Coming in different hues and consistencies mucus is as vital to our breathing mechanism as our nasal and sinus cavities are. But what is mucus?
Made up mostly of water and carrying a host of body produced chemicals--salts, antiseptic enzymes, electrolytes, mucins,--mucus is a stocky, slimy mixture very necessary to keep our breathing machinery and entire body functioning smoothly. Mucus can have lubricating and protective functions; or serve as part of the body's frontline defense mechanism against unwanted intruders such as: viruses, germs, dust particles, irritants, etc. It can also serve as a sign or symptom that something in the body is not functioning right, depending on the color of mucus and the amount involved. Excessive mucus takes place when the body--sinus and nasal cavities, cilia--are unable to handle properly the amount of mucus being produced and it becomes noticeable and annoying--signs, again, that something need to be done to correct the situation to avoid further irritation, complications, etc. The opposite of this sinus condition can be sinus pressure which takes place whenever mucus cannot drain normally from the sinus to the nasal cavity.
Were we to have no mucus in our breathing system it would soon shut down--like a vehicle that has neither oil not water in its engine. Mucus is secreted by the body all the time, but we don't notice it. Then we have phlegm, as a specialized kind of mucus that performs and important role as part of our immune system. The amount of mucus we normally produce every day might surprise you: about two pints a day and this is not considered excess mucus. On the other hand whenever mucus does not flow and accumulates it can cause sinus pressure and even pain in the sinus areas. Any sign of sinus pressure should be nipped in the bud and thus help prevent sinus headache, diseases in the sinus cavity, etc. These are some of the functions mucus performs:
Protects the lungs and adjacent organs against harmful germs
Prevents nasal and airway membranes from drying out
It catches allergens, germs, pollutants and dust particles, bacteria
With the help of the cilia it moves liquids and foreign matter so they can be ejected
Moisturizes the air we inhale
It serves to diagnose illnesses
Beyond our respiratory system mucus is also found in other body tissues and organs, for example: the urinary tract, digestive system, reproductive system.
Nasal Cavity and Upper Respiratory Tract a - vertebrae, b - esophagus, c - trachea
d - cricoid cartilage, e - laryngopharynx, f -
pharynx, g - nasopharynx, k - tongue,
l - hard palate,
o - superior turbinate,
p - middle turbinate, q - inferior turbinate
Chronic excessive mucus By now it should be very clear that we all need a certain amount of mucus in our respiratory system so that it can function properly and to guard us agaisnt disease, etc. But a chronic condition involving excessive mucus is something else. This is what I would do were I to have this problem:
totally abstain from mucus producing foods for a period of 2 weeks and weigh the results
depending on the results of the previous food test I would decide to check myself for:
allergy to household dust, primarily:
dust mite droppings--found in most house dust
allergy to other household items such as:
laundry detergents, fabric softeners
plants around the house
if the results of any of the above tests is significant I would see an allergy specialist
if I were a smoker I would definitely quit
if none of the above seems to be a problem I would consider having the mucus analyzed for chronic low grade infection of the sinuses
sometimes there is a fungus in the nasal cavity mucus itself that thrives there and which was u known until fairly recently, I would have this checked if all the other items, above yield negative results.
Sinus mucus relief
The best relief procedure for sinus mucus should by now be obvious: Eliminate the cause of the problem. Knowing the color of mucus can help diagnose the problem. Often the causes of the unwanted mucus are the following:
continuos slow grade sinus infection
a combination of the above items
The thing to remember about sinus mucus is that so long as it does not become very excessive for long period of time it is OK.
Once one has narrowed down what seems to be the cause of the excessive mucus one must do the best possible to avoid it. Eliminating food that seems to cause or contribute the most to the mucus production can perhaps be the best prevention step initially. Then common and potential sinus irritants as house dust should be dealt with. Knowing the meaning of the color of mucus can be helpful to diagnose sinus problems. One last caveat: nip sinus pressure, sinus drainage, and other sinus issues in the bud, do not allow them to get worse. Often the distance between sinus pressure and sinus infection can be a short one. Thus it pays to know the possible cause of sinus pressure and do something about it. And know your sinus cavity and how it works
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A combination of healing systems working synergistically (cooperatively) for your sinuses is the key to sinus healing
Combining empirical research and reading many sources of information is how I found this new approach
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Disclaimer: I am not a physician nor a licensed health care practitioner. The statements made in this web site or in the publication: Three Steps to Quick Sinus and Mucus Relief, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are intended to describe what I did or would personally do only, and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease or condition for others. The reader should continue to regularly consult a physician with regard to his or her health. Especially with respect to any matters or symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical care.