August 18, 2023

Why Am I Coughing Up Orange Mucus?

The body makes about a liter of this slimy substance each day to protect the lungs, throat, nose, and sinuses. It is expert at trapping germs and contaminants and bringing them to the surface for removal. Mucus is usually clear or white, but it can change color if the body experiences an infection or health issue. The color of phlegm can tell you a lot about what is going on in your body and whether it is time to call your doctor.

If you are coughing up orange mucus, it is probably time to visit your healthcare provider. Depending on the cause, your physician may order a respiratory sample or bronchoscopy to get an inside look at what is happening in your respiratory tract and lungs.

In most cases, orange snot is a sign of a common viral or bacterial infection like the cold or sinusitis. Allergies can also produce orange snot as the result of inflamed mucous membranes. The snot might be tinged with blood, and it will most likely be thick and sticky.

Pink or red snot usually indicates bleeding from nasal trauma or injury or some type of nasal or upper respiratory infection. Brown or orange snot could be a sign of dried blood or from something you inhaled, such as dirt or cigarette smoke. Mucus that is a dark green or purple color could indicate liver disease, cancer, or other serious conditions.


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