Health

What are the causes of sputum formation.

Mucus is a naturally slippery, stringy liquid substance produced by many of the body’s lining tissues. It is essential to the function of the body and acts as a protective, moisturizing layer to prevent vital organs from drying out.The mucus also traps irritants, such as dust, smoke, or bacteria. It contains bacteria-killing antibodies and enzymes to help fight infection.

The body produces a lot of mucus – about 1 to 1.5 liters per day. We are not inclined to notice mucus at all unless its production increases or the quality of the mucus changes, as it may happen with different diseases and conditions.

_Causes of phlegm.

1. Respiratory infections such as colds, flu, and sinusitis are common causes of increased phlegm production and coughing up phlegm.

You may notice thick mucus that may appear darker than usual. This thickened mucus is difficult to clear from your regular mucus. This mucus is associated with many of the symptoms characteristic of the common cold or the flu. Mucus may also appear yellow and green when you are sick.

2. Allergic reactions are another cause of increased sputum production.

3. Consuming spicy foods can lead to an increased secretion of mucus in the nasal passages.

_ How is phlegm produced?

Mucus is produced in many locations in the body by the mucous glands in the tissues lining multiple organs, including:

▪️ lungs.

▪️ Sinuses.

▪️ mouth.

▪️ throat.

▪️ Nose.

▪️ The digestive system.

Phlegm is the term used to refer to mucus produced by the respiratory system, especially when excess mucus production and coughing.

During infection, mucus contains the viruses or bacteria responsible for the infection as well as the infection-fighting cells in the body’s immune system (white blood cells).

Phlegm by itself is not dangerous, but when present in large quantities, it can block the airways. Phlegm is usually expelled by coughing, and this is usually accompanied by symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat.

The thick mucus that accompanies many diseases is often darker and yellow in color compared to the thin, clear natural mucus.

_ What do the colors of mucus mean?

1. Green mucus, this means that the mucus contains infection-fighting white blood cells.

2. Blood-tinged or brown mucus is also common with upper respiratory infections, especially if the inside of the nose becomes irritated or scratched.

While a small amount of blood in the mucus is normal, you should see a healthcare professional if there is excessive bleeding.

Excess mucus is rarely a serious, but annoying, medical problem, especially when it clogs the sinuses or causes coughing fits.

Thick mucus and excessive mucus production cause many unpleasant symptoms including:

▪️Runny nose.

▪️Nasal congestion.

▪️Sore throat.

▪️Sinus headache.

_ Sputum treatment.

1. Rinse the nose with saline, including neti utensils.

It is an option for those who want to get rid of excess mucus without taking medication. Bulb syringes and squeeze bottles are another way to do a nasal rinse.

2. Saline nasal sprays may also be helpful.

All of these techniques soften the mucus and help clear the airways and sinuses. Always use a sterile saline rinse that can be purchased, or use distilled, pre-boiled, or sterile water to create the solution.

Some medications can also help thin mucus and boost the body’s ability to remove it.

Decongestants reduce blood flow to the tissues lining the nose and throat, so your body may produce less mucus. It may help you breathe easily when you have a blocked nose, but because it dries up, it may have the unintended effect of thickening the existing mucus. For people with high blood pressure or heart disease, decongestants should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.

_ Tips to prevent the accumulation of mucus.

1. Avoid allergens and irritants such as chemicals, pet dander and dust. If contact is unavoidable, wear a mask and increase the ventilation of the area.

2. Quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

3. Wash your hands often to protect against viruses.

4. Avoid physical contact with infected people.

5. Improving immunity by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress.

6. Treating underlying health conditions, especially chronic bronchitis and lung conditions that cause mucus buildup.

7. Take nutritional supplements that relieve colds and reduce congestion.

Supplements include: (vitamin C, probiotics, and zinc).

_ The relationship between mucus and phlegm.Sputum is excreted in the airways (bronchi and bronchioles) of the respiratory system. Phlegm is not the same as saliva, and it is a substance secreted in the mouth to aid in digestion. The terms sputum and phlegm are used interchangeably.

The term mucus can sometimes be used in place of phlegm, but phlegm refers to that mucus that is secreted specifically in the respiratory system, while mucus can also be produced in the digestive, urinary and reproductive tracts.

References :

what is mucus”, www.rxlist.com“

What causes mucus in the chest?”, www.medicalnewstoday.com

sputum”, www.verywellhealth.com

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