Coughing Up Yellow Mucus – Causes and Treatment

Coughing is common and most people are not worried about it. Mucus is usually transparent in healthy people and it is considered normal if produced in small amounts. But, the mucus can also be grey, green, brown, pink or in some other color, which means that there is an infection or some other health problem.

In this article we will talk about coughing up yellow mucus. Have you ever been coughing up yellow mucus? Have you been worried about it? We will tell you what does coughing up yellow mucus mean and how you can treat it properly.

If you notice that the mucus you are coughing up is yellow, then you may have a bacterial infection.

In most cases bright yellow mucus is a sign that your body is fighting against the infection.

In this case you will probably cough up larger amounts of mucus.

However, there are many factors that may cause the mucus to turn yellow. More about these causes you will see below. Also, we will show you which are the medicines that may help you treat this condition.

If you have noticed that you are coughing up yellow mucus, this article will be very useful for you and it will help you treat the problem properly.

The Causes of Coughing Up Yellow Mucus

Bacterial or Viral Infection. If you are coughing up thick yellow mucus, it may be a sign of viral or bacterial infection.

Actually, yellow mucus is the result of a body that is fighting against infection. The infection causes mucus to thicken up and to accumulate in your throat.

Sometimes a bacterial infection can cause the mucus to become green or even brown.

Cold or Flu. One of the most common causes of coughing up yellow mucus is cold or flu. If you have cold, you will be probably coughing up the mucus that is clear, but sometimes it can be pale yellow. If there is no fever and if you don’t have any other symptoms, there’s no need to worry.

Bronchitis. Coughing up yellow mucus is also the symptom of bronchitis. As you probably know, bronchitis is a condition that may be caused by viral or bacterial infections. But, there are also some other symptoms of bronchitis, such as fever or a sore throat.

Asthma. If your cough lasts for a longer period of time, it probably means that you are suffering from asthma. The most common symptoms of asthma are difficulties with breathing, tightness in chest and wheezing. If you have asthma, you are very likely to cough up the mucus that is yellow in color. Asthma can cause a respiratory inflammation and it can produce a big amount of yellow mucus.

Pneumonia. One of possible causes of yellow mucus is also pneumonia. It is actually a kind of an inflammation in the lungs. If you have pneumonia, the air sacs will be filled with fluid or pus, so this way you will probably cough up yellow mucus. Other symptoms of pneumonia are also fever, chills and difficulties with breathing.

Sinus Infection. If you cough up yellow mucus, you may also have a sinus infection or sinusitis. Sinuses are normally filled with air, but sometimes they may be blocked with fluid or mucus. It is a great environment for bacteria to grow, so you may get a bacterial infection in this case.

There are also some other symptoms of sinus infection, such as facial pain, sore throat, persistent cough, headache, nasal congestion, etc.

Allergies. It is known that many people are allergic to pollen or to certain animals. If these people get allergic reaction, they may start coughing up. This cough is usually followed by yellow mucus. Other symptoms of allergies are itchy nose, throat and eyes, as well as frequent sneezing.

If yellow mucus is only the symptom of an allergy, it will probably last longer than two weeks and it will come at the same time every year. The symptoms of an allergy will go away as soon as the allergen has been removed from the air and also when you recieve the right treatment.

Lung Cancer. If the cause of coughing up yellow mucus is lung cancer, then it is a really serious condition. If you notice yellow mucus and if you have chest pain for more than a week or two, then you should seek medical help. Also, the symptom of lung cancer may be a pink mucus or a mucus that is infused with blood. In this case medical attention will be necessary, but more about that you will see below.

These are some of the most common causes of coughing up yellow mucus. But, you should also know that sometimes smoking can also have an impact on this condition. Studies have shown that smoking can cause the production of excess mucus. Also, there are some foods that may cause mucus to build up, such as dairy products or fatty foods, so it is recommended to avoid them.

Now when you know which are the causes of this condition, we will tell you how to treat it properly. Just continue reading this article because it may be very useful for you.

The Treatment of Coughing Up Yellow Mucus

If you are coughing up yellow mucus, you will need a proper treatment. Before the treatment it is very important to find out the underlying cause of yellow mucus, in order to treat it properly. In this article we will give you some tips and we will show you some natural remedies that may help you. Before you seek medical help, you can try these home remedies.

Lemon and Honey. The mixture of lemon and honey is used in the treatment of many health conditions. This combination has a lot of health benefits and you should try it.

As we all know, lemon juice is very acidic, so it can break up the mucus for a very short time. You should mix two teaspoons of lemon juice and one cup of warm water. This way you will get a lemon tea, but you can also buy it at the store. When you have a lemon tea prepared, you just need to add a teaspoon of honey into it. This remedy will soothe your throat and it will help you get rid of the mucus. It is recommended to take this remedy every morning or every evening until the symptoms disappear.

Herbal Teas. Herbal teas can be a very effective remedy if you are coughing up yellow mucus. Herbal tea will relax your respiratory tract and it will break up the mucus. We recommend you to try marshmallow, thyme or horehound tea in order to solve this problem. You just need to mix the leaves of these herbs with warm water and you will easily get the herbal tea that you need. Fresh ginger tea may also be very helpful, especially if you suffer from a viral respiratory infection.

Not only herbal teas are good for cough, but also other warm liquids, such as chicken soup.

Salt Water. If you are coughing up the mucus that may be pale yellow or dark yellow, then we also recommend you to gargle salt water in your mouth. You just need to mix a half teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Put the mixture into your mouth and gargle it for a minute or so. It is recommended to gargle salt water several times a day. It will soothe your throat and it will also clear out the mucus.

Inhalation. If coughing up yellow mucus is the symptom of bronchitis, then we recommend you to inhale warm air that is infused with the drops of eucaliptus oil.

Plenty of Water. If the cause of yellow mucus is a sinus infection, then it is recommended to drink a lot of water during the day. Water will help flush out excess mucus. Also, you can try nasal irrigation.

Expectorants. Is you have a problem with cough, you should also take some expectorants that are available at drug stores. You can take them without a prescription. Expectorants will break up the mucus and they will flush it out from your body.

These are some of the best natural remedies and methods that may help you relieve cough symptoms and get rid of yellow mucus. Also, it is very important to avoid some things during the treatment.

In the first place, it is important to avoid smoking and also the inhalation of any chemical products. It is proved that these substances can produce excess mucus in your body. Also, it is recommended to avoid diary products and fatty foods that are deep fried.

When Should You Visit a Doctor?

As you have seen, sometimes home remedies and simple methods may help and remove the mucus from the body. But, if it is not the case, then it will be necessary to seek medical help. If you are wondering when you should see a doctor, we will tell you.

If coughing up yellow mucus is not the only symptom that you have, then you may be worried. If you have pain in your chest or if you have difficulties with breathing, then you should see a doctor. Shortness of breath and wheezing are the symptoms that are warning you to check your health.

Yellow mucus is not always the symptom of a serious condition. But if you notice that there is blood in the mucus that you are coughing up, then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Fever and night sweats are also warning signs and you should not ignore them.
If you have lost your appetite and if you notice that you are losing your weight, you should seek medical attention.

Also, if you are coughing up yellow green mucus, if you have fever higher than 38.3 or some other symptoms that we have already mentioned, then you have to see a doctor. All these may be the signs of a more serious condition that should be diagnosed and treated.


As you have seen in this article, yellow mucus is usually a sign of viral, bacterial or sinus infection, but it may also be the symptom of bronchitis, asthma, allergies or some other respiratory condition. In some more serious cases, yellow mucus is the symptom of lung cancer.

There are many home remedies that may help you in the treatment of this condition, such as the mixture of lemon and honey, herbal teas and other warm liquids, as well as salt water. It is also recommended to drink a plenty of water during the treatment and to use some expectorants that can break up the mucus and remove it from the body.

All these remedies will relieve the symptoms and they will reduce the amount of mucus that you are producing when coughing up. It is also important to avoid smoking, eating fatty foods and dairy products, etc. As we have already said, these foods are known to increase the production of mucus in the body.

If these remedies don’t help you, you should seek medical attention. Also, if you notice some other symptoms beside coughing up yellow mucus, it means that you may have a more serious health problem. For example, if you have night sweats and if you have fever, you should seek medical help.

Also, coughing up dark yellow mucus or mucus with blood are warning signs that something may be wrong with your health. In order to prevent any further complications, it is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible.

We hope you have enjoyed this article and we also hope that it has been useful for you. Now you can see much clearly what is happening in your body if you are coughing up yellow mucus. As you have seen, in most cases the causes of yellow mucus are not serious and they will go away easily. We are sure that you will treat this condition properly and that you will take more care of your overall health.