Mucus: Everybody has it; everybody hates it; and during the winter months, everybody is hacking, coughing, and spitting it just about everywhere.
Believe it or not, though, that stringy, slimy, gooey gunk is hanging around to do more than just annoy you. In fact, that mucus in your throat is helping to fight off bacteria and keep you healthy.
Mucus: It Serves a Purpose
The job of mucus is to act as a protective blanket to ensure that the tissues of your mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs do not dry out. Its sticky consistency helps trap bacteria, dust, and other unwanted substances from entering other parts of your body.
Does mucus in my throat mean that I am getting sick?
Not always. Although thick mucus is a common symptom of a cold, mucus often occurs as a result of an allergy or irritant.
Remember that egg roll you had last week? The one that your best friend slathered in spicy mustard and dared you to eat? Remember all the snot that poured out of your nose and down your throat afterwards? That was mucus! Your body is constantly producing mucus. In fact, your body produces between 1-1.5 liters of mucus a day, with or without that spicy egg roll.
When to seek treatment:
Although mucus in your throat is not harmful, it can be extremely uncomfortable and annoying. Most of the time, antihistamines, decongestants, and expectorants can help thin the mucus and make it easier to get out of the body. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment for you.
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