Clear Mucus from Nose – Cold, Allergies or Infection?

Clear Mucus from Nose

While most commonly attribute to illness, nasal mucus can be caused by a wide variety of things. Some less common causes of mucus in the nose region include foreign objects in the nose, measles, and even a deviated septum, according to Discovery Fit and Health. But, most often, it can be attributed to everyday and common causes, with clear mucus from nose areas being an unfortunate side effect of both environmental and illness related triggers.

Rhinitis is one of these common causes. It essentially means nothing more than nasal irritation, which is a rather vague description. Ordinarily, these are the result of environmental causes like cigarette smoke or the fumes from household chemicals. Pollution and dust can also be causes of rhinitis, and in some cases, this can be recurring. This can lead people to think that the clear mucus from nose areas that they are experiencing is a result of allergies, but rhinitis is not considered allergy related.

Clear mucus discharge is common with allergies. And, there are different kinds of them. Allergies to pets for instance, occur when someone comes into contact with an animal that they are sensitive to, such as a cat or dog. Sneezing and clear mucus from nose areas can result. Interestingly enough, most people attribute these reactions to the fur of the animal. But, it’s actually their skin and the dander that is on it that causes the allergy, according to Discovery Health and Fit. Clear mucus discharge is also common with seasonal allergies from those like hay fever. Pollen from flowers and trees that is found in the air from early spring sometimes as late as the last days of fall can create the symptoms of these seasonal allergies, of which clear nasal discharge is one of the most common.

Most people don’t think that clear phlegm in general is a result of illness. While mucus color can help in some ways to identify whether or not mucus has a more sinister underlying cause, WebMD points out that it’s possible to have an infection such as an ear or sinus infection and still have clear phlegm as opposed to that which is yellow or green. As such, clear mucus from nose areas cannot be attributed to rhinitis or allergies alone, both colds and infections can cause it as well.

Sinusitis is a very common condition of the sinuses that affects many people at least once per year, according to Discovery Fit & Health. It can occur from a variety of factors including irritation and inflammation, but infection can also play a role in bringing on a bout of sinusitis. While mucus of varying shades can accompany the condition, clear mucus is not uncommon. This can lead some people to dismiss symptoms as merely those found with seasonal allergies. However, symptoms can persist and worsen as the condition progresses.

Clear mucus from nose areas can also be attributed to the simple and common cold. But, WebMD points out that yellow or green mucus in nose areas is more common in colds. But, this doesn’t mean that the color is indicative of a viral infection. When a cold is present, the body sends white blood cells called neutrophils to the affected region. These can change the hue of mucus to yellow or green tinges.

There is simply no way to diagnose a condition based on the color of mucus. For instance, bloody mucus in nose areas can quickly cause alarm even though it is incredibly common, and often just a result of dryness and irritation in the actual nostrils. Although it is worth noting that color can afford some means of identification as clear mucus from nose areas is much more common in allergies than with other ailments. But, this does not mean that mucus that is colorless should just be written off as a bad reaction to a friend’s family dog or pollinating daffodils. Clear mucus can be indicative of colds and infections just the same way as their multicolored counterparts can. Therefore, it’s best to take an entire inventory of symptoms in order to determine if it’s worthwhile to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider.