Blood in mucus from nose, throat or mouth can be a sign of something serious. This is a common sign of a respiratory condition that will need to be treated as soon as possible. Some cases are mild and will often clear without treatment, others are serious and can at times be life threating. Here are some of the possible causes of bloody sputum.
What causes blood in mucus?
Blood in mucus can be a sign of one of the following conditions:
1. Sinus infection
Sinus infection is an inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. Normally, healthy sinuses are filled with air, they can, however, become blocked and filled with fluid, in such cases germs can grow and cause an infection.
Your sines can block as a result of cold, allergic rhinitis, or deviated septum which is a shift in the nasal cavity.
A sinus infection can be shown by, a running nose, coughing, nasal congestion, and facial pain or pressure. For a simple infection, decongestant or saline nasal washes can be used. Antibiotics can also be used to treat the infection. Applying a warm compress may help relieve the symptoms.
2 Nose cancer
The national cancer institute describes a type of cancer as cancer that forms in tissues of the paranasal sinuses. The common types of paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This is cancer that begins in flat cells lining these tissues and cavity.
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the bronchial tubes. This condition cause coughing and bronchospasm. There are two forms of this condition, acute bronchitis that does not cause any problem and chronic bronchitis that does not go away at all.
Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions that make up chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It can be shown by a persistent cough, wheezing, chest congestion and shortness of breath.
4. Cystic fibrosis
This is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs. It can also affect the kidney, liver and the intestines. This condition is often accompanied by long-term issues that include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of lung infections.
Cystic fibrosis affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juice. In those affect, a defective gene causes the secretion to be sticky and thick. Instead of lubricating the tubes, these secretions plug up the tubes and passageways in lungs and pancreas.
Cystic fibrosis requires closes medical attention but those infected can still be able to perform their daily activities.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by either a virus or a bacteria. The infection starts when one inhales the germs into the lung. You are likely to get infected after a cold or flu.
Risk factors for pneumonia include long-term conditions such as asthma, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Symptoms include chest pains, fever, coughing, diarrhea, and vomiting. Antibiotics are used to treat pneumonia when caused by a bacteria.
Blood in mucus from nose
Bloody phlegm or sputum from nose will often relate to a respiratory disorder. Some of the conditions that result to this symptom are benign, others might be serious and as such urgent medical attention may be required to control the spread and minimize the risk of serious complications.
Some of the possible cause would include the following:
TB is a bacterial disease, in most cases, it is said to be resistant to antibiotics, for that reason it is treated by long duration of aggressive combination of antibiotics.
Patients with weak or compromised immune system are at an increased risk of tuberculosis. TB can be shown by symptoms such as night fever, drastic weight loss, night sweats and body weakness. It is very contagious, and those infected may need to be confined to minimize the risk of the infection spreading.
2. Acute bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is the inflammation of the large airways that branch from the trachea. Though rare, this condition can be shown by the presence of blood in sputum.
It can be caused by either a bacteria or a virus and will often be associated with some degrees of fever. The blood in mucus is often due to the damage of blood vessels by the inflammation.
Acute bronchitis is in most cases associated with upper respiratory tract that can also result in bloody mucus in the nasal cavity.
3. Pulmonary embolism
This is a serious cause of blood in sputum. According to mayo clinic, this condition occurs when a blood clot often formed in the lower limb travels in the bloodstream then lodges in one of the arteries in your lung.
Pulmonary embolism will often manifest itself in a sudden, severe shortness of breath. It can also be accompanied by a chest pain and a cough that brings up blood-tinged sputum.
Blood in mucus when blowing nose
Blood streaked mucus can easily be noticed when one is blowing his or her nose. You are likely to blow your nose when faced with a stiff or a running nose.
A stiff or running nose can be annoying especially when out to the public. In most case, this can be a sign of a serious underlying condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible. In infants, urgent medical attention may be required.
If the symptoms persist for more than a week, urgent treatment option may be required. In the meantime, you could try the following to soothe and relieve the symptoms:
- Stop blowing your nose, if you can avoid it, then do it gently
- When it is a sign of an allergic reaction then you will need to avoid all known allergic triggers like dust and pollen
- When accompanied by sneezing, then it’s likely to be a sign of an allergic reaction, over the counter antihistamines can be used
Blood in mucus from throat
Bloody mucus from throat is often a sign of postnasal drip. Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus, watery or sticky drips from the back of the nose into the upper part of the throat, this part is known as nasopharynx.
Postnasal drip is often associated with catarrh, this refers to an excessive mucus build up, common in the sinuses but could also occur in the throat, ears and in the chest.
In humans, mucus is produced by glands located in the nose, throat, and airways. The secretion of mucus in the body is normally an immune system response to protect the body moistening these areas to help trap and destroy unwanted invaders such as virus and bacteria.
Mucus from your nose mix with saliva and will often drip back to the throat without you noticing. When produced in excess, it may become too thick thus run from the front of your nose as a running nose or down to the back of your throat as postnasal drip.
To relieve postnasal drip, do the following:
- Avoid smoking and other common irritants such as dust
- You can use nasal saline spray or rinses to relive the drips
- Drink plenty of water to help thin nasal secretion
Blood in mucus from mouth
It is not uncommon for one to spit up a bloody mucus. Often times this can be a sign of an underlying infection in your lungs, airway or the digestive lining. Bloody sputum can be a sign of pneumonia or acute bronchitis.
When the blood in mucus from your mouth cannot be attributed to a curable condition, your healthcare provider may need to undertake a complete lung evaluation. In rare cases, it could be a sign of lung cancer.
Blood in mucus cough
According to mayo clinic, coughing up blood can be caused by a variety of lung condition. The blood may also take on different forms depending on what the underlying causes is. The blood in mucus may be bright red or pink.
Coughing up blood is referred to as hemoptysis when a lot of blood is produced, the condition is considered serious, however, it is not uncommon to have little blood-tinged sputum. See your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
When coughing, the blood can be from your respiratory tract, lungs, or from your intestinal lining and your stomach. Your doctor will first determine the exact site of the blood which will help in determining what the underlying cause might be.
The major cause of coughing up blood is chronic bronchitis. Minor causes will, however, include cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, parasitic infection, pulmonary embolism, tuberculosis and chest injuries or trauma.
Coughing up green and yellow mucus
Coughing up yellow or green mucus is a possible sign of chest infection, common especially after a cold or flu in winter and autumn. The common types of chest infection are bronchitis and pneumonia which are basically infection of the lungs and airway.
Pneumonia is a bacterial disease whereas bronchitis is caused by a virus. The two are very contagious and the infection will often spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Babies, old people, smokers and pregnant women are likely to develop chest infection that might lead to coughing up green or yellow mucus.
When a chest infection is the cause of the green or yellow mucus, then you could do the following to prevent the infection in the first place:
- Cut your consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products
- Practice good hygiene, this refers to the way you cough or sneeze in the public
- For those likely to be infected, your doctor may recommend you get vaccinated against such infections (flu and pneumonia)
Blood in mucus during cold
Bloody mucus during cold can be a sign of a chest infection. Although most of these infections are mild and will clear on their own, some might be serious and even life-threatening. When the cause of the bloody sputum is a chest infection, you are likely to notice other symptoms such as:
- A persistent cough
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Tightness and chest pain
In a cold environment, there are somethings you could do to relieve the symptoms. The national health services recommend drinking warm water, getting plenty of rest, using air humidifier, or inhaling steam from a bowl. If you smoke you will need to stop until the symptoms clear. See your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a day or two.
Blood in mucus stool
Your body primarily uses mucus to protect and lubricate your delicate tissues. In the digestive tract, mucus is used to protect against stomach acid and other potentially harmful fluids and irritants. It is therefore not uncommon to notice some mucus in stool.
For a healthy person, the mucus in stool will often be clear, bloody mucus, on the other hand, can be a sign of rectal bleeding. The most likely cause of the blood in stool will include the following:
- Hemorrhoids, these are swollen blood vessels occurring in the rectal area. It often results from untreated constipation but will in most cases be associated with chronic diarrhea. Common symptom is bleeding after defecating.
- Anal fissure refers to a small tear in the mucosa that lines your anus. It can occur when you pass hard or large stool during bowel movement. These tears can cause pain and often bleed when passing stool
- Anal fistula is an infected tunnel that develops between the skin and the muscular opening at the anus. Most results from an infection that starts in an anal gland.
- Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. It can result from either bacterial or viral toxins. Apart from the blood in stool, other symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
- Bowel cancer which involves colon, rectal and colorectal cancer is also a possible cause of blood in stool.
- Intestinal infection or gastrointestinal infection are viral, parasitic and bacterial infections that cause gastroenteritis. This infections can involve both the stomach and the small intestines.
Bloody Mucus discharge
In women, vaginal discharge is considered a normal and regular occurrence. However, not all types of discharge are considered normal.
Bloody discharge is usually normal especially when it occurs during or after your menstrual cycle. For a late discharge at the end of your menstrual flow, it will appear brown instead of red. It is also common to experience a small amount of blood discharge between periods, this is called spotting.
An abnormal discharge may be foul smelling, yellow, red, green or chunky in consistency. An abnormal discharge will often be a sign of yeast or bacterial infection. If you notice a bloody mucus discharge with a foul smell, we recommend you see your doctor as soon as possible.
For pregnant women, spotting or discharging blood can be a sign of a miscarriage, as said, report any kind of abnormal discharge to your OB-GYN as soon as possible. When spotting occur during your normal menstrual flow, and you have recently had sex, it can be a sign of pregnancy.
- Coughing up blood: http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/coughing-up-blood/basics/definition/sym-20050934
- Coughing up green or yellow mucus: https://treatpanel.com/blood-in-mucus-meaning-causes-home-remedies/
- What causes blood tinged sputum: https://www.healthline.com/symptom/blood-tinged-sputum
- When to be concerned about coughing blood: http://www.health24.com/Medical/Cough/About-cough/Coughing-up-blood-when-should-you-be-concerned-20150422
- Causes of blood in phlegm and nose: http://www.livestrong.com/article/209337-causes-of-blood-in-phlegm-nose/