If you are suffering from a cold, flu, infection, or having an allergic reaction, chances are you also have a buildup of mucus in your sinus cavities, throat, and possibly your lungs. Mucus is the first layer of defense when the body is invaded by germs, bacteria, or viruses. But it also traps smoke, dust, and other particles from entering the body.
Although an excessive amount of mucus in the system is rarely a health threat, it can be quite annoying. From preventing you from breathing easily to keeping you awake at night, addressing the excessive mucus whether from a cold, infection, or allergic reaction is important to your wellbeing. What follows are some simple methods that will teach you how to get rid of mucus.
Water: There are three simple ways you can use water to reduce the symptoms associated with excessive mucus production. Particularly when the mucus becomes thick and more difficult to get rid of through sneezing, coughing, and blowing your nose.
Increase Humidity: A cool mist humidifier will help keep your nose clear
Drinking Water: Will keep you hydrated which thins out the mucus that is produced
Wet Washcloth: By applying this to your forehead, this will reduce the pain and pressure
Hot Shower: The increase in water vapor will make it easier to breathe
In addition, you should try to keep your head elevated, so the mucus can drain from your sinus cavities. Plus, you should let your coughing be productive as that is its job. There are some natural products you can use to help thin out the mucus and reduce the symptoms that are associated with excessive production.
Saltwater: A saline nasal spray, particularly one with sodium chloride combined with distilled water, so you do not cause another infection to occur. The saltwater irrigates the nasal passages, but it also reduces the inflammation as well.
Gargling with saltwater is also effective in soothe an irritated throat. Mix one teaspoon of salt with a glass of warm water and you can gargle several times a day with no unwanted side effects.
Also, a Neti Pot can be helpful in irrigating sinus passages instead of using a nasal spray. This is a small pot that is inserted into one nostril, you tilt your head sideways while pouring in the saltwater and let it escape through the other nostril. It’s effective at getting rid of mucus buildup that is near your nose.
What to Avoid?
Just as important as what medications and foods to take, you will need to know what to avoid as well. By cutting down or removing the following items, you can reduce the symptoms associated with too much mucus in your sinuses, throat, and lungs.
Smoking: While most people associate the risks of smoking with cancer, the particles found in the smoke also increase mucus production. This is because the body is trying to trap the particles which only makes things worse when you contract a cold, flu, or infection.
Alcohol & Caffeine: Both products lead to dehydration which makes it more difficult to get rid of the mucus when it is building up. You are also not doing your immune system any good with consuming too much of either product. Switch to fruit juices that do not contain excessive sugars or plain water to stay hydrated.
Fragrances: Any chemicals that can irritate the nose should be avoided as this boosts production of the mucus. Your goal should be to reduce the number of particles coming into your sinus cavities, not increase them with the use of perfumes and other fragrances.
What Foods Get Rid of Mucus?
There are certain foods that not only reduce the amount of mucus production, they also reduce the inflammation and make the mucus easier to expel. When you consume the following foods as part of your diet, it will help to lower the unwanted symptoms from having too much mucus in your nose, throat, and sinus cavities.
Fruits & Vegetables: The tried-and-true fruits and vegetables are always recommended and for good reason. This is particularly true of vegetables along with fruits that are from the citrus family. The additional Vitamin C is always good as it helps the body fight off a cold or flu. But just as importantly the contents of fruits and particularly vegetables can boost the immune system and thin out the mucus which makes it easier to blow your nose.
Pineapple: Of the many fruits that can help you during a cold or flu, pineapple is one of the best because it thins out mucus production. Plus, it contains enzymes that can actually destroy bacteria. This boosts your immune system and helps you get over an infection even faster.
Spinach: Any green vegetable will do, but spinach offers plenty of advantages in fighting off infections and viruses that increase mucus production.
Salmon: The Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other oily fish provide an effective way to reduce inflammation of the sinus passages. This makes it easier to breathe while helping to expel the mucus from the body.
And do not forget onions. They contain an anti-inflammatory product that helps reduce the swelling of nasal passages. It also breaks down the mucus so that it is less thick and easier to expel. You can also add apple cider vinegar as it contains anti-bacterial properties that help tackle infections.
If you suffer from acid reflux, this can also boost the production of mucus as a result. Eating certain foods may cause the acid in your stomach to increase which may include the very products that are helping you fight off excessive mucus production. If that is the case, then consuming yogurt, bananas, or melons can help reduce the chances of acid reflux.
By eating the right foods, using saltwater effectively, and taking proper care of your body, you can help reduce the effect of excessive mucus production. Understanding how to get rid of mucus effectively will help shorten the symptoms you experience when suffering from a cold, flu, virus, infection, or allergic reaction.