of a concern, pay more attention to it in the afternoon and as the cold continues. If a week or more has gone by and the mucous has stayed consistently green, now would be the time to call your family medicine doctor. While there might not be anything wrong, consistently green mucus could be a sign of a more serious infection.

• If you notice that green mucous is only coming from one of your child’s nostrils, then it is probably not a medical concern. Toddlers like to stick things up their nostrils and that is usually the cause. Raisins, beans, popcorn kernels, and other food items are often found inside. This usually doesn’t warrant a doctor’s visit unless you can’t get the foreign object out.

• Colds tend to last a week, despite anything we do to treat them. For young children, colds can last even longer especially if they are constantly around other children. If your child is hit with a second cold, symptoms can last up to a month.

• However, if a cold is accompanied by any other symptoms such as a fever, rapid breathing, wheezing, or worsening symptoms, you should call your family medicine doctor right away. Chances are high that a secondary infection has taken hold and professional treatment is required.

Everybody gets sick on occasion

However, a simple cold does not usually require medical attention. If you or your child has had green mucous for 10 or more days, then you might want to call a medical professional. This is especially true if there are other symptoms such as a headache, a sore throat, or a fever. While unusual, there are cases where you or your child might need antibiotics.

If you have any questions or concerns about you or your child’s respiratory illness or any other illness, don’t hesitate to give our family medicine professionals a call 435.656.5323. We would be more than happy to help you with any health questions you may have.

You can also reach out via our contact form

You may also want to read: 5 Things You Can Do To Prevent A Cold