Orange mucous means what exactly?
November 16, 2008 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Florescent orange snot filter: has anyone ever had this?

My bf woke up with bright orange snot, cold symptoms, and a mild fever. Snot is now clear, but fever is climbing. Of course will call doc tomorrow if not better, but has anyone ever seen anything like this?
posted by Ollie to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Sounds like a fungal infection, though I've never had it myself, I have my share of sinus problems. He should definitely get to the doctor, but you already know that.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:44 AM on November 16, 2008

It is exceedingly unlikely to be a fungal infection (assuming that your bf doesn't have some sort of immune disorder or is on some sort of immunosuppressant therapy).

I'm assuming that this is nasal mucus that you're referring to (and not sputum). If he's been blowing his nose frequently/vigorously, then it could be small amounts of blood making otherwise yellow mucus seem orange.

I've seen snot of all sorts of hues and shades in my time, but rarely consider snot color alone in making a diagnosis (e.g., green snot does not necessarily imply sinus infection, especially in the absence of symptoms like prolonged fever, sinus pain, etc.).

If you're really concerned, save some on a small contained and show it to your doctor. I'm sure he/she will be happy to participate in a little show-and-tell.
posted by scblackman at 9:57 AM on November 16, 2008

I am prone to tiny tiny nosebleeds--so small that I don't notice them. But when I blow my nose after not having done so for awhile, because of the little bits of blood that can be mixed in, the first clearing-out gunk can be any color from red to brown to orange-ish. I wouldn't go so far as to say fluorescent, but the pattern your bf experienced, with the orange stuff when he first woke up and clear snot later, sounds familiar to me from this.
posted by not that girl at 10:46 AM on November 16, 2008

I used to get lots of sinus infections, and brightly colored, copious snot + fever was a common symptom. So was a sore throat. However, those symptoms can also come with a basic cold or the flu. Usually the scales tipped toward sinus infection if the fever persisted for days and my face began to hurt (e.g. pressing on my cheekbones was painful, or a jarring misstep made my upper teeth hurt).
posted by PatoPata at 11:05 AM on November 16, 2008

info from this NIH site.

Many people think that a green or yellow nasal discharge means a bacterial infection, which requires antibiotics. This is NOT true. Colds will often begin with a clear nasal discharge, but after several days it usually turns creamy yellow or green. Colds are caused by viruses, and antibiotics will not help. A green or yellow nasal discharge is not a sign that you need antibiotics.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

* Drainage is foul smelling, one-sided, or a color other than white or yellow
* Nasal discharge follows a head injury
* Symptoms last more than 3 weeks
* There is fever with nasal discharge

(bolding mine)

You should probobly contact a doctor.
posted by jourman2 at 11:13 AM on November 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Contact a doctor, by all means, but I wouldn't worry too much about the color of the snot in particular -- like others above have said, bright orange nasal goop is possible because of tiny nosebleeds, which also get more common when it gets cold and dry everywhere like it is in the Northern hemisphere right now.
posted by mismatched at 12:00 PM on November 16, 2008

Yeah had that one before...shocking stuff looking down and asking myself, did that just come from me ? It happened as i was getting a winter cold. It only happened once but i was back to full health after 2 or 3 days with only taking a few paracetamol and hot Honey and lemon. But of course everyone is different.
posted by defsix at 12:00 PM on November 16, 2008

I had this at the tail end of a sinus infection that was already being treated with antibiotics. It looked like Tang. It had stopped by the time I got to the doctor, but she was very disappointed that I had not thought to bring in a sample.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:28 PM on November 16, 2008

I had this when I had the worst headcold of my life. But, I got better.
posted by qldaddy at 4:37 PM on November 16, 2008

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