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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Blood in my mucus when I blow my nose

05/17/2006

Question:

I thought I had the flu, my symptoms were aching body parts, constant migraines, not being able to sleep, can`t smell, can`t taste, stuffy nose. I`ve been this way for about a week. When I blow my nose, there is more than a little bit of blood. The mucus is extremely thick and is sometimes a goldish yellow, or a nontransparent white. When I hold my head back I can actually feel it moving. Why is there constantly blood in my mucus and why is it so thick?

Answer:

Bloody nasal drainage as a part of a URI is not uncommon.  This may be caused by dry, irritated nasal mucosa and inflammatory changes from a viral or bacterial infection.  I would recommend frequent use of saline nasal sprays (five to 7 times a day).  Furthermore, symptoms persisting beyond a week may be a sign of a bacterial infection requiring an antibiotic.  Your symptoms should clear in less than a week.  If not, a visit to your ENT physician is warranted.

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Response by:

Lee   Zimmer, MD Lee Zimmer, MD
Assistant Professor or Otolaryngology, Director of Endoscopic Cranial Base Center
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati