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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Thick white mucus on my nose

06/28/2007

Question:

My nose was really stuffed/blocked and I didn`t know what it was untill I started using the neti pot which help remove some of it. This mucus is thick, really sticky and white. Its been there for a long long time now. I started using the neti pot which has help on removing some of this mucus but I can never get all of it out it seems that its stuck somewhere in my nose and only a small part of it comes out when using the neti pot. this stuffiness seems to move from side to side at night depending on what side I sleep on. it also causes me the need to keep clearing my throat and problems breathing. I do not know what to do to get all of this mucus out instead of just small portions of it where is this coming from??.sometimes I experience trouble talking and since I can`t breath trough my nose I start panicking. I need to find a solution for this please help...

Thanks a lot.

Answer:

The nose naturally does produce mucus, but it should not build up to the point where it becomes a nuisance.  There are a number of reasons why this might occur.

It is common for people to not drink enough water, and dehydration will result in the nasal mucus becoming somewhat thick and sticky.  Make sure you are drinking enough fluids, particularly when the weather is so hot and dry.

Allergies will tend to cause the nose to produce more mucus.  Exposure to irritants, such as pollutants, can have the same effect.  A chronic, underlying infection may also produce excessive, very thick mucus.

I suggest you consult an ENT physician.  A thorough examination should allow an appropriate diagnosis after which the physician should be able to offer you appropriate treatment.

For more information:

Go to the Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati