Mucus in the throat: when should you consult?

If the phlegm is frequent, how do you know to go to a doctor? Dr. Céleste Rebours, ENT, enlightens us.

Muriel Kaiser

Muriel Kaiser

Written on

The phlegm is very frequent and benign most of the time
The phlegm is very frequent and benign most of the time —

“Any recent symptom that continues over time should alert”, says Céleste Rebours straight away. This ENT in Le Vésinet naturally has many patients with mucus. “It’s a big topic”, she says. Indeed, mucus is very common and can be symptoms of a disease, but not always.

As a reminder, phlegm is the basis of mucus, a thick and viscous liquid secreted by the mucous membrane of the nose. This mucus is useful because it humidifies and warms the air we inhale. It filters the microparticles present in the air to protect our lungs. When all is well, we swallow almost a liter a day without noticing it!

Read also: Mucus in the stool: should you be worried?

Consult in case of disabling discomfort

The mucus in the throat can appear at several times. One of the most common causes is of course the common cold. “When you have a cold, at night, nasal secretions run down your throat. In the morning, you end up with mucus”explains Dr. Céleste Rebours.

If the mucus is “frequent and mild most of the time”ENT highlights situations that should not be overlooked. “For example, if the mucus is associated with pain, weight loss, nosebleeds, respiratory discomfort… then it is absolutely necessary to consult”. As soon as the mucus is “disabling”, Do not hesitate.

Symptoms of many diseases

Indeed, mucus is the sign of a whole range of diseases. Thus, if they last in time, “they can be a symptom of an allergy or gastric reflux”, explains Dr. Or, “chronic sinusitis”. In the majority of cases, they then have a yellowish-greenish color but sometimes they remain transparent. Only a CT scan of the sinuses can therefore confirm chronic sinusitis. In the most serious cases, it can be cancer of the larynx, mouth or tongue.

“This is why it is important to describe the appearance of his mucus to his ENT”, advocates Dr. Rebours. In particular, it makes it possible to determine whether there is an infection. Very thick yellowish, greenish mucus is quite often revealing. Conversely, transparent mucus suggests that there is no infection. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult: “if the mucus is mostly benign, it is only by examining that we can reassure patients”concludes Dr. Céleste Rebours.

Phlegm: how to get rid of it —
The Health Magazine – France 5

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