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Mucus in Throat – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Have you ever experienced being in a middle of a conversation then your throat suddenly caught in some mucus? Isn’t that mortifying? I think we could all relate to this kind of situation because speaking with some real sense, we have experienced that kind of situation. Don’t you? Though having this mushy thing on your throat may just be a benign condition, this can also become troublesome that want to get rid of it the soonest.

Mucus in throat is actually otherwise known as phlegm. This is especially vexing when this starts to clog up the airways and interfere with your breathing pattern and even with the way you speak. For you to better understand how mucus forms in the throat, let us tackle a brief anatomy and physiology of the throat. About 1 to 2 liters of mucus is actually being secreted by the glands located on your nose and throat. Cells lining up the sinus tracts are what primarily compose mucus. When in liberal amounts, mucus in the throat actually serves a crucial function. It’s actually this gooey substance that keeps the airway moistened so as to prevent it from drying out. The mucus is also responsible for warding off foreign bodies from entering the airways. However, there are certain instances in which the secretion of mucus tends to go overdrive such as that of an allergic reaction. When this happens, the condition becomes really annoying and if this condition has been bothering you for some time, this article aims to give you an idea about the possible causes, symptoms and as well as treatment for having mucus in throat.

Mucus in Throat Symptoms

Aside from the accumulation of mucus in the throat, there can also be other symptoms that come along with it, including:

Excessive phlegm production

Some people may suffer from excessive phlegm production in just a short while but to some, this is a chronic problem which often sends them wide wake at night just to clear out their throat. The special type of cells found in the respiratory tract tends to secrete excessive mucus as a form of allergic response. People will continue to be bothered by the excessive secretion of mucus until the inflammatory or the infectious process has fully resolved.

Bad Breath

Those who have excessive accumulation of mucus in the throat often have bad breath since mucus is entirely composed of different kinds of proteins and anaerobic bacteria may also be present in it.

Throat Congestion

The majority of us, especially babies who do not yet have the capacity to cough out phlegm, suffer from throat congestion. Throat congestion may develop due to an underlying infection involving the throat and as well as the sinuses. Most people find it hard to sleep because they are continuously clearing and coughing out phlegm to relieve throat congestion and this leaves them unrelenting sleeplessness.

Shortness of Breath

It really feels scary to run short of breath. Nearly all of us may have experienced this kind of situation especially when we engage in strenuous activities like running fast. However, when you are merely sitting and then you suddenly suffer from shortness of breath then something must really be wrong with you. You may find yourself gasping for air and breathing becomes very difficult for you. This sometimes leaves you with a chest pain.

Frequent Coughing

Coughing is actually a natural reflex of the body. This is an involuntary movement that is stimulated when foreign bodies get into the airways. Through coughing, we are able to clear up the buildup of mucus along the respiratory tract. The movement of air when one coughs out is established to be around 300 MPH. Aside from the buildup of mucus at the throat, coughing may also be due to smoking, asthma, heartburn and several other conditions. Thus, it is very important to note the characteristics of the cough for this may indicate a serious condition.

Mucus in Throat Causes

There’s actually a mishmash of conditions which may probably lead to the accumulation of mucus in the throat. The primary cause of mucus in throat is believed to be due to post nasal drip. Nonetheless, there may also be other causes that would also result to the same condition and these include the following:

Allergic reaction to pet dander, pollen, dust and cosmetics- Presence of allergens in the air will irritate the respiratory tract and the special cells found in it are stimulated to secrete more mucus.


Common Cold/Influenza- Catching a common cold would also cause the body to produce thin mucus specifically in the nose and the rear of the throat. Soon as the body starts to elicit a reaction to a certain virus, the previously thin mucus would turn yellowish or greenish. This is one of the prominent symptoms we often noticed when we suffer from regular bouts of flu.

Exposure to polluted air- Minute air particles which may contain smoke and chemical fumes may also settle in the respiratory tract causing excessive mucus secretion.

Post Nasal Drip

This is the accumulation of mucus in the nose but when it can no longer contain all the mucus, this will drip to the throat and builds up there as well. People with post-nasal drip usually suffer from throat congestion the following morning.


Pregnant women commonly complain of accumulation of mucus in the throat. This is believed to have been influenced by a hormone called estrogen.

Other Causes

  • Sinusitis
  • Strep Throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Viral infections including croup, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis, whooping cough

Mucus in Throat Treatment

Treatment for mucus in throat would actually depend on its underlying cause. If this is caused by an infection, treatment with anti-microbial is usually indicated. However, there are also natural remedies for mucus in throat such as:

  • Coughing – Coughing out would help clear your throat from mucus accumulation but avoid overdoing so as not to irritate your throat.
  • Blowing Your Nose – It is also suggested that you blow your nose on a regular basis because this helps in getting rid of the mucus in your throat. Be careful though not to blow your nose too hard.
  • Saline Water Gargle – Frequently gargling, especially with saline solution, would also help loosen the mucus from the throat.
  • Drinking at least 8 glasses of water – Not only will this clear out mucus but this also have an immense positive impact on your overall health.
  • Hot liquids – Hot liquids such as tea and chicken broth also help relieve congestion by keeping the airways moistened.

There are countless more natural remedies for mucus in throat. Overall, it is important to quit any bad habits such as smoking which may be the primary cause of this condition.

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