Mucus Buildup in Throat

Throat mucus, also known as phlegm, refers to the experience of the uncomfortable feeling of mucus clogging up the throat or dripping from the back of the nose. About 1 to 2 liters of mucus is produced physiologically by the glands of your throat and nose  per day.

lozengeThis mucus has several important functions. It flushes and moistens the nasal airway, and also stops foreign particles from getting into the respiratory system by trapping them and filtering from the passages. It also humidifies the air and represents the barrier for all the infection pathogens. In some disorder excessive amount of throat, mucus is produced, causing various difficulties.


Postnasal Drip

The emergence of excessive throat mucus is most often caused by a post nasal drip. Post nasal drip  occurs during hyperproduction of the mucus in the nose, at the same time provoking coughing. Characteristic is  congestion in the morning, due to building up of phlegm in the throat overnight.


On the other side, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes  and throat mucus will appear at the same time if a person suffers from seasonal allergies. Symptoms ranging from late winter could be provoked by many different types of allergens. One of the major culprits of all the seasonal allergies is flower and tree pollen.The symptoms usually last until the season has passed and until the causes are not present anymore.


Estrogen is known to exacerbate the production of very slippery and stretchy mucus. Considering pregnancy a state with increased levels of estrogen hormones, it is not strange that many women experience symptoms of nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing more often during these 9 months.


If the throat is irritated by cigarette smoke, polluted air or chemical fumes, mucus can also settle on the lining of the throat and nasal lining. A bad breath is also caused by a throat mucus, while it contains high amounts of protein and anaerobic bacteria.


Other frequent cause of mucus buildup may be cold of flu, leading to of clear, thin mucus in the nose and back of the throat. As the reaction of the body to a virus progresses, the once thin mucus thickens and turns to yellow or green. These are characteristic symptoms of the cold or flu virus.

Other causes of throat mucus buildup are strep throat, tonsillitis, laryngitis, mononucleosis, croup, anxiety, chicken pox, measles.


Increased production of mucus in the body can be provoked by food such as milk, cheese, butter, yogurt. Soy is one of the most mucus making foods existing.

Dairy products carry protein molecules called casein which is difficult to digest and increases secretions of mucus. Along with milk products, caffeine, sugar, salt, none-herbal teas, (especially black tea), all create excess mucus.

Food That Can Help With Mucus Breakage

On the other side, there is also a multitude of foods that can help to relieve it. A spoonful of honey with some added ginger can break the mucus. This is an easy but useful tip for a home remedy. Spicy foods can work for this as well, so you can try using cayenne pepper, chili pepper or wasabi. It is very important to maintain an adequate intake of fluids a day to help mucus to pass through the throat.

How To Recognize The Problem?

Thin And Clear Secretion

Secretion of a thin and clear secretion is usually appearing in allergies and cold. Nevertheless, it could sometimes signal a medication reaction or a reaction to a certain food. It is also possible when having deviated septum and problems with nasal passage flow.

Thick And Colored

If the intake of water is not adequate it can cause mucus to be very thick, same is with heating systems and dry air.Color change in terms of mucus becoming yellow, green, or even tan in color could all be a sign of a bacterial infection.

 Sound From Chest

During swallowing, some of the mucus could be dripping down into the chest, resulting in the appearance of  “chest rattle” and could turn into a condition called aspiration pneumonia.


Reflux of acid coming up from your stomach also known as GERD can be provoked by swallowing increased amounts of mucus from the upper parts of respiratory and digestive system. This will cause a feeling like heartburn or even burning in the throat.


There are a number of ways for people with increased throat mucus production to prevent  and soothe it.


The steam from a tub of boiling water or hot shower helps to loosen mucus in the throat and sinus congestion. Few drops of eucalyptus oil added to the water may help as well.


Adequate hydration (at least eight glasses of water daily) loosen phlegm and thin mucus. Water is the number one help for throat mucus; paired with vitamins C, E, and Zinc it is a natural remedy for throat mucus.

Clear The Airway

It is important to blow nose frequently to prevent mucus from draining into the throat. Warm water and salt can be used to gargle regularly and can thin out mucus.


Avoiding consuming food such as dairy products, meat or fried food that increases mucus production. Spoonful of honey and ginger can help the body to get rid of excess mucus. Adding spicy food, horseradish, cayenne pepper, wasabi,  or hot chili peppers to diet in order to loosen mucus.

Hot Drinks

Taking a hot liquid such as herbal tea or chicken broth to moisten the airways and break up the mucus can help also. A teaspoon of turmeric could be added to these  – turmeric contains antiseptic properties that fight infection.

Humid Air

Setting a  humidifier or cool mist vaporizer in the bedroom at night to thin the mucus. It will increase the humidity of the air which is particularly helpful during winter.

Avoid Irritants

Limited exposure to irritants such as household cleaners, paint fumes, chemicals or cigarette smoke is extremely important.


Various over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, antiseptic gargles or saline nasal sprays may also offer pain relief. For bacterial infections, the doctor may opt for antibiotics which are a medication used with a prescription. This is sometimes all needed to treat an infection.

If you have any experience with mucus buildup in the throat or you have some information you might think if would help others, please feel free to share in the comments below!


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