Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mucous Colours - What Do They Mean?

I blew my nose and, I swear, the stuff that came out was yellow.
Chicken Yellow!
It looked like a yellow Rorschach test, equally Chicken Yellow on both sides of the Kleenex, tinged a little around the edges with minute bits of blood.
"LOOK AT THIS," I say to Dave, plunging the Kleenex in front of his face before he realizes what I'm doing.
He shudders and pushes my hands away. "Fer crissakes," he says. "I didn't need to see that."
"But LOOK," I say. "It's CHICKEN YELLOW."
I have a friend (but I don't want to mention her name and embarrass her - Leah) who wanted to be platinum blonde and when she rinsed out the do-it-yourself goo her hair was chicken yellow. Heh-heh.
"It does look like Leah's hair," says Dave admiringly.
"But what does it MEAN?" I ask. "Am I going to DIE?"
"From Chicken Yellow snot? I don't think so."
He was no help whatsoever so I Googled mucous colours, except Google corrected me because mucus is the American spelling - what's with that, boys and girls? Is it too time-consuming to add the u?
What I discovered is different snot colours mean different things.
Clear mucous is normal unless there is vast amounts of it – then it's a sign of post nasal drip. That's when it dribbles down your throat.
White mucous happens when someone with a runny nose (with clear mucous) drinks milk. The milk apparently flavours the snot with a nice white tinge. Also, when you throw up, mucous is white.
Brown mucous is found commonly in smokers and in people whose sinuses are engorged or inflamed. In the former, the brown is tobacco tinged. In the latter, it's dried blood.
Yellow mucous, better known as Chicken Yellow mucous, means you have a infection and your body is trying to fight it off.
Green mucous is a definite sign that you have a sinus infection and you should go to the doctor and get some good drugs to fight it off.
This has been a public service for all those who have ever questioned the colour of their snot.
For more information, drink plenty of fluids and call a Google in the morning.


  1. Ewwwww! Mine was green over Christmas. Better now! Whooping COugh!

  2. umm does TMI have ANY meaning for you?

  3. Very funny!


    p.s. Americans can't be bothered with letters and ultimately will forego spelling/reading/communications altogether. :-)

  4. I knew there was a good reason I didn't eat while perusing the internet this morning. Very informative, very Ew.

  5. I don't know your friend Leah. But next time I'm in Bracebridge, I'll be able to spot her. She'll be the gal with the snot yellow hair.

  6. Oh Gosh,

    thank you for an informative, and humorous post! I needed a giggle. FIY, my mucous is clear. For now...

  7. I second MJS on the TMI at the LOTMR. Your neighbors to the South are a busy lot. But, even though it is "too time-consuming to add the u?" I have all the time in the world to add the EWWWWWWWWW!

  8. Jen - I bet you're whooping it up to be over the whooping cough! Sounds like you're enjoying your new home. Good for you!

    Lou - It's a lot easier science to understand than, say, physics. I think if I ever go back to university I'll get a doctorate in snot and my masters in mucous.

    Michael - obviously not! Tomorrow I think I'll talk about diarrhea.

    Pearl - I'm SO glad you're American. If you were Canadian I'd have to smack ya. You know, but politely, because that's what us Canucks do.

    CJ - I was SO EXCITED to see your comment on my blog! I saw it earlier today but couldn't comment because I was at work but I giggled out loud! So nice to see you!!!!! And I knew this would gross you out!

    Deb - Leah says to me today, "That's the LAST time I'm ever going to tell YOU anything." Heh... She'll tell me something else, just wait. And I can hardly wait to blog about it!

    Margaret - It's clear, but is it voluminous? Is it dripping? Watch it closely ... you can never really trust mucous.

    Harry - BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That was a good one!

  9. Cathy, Cathy, Cathy, only you can make me crack up over something like snot! And how dear of you to teach us this lesson when you've got chicken yellow snot - you're such a sweetie! :)


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