Sometimes your body makes too much mucus which causes problems such as a blocked or runny nose and cough. Snot is mucus from your nose and sputum is mucus from your airways. Mucus production is normal. Without it, your nose and airways become dry and don’t work properly.
What is snot?
Snot is mucus produced in your nose which traps dust and germs that you breathe in.
If you have an infection, your body makes extra mucus to trap and get rid of the germs. The extra mucus that is not swallowed comes out your nose as snot.
You usually produce around 1–2 litres of mucus each day, but if your sinuses or other parts of your upper respiratory tract (upper airways) are inflamed, you can produce twice as much.
What is sputum?
The same process occurs in your lower respiratory tract (lower airways).
When you have an infection, your body makes extra mucus to trap and get rid of the germs. This triggers an increased urge to cough, and you cough up the mucus as sputum. Coughing also irritates your lower airways and leads to even more mucus production.
What does the colour of my snot or sputum mean?
The colour of the mucus tells you what’s going on in your airways. It tells you how inflamed your tissues are and shows you that your immune system is fighting off the infection. The yellow-green colour of snot means there are more white blood cells that fight infection.
Changes in colour are usually not a cause for alarm and doctors don’t usually use this as part of their diagnosis.
Use this interactive tool to work out what is happening with your snot: What the colour of your snot really means.
Mucinex contains the ingredient guaifenesin which is an expectorant. It helps loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth. Mucinex is used to reduce chest congestion caused by the common cold, infections, or allergies.
Maximum strength Mucinex providing fast and long lasting relief. It is specially formulated with a bi-layer tablet. The immediate release layer gets to work fast while the extended release layer continues to work for 12 hours.