The Truth About Mucus
Did you know that your sinuses can produce up to 1.5 quarts of mucus every single day?
With cold and flu season wrapping up and allergy season in Wisconsin kicking into full gear, most of us wish we produced a little less. Sure, blowing globs of snot into tissue after tissue when you have a cold or sinus infection is gross, but mucus serves an incredibly important purpose.
Mucus-producing tissue lines the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Mucus acts as a protective blanket over these surfaces, preventing the tissue underneath from drying out. It also acts as a sort of flypaper, trapping unwanted substances like bacteria and dust before they can get into the body – particularly the sensitive airways.
But mucus is more than just sticky goo. It also contains antibodies that help the body recognize invaders like bacteria and viruses, enzymes that kill the invaders it traps, protein to make the mucus gooey and inhospitable, and a variety of cells, among other things.
The Color of Your Snot
And just like your urine, the color of your snot can say a lot about what’s going on with your health. So before you curse the never-ending flow of mucus coming out your nose, take a closer look at those tissues you use to wipe it all away.
This infographic from the Cleveland Clinic can help you determine whether that wet sneeze is just a little congestion or something more serious.