Understanding Nasal Mucus Plug: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

We’ve all had a cold or flu unless you have a super immune system. It is uncomfortable as you feel like your nose is stuffed, and the worst part is that it does not clear up fast. It is also painful, especially when you blow your nose. A nasal mucus plug, also known as booger or snot, can vary in appearance depending on its consistency and colour. It is a clump of mucus that forms in the nasal cavity.

A nasal mucus plug may be yellowish, greenish, or brownish, and it can be either thick or thin. It may also be dry and crusty or wet and slimy.

Sometimes, a nasal mucus plug may contain blood or pus, giving it a different colour and appearance.

Overall, the appearance of a nasal mucus plug can vary depending on the individual’s health, the underlying cause, and other factors.

If you have concerns about your nasal mucus plug, it is best to consult a healthcare provider.

With a nasal mucus plug, you’ll develop breathing difficulties as you will be forced to blow your nose every few minutes.

You will also notice that your tear ducts tend to overreact every time you blow your nose, and if you do it often, you might develop a headache.

The big question is, how can you get rid of the nasal mucus plug at home?

You are in luck as we discuss in detail what causes nasal mucus plugs, how to eliminate them at home, and how to prevent them.

But first, let’s understand what a nasal mucus plug is.

What Causes Nasal Mucus Plug?

Nasal Mucus Plug

If you have a nasal mucus plug, it might be due to the reasons listed below.

But don’t worry, as you will quickly get rid of your stuffy nose.

1. Allergies

If you are prone to allergies, it doesn’t matter what kind of allergy, as any foreign matter affects your body, lowering its immune system and making it easy for diseases to attack you.

Worse is if you have respiratory allergies, and as such, things such as pollen and dust will be your worst enemies.

Allergens force your nose to produce more mucus to protect your membranes and, at the same time, flush the allergens out.

If you live in an extra dusty place, always keep your windows and doors closed. And ensure that the house is always cleaned with a vacuum cleaner.

It would be best to invest in HEPA air filters to help remove all allergens, providing you with a clean home free of allergens.

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2. Lung infection

Your lungs are also at risk of being attacked by viruses and bacteria. And your body protects you by producing mucus excreted from your lungs through your nose.

So, if you notice a thick, rubbery mucus from your nose without a cold, it might be a lung infection.

Some lung diseases that could lead to nasal mucus plug development include pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, and bronchitis.

Sometimes, the mucus will be removed via your mouth as you cough and spit a clump of thick, rubbery snot that is very disgusting.

Sometimes, it might induce vomiting, especially if it gets stuck in your throat.

Steaming can help soften the mucus to remove it as mucus easily.

However, if it’s due to these diseases, you’d better seek medical attention as it can be fatal.

3. Common cold

It is common knowledge that mucus production is the most prevalent symptom of the common cold.

This is your body’s way of fighting off the infection. You will notice that your mucus is light at the beginning, and as it progresses, it becomes thick.

You can fight the common cold with warm water, ginger, and a touch of lemon and honey.

This is usually referred to as dawa. It does not work instantly, so make a habit of taking this concoction often, and within a few days, you will be as good as new.

4. Dry weather

Dry weather can trigger sinuses as the dry air prompts your mucus membrane to produce mucus for protection.

So, it would be wise to invest in a humidifier when the air is dry, especially during winter. It helps keep the air moist such that the air you breathe in is not dry.

5. Fungal infection

Another trigger for nasal mucus plug production is a fungal infection.

The most common fungal infection is fungal rhinosinusitis, a type of sinus infection caused by a fungus.

Its symptoms are similar to the sinus as it encompasses nasal congestion and sinus pain usually felt between your eyes, forehead, and sometimes cheeks.

Treatment for fungal rhinosinusitis usually involves surgery, but some infections usually clear themselves.

This type of infection is most common in people with a weak immune system, particularly diabetic and leukemic people.

6.   Dehydration

Your body’s hydration can also induce mucus production, especially if you are dehydrated. So always keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Avoid consuming lots of coffee, alcohol, or some medication, as they can cause dehydration.

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What are the Symptoms of Nasal Mucus Plug?

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • Chocking
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sore throat
  • Headache or facial pressure
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

How to Get Rid of the Nasal Mucus Plug at Home

Nasal Mucus Plug

You can use various methods to get rid of nasal mucus plugs at home. These include:

1. Saline solution

Some people opt to apply a nasal drop on their noses.

It helps soften the mucus, remove it as mucus, and sometimes swallow it.

It also helps decongest your nose.

If the nasal mucus plug gets stuck in your throat, you can gaggle water mixed with salt.

2. Drink plenty of fluids

Drinking plenty of water helps you stay hydrated; thus, your mucus membrane will not be prompted to produce mucus to moisten your nose.

3. Humidifier

If you live in a dry region or during the winter season, you’d best invest in a humidifier. It helps keep the air moist; thus, the air you breathe is not dry.

This is especially important at night as you tend to stay in one place. So, place a humidifier in your bedroom, but do not use it too moist, as it can harm your health.

4. Get rid of irritants

We’ve found allergens are also a common cause of mucus production.

So make your home free of allergens by keeping it always clean.

Investing in an air purifier would also be beneficial as it helps get rid of all the foreign bodies in the air, leaving it pure.

5. Nasal spray

The nasal spray also works the same as nasal drops, as it helps soften the mucus to swallow or remove it.

It also helps soothe irritation in the nose by reducing inflammation in your mucous membranes.

A nasal spray is best used at night when your airways get blocked, as it quickly clears your nose.

6. Herbal teas

You can take herbal teas to help soothe your sore throat and soften your thick blob of mucus.

Some teas that help treat the common cold include lemon, elderberry, Echinacea, and green tea.

You can also add a taste of honey to your herbal teas.

7. Massage

A deep tissue massage can also help clear up your body, mainly if it focuses on your chest to open up your lungs.

8. Medicine

When all these home solutions fail, you’d best seek medical attention.

You can visit your physician or get over-the-counter medication.

These include:

  • Antihistamines for allergies
  • Expectorants for softening your mucus
  • Decongestants clear your airways but don’t overuse them as they could lead to dizziness or spike up your blood pressure.
  • Steaming: when you go to the hospital, they usually place a steaming machine on your nose to soften the mucus in your nose and lungs.
  • Zinc supplements can help reduce your sick time, especially if you take them within 24 hours after your symptoms appear.

Spicy food can also help soften your mucus.

Measures to Take to Prevent Nasal Mucus Plug

  • Avoid vaping and cigarettes as they dry up your nose, triggering mucus production.
  • Have a humidifier in your home
  • Install air filters in your house
  • If you are prone to respiratory allergies, always wear a respirator mask
  • Stay hydrated
  • Change your lifestyle habits

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Final Thoughts on What a Nasal Mucus Plug Looks Like

The nasal mucus plug protects your mucous membrane but is very irritating, uncomfortable, and painful.

This thick blob of mucus makes you feel stuffy and have difficulty breathing as your airway is blocked.

In conclusion, a nasal mucus plug can have varying colours and textures depending on a person’s health and underlying conditions.

While it is expected to have some nasal mucus, an excess of it can be a sign of a problem.

If you are experiencing frequent nasal mucus plugs or have concerns about their appearance, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare provider.

They can help identify any underlying issues and provide appropriate treatment.

Maintaining good nasal hygiene by blowing your nose regularly and avoiding irritants such as smoke or allergens is crucial.

Keeping yourself hydrated and using a saline nasal spray can also help keep your nasal passages clear and healthy.

Paying attention to your nasal mucus plugs and seeking medical attention when necessary can help you maintain good nasal health and improve your overall well-being.

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